Entries in Music (4)


Mass Murderer Charles Manson Has New Music Release

California Dept of Corrections & Rehabilitation(LOS ANGELES) -- A vinyl album with a “raw country” sound and spoken-word poetry has been flying off the shelves at a Hollywood, Calif., boutique, never mind that the artist is convicted  mass murderer Charles Manson.

Manuel Vasquez, 26, co-owner of the Beauty Is Pain boutique, told ABC News he has so far sold a “couple hundred” copies of the vinyl recording, which retails for $18 and includes never-before-heard tracks of Manson playing guitar. Some of the material, which Vasquez said he obtained from an “old friend” of the convict, dates back to the 1980s.

“It’s him singing and playing guitar and also reciting some poetry and spoken word type stuff,” Vasquez said. “[He] sounds like an old blues man or a raw country singer.”

A few months ago, Vasquez became pen pals with the 77-year-old Manson, who is incarcerated at Cochran State Prison in California. He sent Manson, whose voice and words has been included on albums by the Beach Boys, Guns ‘N Roses and Marilyn Manson, a mini-copy of the album cover.

“He told me he thought it was well put together. Those were his exact words,” Vasquez said.

Manson will not receive any profits or royalties from the sale of the album.

Vasquez, who was not alive when the "Manson family” terrorized Southern California in the late 1960s with its “Helter Skelter” killing spree, said he wanted to produce the album because he believes Manson’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial was violated.

“I wouldn’t say [he's] innocent, but he was denied his constitutional rights in court,” Vasquez said.  ”I wanted to raise awareness of that.”

Manson was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the August 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate, her unborn baby and four houseguests, and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 when California temporarily abolished the death penalty.

He was denied parole for a 12th time this past April.

Manson’s next chance at freedom will come in 15 years, when he is 92 years old.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Student Loses $172K Violin on Bus

Nichola Evans/Stockbyte(BOSTON) -- It might end up being the most costly trip Mu-Chen Hsieh ever takes. The violin student, who is studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston, left her most prized possession, an 1835 Italian-made violin worth $172,000, in the overhead compartment of a Megabus after her trip from Boston to Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

“It was a long ride, and I was really tired, and that’s why I forgot it. And then I realized it about 30 minutes afterwards,” the 19-year-old told ABC News Philadelphia affiliate WPVI-TV.

The violin on loan from the Chi Mei culture foundation of Taiwan was already back on the road by the time Hsieh figured out what had happened. Police were eventually able to track down the bus Hsieh was on, but did not find the violin.

“[The foundation is] concerned that someone may have possession of [the violin] and may not know what they have,” Lt. John Walker told WPVI-TV.

Hsieh was traveling to Philadelphia to spend the holidays with her host family; now all she wants for Christmas is to have her violin returned.

“I really hope that the person that took it can give it back to me so that I can continue my studies,” Hsieh said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Columbia’s Marching Band Allowed Back on the Field

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Columbia University’s marching band, booted from the field after it mocked its own team, will now be allowed to play during the team’s last game of the season against Brown University.

The decision to allow the band to play was a reversal of the school’s policy after the band played, “We always lose, lose, lose, by a lot, and sometimes by a little,” during halftime of last weekend’s loss to Cornell. The loss put the Columbia Lions' record at 0-9.

The band, known on campus for its sometimes politically incorrect sense of humor, altered the lyrics to the school’s fight song, offending some of the Columbia rooters in the stands. Nevertheless, the sarcastic lyrics were ultimately in line with the college’s principles of free speech, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, director of intercollegiate athletics and physical education, told the Columbia Spectator.

The prank, and the punitive measures that followed, had provoked passionate reactions on both sides. Some were pleased to see the band finally taking some flak for its “sophomoric antics,” the school newspaper reported, while others said the ban was an assault on free speech.

The Athletics Department reversed its decision late Thursday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Miami Mystery: Who Dropped Piano On Florida Sandbar?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MIAMI) -- The grand piano floats like a mirage over Miami's Biscayne Bay, a testament to music and haut pranksterism.

Miami's mystery piano was parked on Biscayne Bay sometime before last week when locals spotted it and called in the strange sighting, Jorge Bino of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC News.

The 650 pound grand piano stands upright, perfectly placed on the highest point of the sandbar, just a couple hundred yards from a row of condominiums.

"We have no idea exactly when it got there," Bino said. "Our agency cannot move it unless it becomes a navigational hazard. At this point it's high enough on the sandbar so that it is not a navigational hazard. So I guess it will stay."

The Coast Guard says it has no intention to remove it.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio