Marilyn Manson has metamorphosed in to a cultural icon of the present generation. Manson’s alluring persona forms a major part of the total package that also includes great music…
Marilyn Manson is an artist whose offstage antics ensure that he is never really out of the limelight. Rumor has it that he has never been photographed without his make-up. The fact that a music artist requires make-up in the first place does not seem to have any adverse effect on his ever-expanding legion of fans. He was born, Brian Warner Canton on January 5th, 1969.
One of the reasons for Manson’s success is his ability over the years to build a cult like fan following. Manson has never been a singer of choice for the masses but that itself is added incentive for his fans to swear undying allegiance to him. The name Marilyn Manson is a combination of the first names of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. These two are generally recognized as America’s most loved and most hated individuals. The band is eponymous has undergone many line-up changes.
The present composition of the band is Marilyn Manson “Vocals, Ginger Fish (Kenny Wilson)” Drums, Madonna Wayne (M.W.) Gacy a.k.a Pogo (Stephen Bier, Jr.) – Keyboards & Drums, Tim Skold – Bass Guitar and Mark Chaussee – Lead Guitar. The surnames of almost all the members are names of serial killers.
Growing Up Years
Marilyn Manson’s Christian name is Brian Hugh Warner. He was born in Ohio, Canton to Barb and Hugh Warner and is their only child. He was raised in the Episcopalian faith of the church. He attended Heritage Christian School, where he realized that Christianity was not his cup of tea. He does not believe in God and is an atheist. He found the rules and regulations belonging to this faith too restrictive and enforcing. It is believed that Brian was molested several times by one of his neighbors and couldn’t contain the happening any longer.
He told his mother about the incidents. He also mentions in his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, about his grandfather’s sexual fetishism, which included bestiality and sadomasochism, which seems to have affected the young Marilyn’s outlook tremendously. Brian would create sex magazines with his friends and sell them at school, among his classmates, he knew about his grandfather’s sex-toys, and would sometimes be accompanied by his cousin Chad, for air shooting with his BB gun. By the time he reached his tenth grade, he somehow convinced his parents to allow him to attend a normal public school, so that he could get away from the conservative lifestyle of his Christian school.
1989 – The Big Break
Soon after his graduation, Brian and his parents moved from Ohio to Florida at Fort Lauderdale, because of a better job opportunity that his father had got. Brian enrolled himself for journalism and theater arts at Broward, a local community college. He kept himself busy by writing short stories and poems. He was fired from his job in a local record store, after which he got a job as an entertainment journalist for a magazine. During his course of work he got to meet many musicians who he looked up to. These included Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
In 1989 in Southern Florida, Manson, an Ohio-born photojournalism major, and Daisy Berkowitz, a guitarist came together and formed a band. It was called, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, They later added Gidget Gein and Madonna Wayne Gacy. The band was formed with the mission statement that it would push the envelope when it came to censorship.
1989-1992 – Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids
The band began self-releasing cassettes and playing gigs, their Gothic stage show notable for Manson’s elaborate make-up and homemade special effects. The break through year for Marilyn Manson was in 1993 when they bagged a contract from Nine Inch Nails vocalist Trent Reznor. It was for his new label called Nothing. This landed them a spot on Nine Inch Nails’s 1994 tour.
1993-1995 – Portrait of an American Family
While working on the album, the band began to collaborate with producer Roli Mosimann, who had done great work with the likes of Swan. However, Marilyn Manson and his band members found the work too lifeless and boring as compared to the dynamic performance they usually put forth. They made Reznor listen to it and he shared the same view. It was then that Reznor agreed to rework the entire album, during which course the band did a few gigs as Mrs. Scabtree.
Gidget Gein had become a complete heroin addict by this time and it was severely affecting the band’s recording sessions. He was not invited for the rework of the album, because at that time he was hospitalized for an overdose. The album was presented to Interscope Records and they liked what they heard. Gen was replaced by Jeordie Osbourne White as the new lead guitarist. By the end of the Nine Inch Nails tour, the Manson’s band’s drummer Sara Lee Lucas quit the band, after Manson doused his drum-kit with fuel on stage and set it on fire. The drummer Kenneth Wilson a.k.a Ginger Fish joined two weeks later. The band was now going on a tour with Korn and Danzig. They had made it into the big league! Get Your Gun, Lunchbox, and Cake and Sodomy were some of the well received songs from the American Family album.
1995 – Smells Like Children
The release of Smells Like Children EP got the band their first taste of commercial success. They achieved it through the song Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, which they covered from Eurythmics. While this song became an instant hit, their previous song Dope Hat was banned by MTV except during late nigh air play. Manson and his band’s goth makeup, eccentric stage antics, and weird videos added to their fame. The other super hit songs include the Irresponsible Hate Anthem, Smells Like Children, and Minute of Decay.
1996 – Antichrist Superstar
Their next album, debuted at the number three spot on the pop album charts. Manson even came out with a best-selling autobiography called, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. In 1997, the owner of Calgary’s Max Bell Center had Manson’s July 25 show canceled, citing “immorality” and the band’s “use of animals on stage.” Another concert in Portland was canceled a few days later due to Manson’s reputation, and the venue’s inability to get insurance for the gig. Manson is often described as a follower and ordained minister of the Church of Satan. In 1994, Manson met Dr. Anton Szandor LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. Dr. LaVey named Manson as a priest and gave him the title of Reverend of the Church of Satan. The famous tracks from this album include The Beautiful People, 1996, Tourniquet, and The Reflecting God.
1998-1999 – Mechanical Animals
The next album was a spoof on the media and high society called Mechanical Animals which released in 1998, which was a tribute to David Bowie, for whom Marilyn has tremendous respect. Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) came out at the end of 2000. The band toured to support the album in 2001 and during a July show in Michigan, Manson was charged with criminal sexual conduct after performing an alleged offensive act on a security guard. In another case it was alleged by a security guard that Manson has rubbed his pelvis on the guards head. Some famous songs from this album include, The Last Day on Earth, The Dope Show, Rock is Dead, and Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes.
Following the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, there were accusations that killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were influenced by Manson’s music (along with that of other bands in the gothic/industrial genre), despite statements by both Harris and Klebold that they were not fans of Manson. Out of respect for the victims, Manson canceled appearances in Denver until the 2001 Ozzfest. In the critically acclaimed documentary Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore interviewed Manson about the tragedy. When asked what he would say to the two if he had a chance to talk to them before the killings, Manson replied “I wouldn’t say a single word to them; I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.” He made the song Nobodies, for the students who were responsible for the shootout.
2000-2002 – Holy Wood
The Holy Wood album was written after the after math of the Columbine massacre incident, which deeply affected the band because of the public accusations of spreading violence and indirectly being the ones inciting the act. They worked for a year and more in Death Valley working on their songs and concepts. Holy Wood is claimed to be the prequel of the first two albums by the band, as it speaks about a revolution.
The Mechanical Animals refers to when the revolution is taken away from the person and the Antichrist Superstar talks about how the person regains control over himself and ends the cycle of power that tried to overpower him. They even had a Guns, God and Government Tour, in which Manson quoted from the Bible, and mentioned on his website the following, “to balance out” “so we can examine the virtues of wonderful Christian stories of disease, murder, adultery, suicide and child sacrifice. Now that seems like entertainment to me“. Some songs that became famous from this album include the Fight Song, Disposable Teens, The Nobodies.
2003-2005 – The Golden Age of Grotesque
This album scaled and stayed at the #1 on the album charts and sold a stark 118,000 copies within the first week of release itself’! A new band member was inducted into the band and thus the new age of Marlyn Manson’s band began. It brought with it the industrial heavy metal sound that pulled in mass cult following. The album’s famous tracks include the, title track The Golden Age of Grotesque, Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag, This is The New Shit, mOBSCENE, (s)AINT and Tainted Love. He also did a song Redeem, with Jonathan Davis of Korn for the movie Queen of the Dammed, which went on to make some really amazing songs for the not so great movie.
2004 – Lest We Forget: The Best Of
This album was a compilation of all the hits of Manson band, as it was supposed to be his last and farewell album. It contained 20 tracks including the massive hit, Personal Jesus. Manson was going through some personal problems and wished to quit music and paint instead. The album’s cover is in fact one of his original watercolor works, which it titles as, “Experience is The Mistress of Fools”.
2006-2008 – Eat Me, Drink Me
Manson realized that music meant everything to him and decided to return to his roots. He made this album with some more changes in the band members. It included the songs, If I was Your Vampire, Putting Holes in Happiness, Hearty Shaped Glass, and You and Me and the Devil Makes 3.
2008-2009 – The High End OF Low
Armagoddamnmotherfuckinggeddon, Black and White, Into the Fire, 15, Four Rusted Horses, and I’ve Got My Fire Back are some of the famous tracks of this album. This is the band’s seventh full length album.
2009-2011-2012 – Born Villain
Manson is currently working on his eighth full length album, which will be released in 2012 and one of the songs that will be featured in the record will be Overneath The Path Of Misery.
In spite of his strange, bizarre and sometimes scary appearance, Marilyn Manson has dated quite a few astoundingly beautiful women. He was married for two years to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese. They divorced because Manson found Evan Rachel Woods, who did not mind his lifestyle.
Manson is constantly experimenting with his music and his look. The combination of look and sound form a type of expression that brings him great success. Manson has proven himself to be extremely versatile with an ever-expanding creative repertoire. Celebrated by supporters as a crusader for free speech and denounced by detractors as little more than a poor man’s Alice Cooper, Manson was the latest in a long line of shock rockers, rising to the top of the charts on a platform of sex, drugs, and Satanism. Marilyn Manson’s skill in crafting boldly creative imagery and brutally powerful statements has catapulted his band and persona into the mass media spotlight.