She'll Grow Back: Stagger Lee Saturdays - Terry Melcher

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stagger Lee Saturdays - Terry Melcher

Terry Melcher (AMG Wiki) was a songwriter and producer who worked with The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and also his mom Doris Day.

In 1968, Dennis Wilson introduced Terry Melcher to a friend of his, Charles Manson, and Melcher had Manson as a guest at his home several times, along with Melcher's then-girlfriend Candice Bergen. After Melcher (and Wilson) severed ties with Manson, he left that house, and it was leased to Roman Polanski and his young wife Sharon Tate. Shortly thereafter, Manson's group of followers went to that house. In an attempt to kill Melcher, they ended up murdering five people, including Tate.

This has been another history lesson brought to you by Stagger Lee Saturdays.

In 1974, Melcher continued to work as a musician and producer, and he also released his eponymous first solo album. (via) This has an easy-listening, country rock vibe I just can't warm up to, and Melcher's slow reading and attempts to imbue the material with emotional meaning put me off. (The album also includes a cover of Dylan's "The 4th Time Around," which I'm not sure Melcher realized was a joke, and the least emotionally affecting version of "These Days" I've ever heard.)

Though I don't particularly care for it, I've posted this version today for a reason. Next week I'm posting a really nice slow version, which may be the most moving version of the song I've heard lately. Stay tuned.


CD said...

No version by Michael Jackson?

You're going to miss the band wagon, my friend.

Mark H. Besotted said...

If one existed, I'd post it.

I don't have enough to say about him, myself, to put up a post. (Though I do have an extraordinary cover of "I Want You Back" I was five minutes from posting.) What I want to say, in its ideal form, has already been written and posted by someone else.

I've just in the last month come across the old files for a Velvet Underground website I used to co-edit, and it contains a long essay Lou Reed wrote about Elvis, about how hard we (the great American public/media fame-granting machine) made it for Elvis to stay connected to reality.

We did it to Elvis, and Marilyn, and Michael. We've almost finished doing it to Britney, and at least one of the Olsens. We do it to everyone we love, everyone we can see ourselves in -- we see ourselves reflected, and then make it impossible for them to keep that humanity and reality.

Wow, that's some extensive rambling. Good thing I didn't try to actually put up a blog post about this.

CD said...

It's funny, most of the blog posts i've seen (my own included) metion the internal debates one has w/ MJ. Thriller blew our minds and then he started turning our stomaches. It's sad and interesting at the same time.