John Moran | The Manson Family Opera (1990).

The Manson Family was the second opera written by Philip Glass protégé John Moran. It featured Iggy Pop as “the Prosecutor” a.k.a. Vincent Bugliosi, the man who not only became famous in the Seventies for squaring off against Charles Manson in the courtroom but who also wrote the best-selling book Helter Skelter

Quote Art Director Phil Yarnall;

“So I’m cleaning out stuff from our storage unit and found a bunch of my old portfolio stuff from my early days as a designer... this was The Manson Family Opera by John Moran... seriously weird stuff. But it connected my with the amazing illustrator, Jonathon Rosen. The type here was pieced together from Charles Manson’s handwritten letters... more weirder shit to read through... but I always loved how this one turned out”.

Link/clip; John Moran / Manson Opera (track 9) Good Morning it's The Beatles.


“ John Moran’s stage recording of his 1990 opera, “The Manson Family,” earned instant cult cred by getting slapped with one of the first Parental Advisory stickers when it was released in early 1992. “Family” features Iggy Pop as prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, and is the only staged work to be put on record by the bizarre composer from Lincoln, Neb., a onetime Philip Glass protege, who as a young lad reportedly announced himself at Glass’ door and moved right in.

“Manson Family” isn’t about the killer hippie clan so much as it is a dissection of the ensuing media frenzy, with commentary from Charlie himself (well, the Charlie actor), utilized to great effect on “Charlie in a Field, Forever.” Tracks like the angry, nihilistic “Susan Atkins, on the Stairway of Justice” could easily have provided inspiration for Oliver Stone’s zany media critique, 1994’s “Natural Born Killers.”

But the standout track is “Good Morning! … It’s The Beatles,” a hallucinatory send-up of Manson’s favorite foursome, described in the liner notes as “The 4 angels of the Apocalypse.” It’s one of the strangest and most interesting things I’ve ever found repeatedly listenable — I’m not even sure you can rightly refer to the tracks on “Family” as songs.