‘They don’t talk about it much’: John Stamos on the Beach Boys’ Charles Manson connection

Actor John Stamos, who has been recording and performing with the Beach Boys off and on since 1985, offers some new insight into how the band continues to deal with the Charles Manson connection to their song “Never Learn Not to Love” from 1969’s 20/20 album.

The late Dennis Wilson had introduced Manson, not long before he became known as one of history’s most notorious mass murderers, to Beach Boys associate Terry Melcher — leading to a weird intersection between pop royalty and a grisly crime. “Never Learn Not to Love” actually grew out of an original song by Manson called “Cease to Exist.”

“It’s an interesting piece of their history,” Stamos tells TMZ. “They don’t talk about it much. They’re open; they’re very honest about their lives — but they realize it was a trippy deal.”

At the same time, Stamos has said he’s a fan of the way Mike Love “plays around with the setlist every night” — saying “that’s what’s fun for me.” So, can we expect “Never Learn Not to Love” to show up at a future Beach Boys show? Stamos grinned broadly before answering, simply: “No.”

Stamos memorably appeared in the 1980s-era Beach Boys video for “Kokomo,” which was co-written by Melcher. He sang on a 1990 re-recording of “Forever,” and has regularly performed with the Beach Boys on stage — including a 2010 episode of Dancing with the Stars, several dates on their 50th anniversary reunion tour and as recently as last July.

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