Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose said Wednesday that he chose a song recorded by mass murderer Charles Manson for the group’s latest album because he thought the song deserved an audience.
“Personally, I liked the lyrics and the melody of the song,” Rose said in a statement released through Geffen Records.
The song, “Look at Your Game, Girl,” appears on Guns N’ Roses’ “The Spaghetti Incident?” album released last week.
Law-enforcement and victims-rights groups have criticized the group for using the song, which appears as an untitled 13th track.
Rose’s statement did not address published reports that the group was considering removing the song from future copies of the album or that the head of the band’s record company, entertainment mogul David Geffen, found the song offensive.
In a vaguely worded statement issued Wednesday, Geffen Records president Ed Rosenblatt said the company was “looking into what might be done to mitigate this situation.” He did not return calls Wednesday.
Manson, 59, and three women followers were convicted in 1971 in the murders of Sharon Tate and four others as well as the gruesome slayings of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. He is serving a life sentence in Corcoran State Prison near Fresno.
He is believed to have written the song, but spokeswoman Bryn Bridenthal said Geffen Records had not confirmed that, nor had it confirmed whether he is due publishing royalties for Guns N’ Roses’ use of the song.
In his statement, Rose said he understood the song was written by former Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson.