The Quentin Tarantino movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonard DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie, features the Manson killings and ends with a shocking bloodbath 50 years after the grisly murders.
Wealth Advisor’s recent article, “Charles Manson’s grandson can profit off of Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood,” also notes that the movie prominently features a song called “Look at Your Game, Girl,” written by aspiring songwriter Charles Manson before his followers’ murderous spree. The tune is sung a cappella by girls in Manson’s ‘family,’ as they walk through Los Angeles and forage for food.
Tarantino said that he only used Manson’s music, after assuring himself that his family wouldn’t benefit, and that royalties and licensing fees would go to the victims’ families. However, since the movie was released, controversy has exploded and a DailyMail.com investigation has discovered the issue around Manson’s music is far more complicated and likely to wind up in court.
“Quentin told friends that he struggled with the decision to use Manson’s music, and only agreed to use it after being assured that any money from its use would go to the victims’ families,” a movie insider told DailyMail.com
Mary Ramos, music supervisor on the film, agreed, noting “Even considering using that, we wanted to find out ... what happens if this is used, where the money goes. And there was a trust set up for the victims, and no-one even associated with the Mansons and the Manson family makes money off that song.”
Manson had initially visited director Roman Polanski’s home in 1968 search of Hollywood legend Doris Day’s music producer son Terry Melcher, who had talked about giving Manson a recording deal. Manson was upset that Melcher changed his mind on the contract, and discovered that he no longer lived at the house.
On August 8, 1969, Manson ordered family devotees Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins to return to the house and kill everyone inside, including actress Sharon Tate, Polanski’s wife.
Fast forward a few decades. Guns N’ Roses recorded Manson’s song “Look at Your Game, Girl” on the hit album ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ that went platinum in 1993. Lawyer Nathaniel Friedman, who filed a 1971 wrongful death suit for one of the victim’s grandchildren, negotiated a lucrative settlement with the band.
However, that wrongful death judgment wasn’t extended, and eventually the rights to profits from Manson’s music reverted to the killer’s family, although that led to a bitter fight when Manson died in prison in 2017, at age 83. There were two men who claimed to be Manson’s biological sons. Another man said he was Manson’s biological grandson, and a friend claimed to have been bequeathed Manson’s estate in his final will.
After a long legal battle, Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, won and was given permission to take possession of the killer’s remains in March 2018. However, there’s still a fight ongoing over who will inherit the Manson estate. However, Freeman will most likely prevail, given his early success. As a result, any royalties, licensing fees, or profits from the use of Manson’s song in “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” probably will go to Manson’s grandson.
Reference: Wealth Advisor (August 27, 2019) “Charles Manson’s grandson can profit off of Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood”
The 15 minute initial phone call is designed as a simple way for you to get to know us, and for our team to learn more about your unique estate planning needs.