One of 2018's most anticipated heavy metal tours is Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson's co-headlining Twins of Evil - The Second Coming.
In anticipation of the upcoming trek, the two have joined forces and recorded their version of the Beatles' song "Helter Skelter." Compared to the Beatles' original 1968 recording, this version sets a haunting vibe with sludgy guitar riffs, bashing drums, and heavily processed vocals for both Zombie and Manson's verses. Listen above on YouTube.
The Beatles song was revolutionary at the time it was released on the White Album. The raw, aggressive nature of the track was punk before punk was a thing. It also became notorious for its influence on aspiring musician Charles Manson and the "Manson Family" cult he convinced to perpetrate seven murders in California during 1969, as well as assaults, thefts, and even a failed assassination attempt of President Gerald Ford. Under the heavy influence of drugs, they believed that "Helter Skelter" and several other songs contained prophecies and messages about race wars, and this song, in particular, became a codename for their violent ambitions. Manson ended up in jail, where he died in 2017.
The connection here is that Marilyn Manson adopted his name from Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson as a young musician in 1989. He explained in his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, "Marilyn Monroe had a dark side, just as Charles Manson has a good, intelligent side."
Rob Zombie talked about how he and Marilyn Manson came up with the idea to record the song and the significance of the Charles Manson killings in an interview with Rolling Stone:
We had been talking about doing something together for these shows — that he should come onstage during my set and we’d do a song. But we couldn’t think of what song. After we talked, later that night I was home and I just thought, The obvious song is “Helter Skelter”… It’s so obvious that neither one of us thought of it! And then I figured, well, rather than us just doing it onstage, why don’t we take it one step further and record it and put a new spin on it? That way, rather than just doing some impromptu jam together, now the fans will go, “Oh, there’s the song I’ve already heard, and now they’re doing it"...
For anyone my age you really cannot listen to the White Album or “Helter Skelter” without the Charles Manson connection. That’s all I associate it with, ever since I was a little kid. As upbeat or light as a lot of the songs on the album are, somehow they always seem connected to Manson. They just have a dark vibe. You can’t hear ‘em any other way. At least I can’t, that’s for sure.
Zombie is also the narrator of the Charles Manson documentary The Final Words that was released last year.