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Johnny Echols



November 14, 2005

When Arthur and I made the difficult decision, too replace Bobby Beausoleil with Bryan Maclean, we had absolutely no conception of the events that were about to unfold, as a result of that action, just as a butterfly “flitting” from flower to flower in Sierra Leone, could not possibly conceive, that the fluttering of its wings could put into motion the “seeds” of the hurricane that would eventually decimate the city of New Orleans.

As I’ve said before, the both of us did a lot of soul searching, before concluding that of the two, Bryan was the better fit. He had a kind of “Star” quality that was evident, too any and all. Normally replacing a musician, would not have provoked such a quandary (we’ve had to make such moves, dozens of times as a necessary part of putting together a successful group) but over the several months, that we played together, we had developed a genuine fondness for Bobby, plus___his playing added a (raw) bluesy quality, too the mix.

Bobby was very personable, sort of a “gadabout” he knew everybody and everybody knew him, I think that’s what caused Charles Manson to take notice of and befriend him.
Being that Bobby knew so many people, he would prove to be the ideal person, to introduce “Charlie” to many of the people who would eventually become his “family,” Bobby was also very young and naive, thus easily manipulated by the older and more “streetwise” Manson.

The word if, is one of the “shortest” words in the English language, yet at the same time one of the “longest” in terms of potential consequences!

I’ve pondered this question many times over the years! [What if things had worked out differently?]
What if___ instead of “outright” firing Bobby, we had found a place for him. Hell___ if it didn’t work out, with him as a third guitarist (Arthur didn’t start playing guitar, until year’s later) we could have used him as a roadie, or tour manager or something, (anything) there were many roles he could have played.

Continuing with the word “If”: If we, or anybody had given Bobby a job with a band, he would not have been wandering around “aimlessly and therefore vulnerable to the machinations of the ‘evil one”! Without the introductions that Bobby provided, Charles Manson might never have put together his “family”!
It’s quite possible, that he would have become bored and just moved on!

Though it seemed like “light-years” it was only a few years after replacing Bobby, that the world would be shocked by those horrible and unimaginably brutal images.
Too this day, I cannot fathom, how that naive, carefree and genuinely likable “kid” could have possibly been involved, in that carnage!

That awful night, marked the end of the “innocence, of an entire generation. No longer could one instinctively “know” just by the way a person dressed, or talked or the length of their hair___that they were a kindred spirit, someone who was [“one of us”]

There was fear and mistrust, in “Our World” and thing’s would never be the same again!
It was as though we had been evicted from the “Garden of Eden” for allowing into our midst, an unspeakable “evil” named Charles Manson!
The “Serpent” was revealed to have lived and moved amongst us, and we never even Knew he was there!

Just another day in the life

Johnny Echols