Rock 'n' Roll Mysteries / Open Lines

Hosted byRichard Syrett

Rock 'n' Roll Mysteries / Open Lines

About the show

Jim Berkenstadt, aka the Rock And Roll Detective, has spent decades researching the players behind famous soundtracks and mysteries hidden within the music itself. In the first half, he joined Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss mysteries in rock that have intrigued music fans for so long. To get answers, Berkenstadt has doggedly asked eyewitnesses tough questions or dug through primary sources and documentary evidence. He detailed his work as a consultant for George Harrison, the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and some Beatles-related projects like the Cirque du Soliel "Love" show. Delving into a 1969 Rolling Stone magazine review of a rock group called the Masked Marauders, Berkenstadt said the article hinted that the Marauders were a supergroup composed of members from the Beatles, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. However, it turned out to be a spoof.

Regarding the "Paul is Dead" controversy (that Paul McCartney died and was replaced by a lookalike), Berkenstadt concluded that the Beatles did not plant clues to create the rumor. More recently, he noted, there was a similar conspiracy theory about singer Avril Lavigne being replaced by a body double. He shared his investigation into the connection between Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and Charles Manson. Wilson fell under Manson's spell to some degree, said Berkenstadt, and though the Beach Boys recorded one of his songs, they didn't get him a record contract. Manson knew the record producer Terry Melcher (who at one time lived at the house on Cielo Drive where the Sharon Tate murders took place). Berkenstadt suggested that Manson was aware that Melcher no longer lived there, but may have directed his "family" members to go there to send a warning to Melcher through the killings.

Berkenstadt presented details surrounding the assassination attempt on reggae musician Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1976. Marley was thought to be supportive of the then-current prime minister, which may have been a factor in the shooting during a politically unstable period in the island country. There was also a conspiracy theory that filmmaker Carl Colby (the son of CIA director William Colby) possibly had something to do with Marley's later death from cancer at age 36. Colby had been hired to document Marley's benefit concert. Berkenstadt said he investigated this rumor and did not find it credible.

Due to a glitch, originally scheduled guest, Atlantis expert, David Edward was not able to appear in the latter half. Richard took Open Lines calls, with listeners sharing their rock 'n' roll stories and "brushes with greatness."

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