On 8 September 1965, an advertisement appeared in Daily Variety seeking “Folk & Rock Musicians-Singers” and
Four hundred and thirty-seven hopefuls auditioned for producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, and four young men were eventually chosen to star in the pilot for a TV show about a rock group called The Monkees. But despite popular legend, Charles Manson — later to become infamous for his association with the “Helter Skelter” murders — was not among the many youngsters who tried out for the show.
Charles Manson was paroled from the prison at Terminal Island,
Since Manson was in prison between 1961 and 1967, he could not possibly have attended Monkees auditions held in 1965. (Moreover, at age 30 he would have been far too old for producers looking to cast young men between the ages of 17-21.)
Exactly when and how this rumor got started is unknown, but long-time
Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter.
New York: W.W. Norton, 1974. ISBN 0-393-08700-X (pp. 136-146, 155-157, 250-251).
Lefcowitz, Eric. The Monkees Tale.
Berkeley, CA: Last Gasp, 1985. ISBN 0-86719-338-7 (p. 7).
“The 10 Weirdest Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Beach Boys.”
Entertainment Weekly. 2 August 1996.