1997 was a year of wild extremes for Marilyn Manson, a year in which they were at the same time so loved and insuch demand that they toured the world, appeared in the soundtracks of three movies, became a householdname; and so reviled and hated that it seemed they had to fight for the right to set foot anywhere.It was impossible to cover the events of this whirlwind year in my previous review style, so here’s 1997 in theonly way I could handle it. My deep thanks to tour date keeper coyote, Canadian chronicler Night Angel, tirelessclipping forwarder Cheryl, even more tireless clipping researcher Loretta/Carfax, Oklahoma activist Thomas Squires,DopeHat6ix, the witty folk at MTV News, and everyone whose work I have borrowed from here.
NOTABENE: ==All quoted items are presented exactly as originally published; typoes, weird grammar, etc., left as theywere. I believe in letting people’s own illiteracy hang them.==
Single-line items in italics are shows played as scheduled by Marilyn Manson. Unless otherwise noted, theseshows went just as planned, picketed or not, protested or not, without causing mass immorality, demonicpossession, or the downfall of Western civilization.
One last 1996 event: in December, a group of Utah fans headed by a Spook known only as "Armed" sues theUtah State Fairpark for cancelling an MM show scheduled there, claiming their free expression rights wereviolated
It would probably be good to start off by describing the basic appearance and typical performance of a "Dead ToThe World" tour show at this point. The basic backdrop was a fifteen-foot stained glass window depicting Jesus sitting in judgment, flanked bybroken Gothic arches. In front of the window is a staircase descended by Manson to begin the show and used inseveral other numbers, notably "Apple of Sodom." Midway through the show the backdrop changes twice, firstto three long banners blazoned with the shock symbol (the lightning-bolt arrow which is the international symbolfor "risk of electrical shock" and which has been the emblem of the ACS LP and tour) and then to what we shallfondly call the Anti-Flag, a huge, (I mean, HUGE - entire-wall-sized) American Flag with the shock symbolreplacing the field of stars. There’s also a tall podium used for "Antichrist Superstar" and snowmachines used during "Cryptorchid" (later "Apple of Sodom") and the encore, "Man That You Fear"- when the show gets that far. In addition, there’s a costume change or three: into and out of theirarmy coats and shiny steel helmets for Zim, Pogo, Ginger and Twig; once into and out of his red andblack hell-gangster suit for Manson, plus stilts and aviator’s headset for "Kinderfeld" and a dousingin stage blood for the encore. One Bible is shredded per night, Ginger’s drum kit takes majordamage whenever Marilyn loses his temper, front rows are regularly doused in Cabernet Sauvignon(the Rev’s red wine of choice), and the microphone for the encore is trussed up in white Easter liliesdappled with blood. Occasional other props as called for. No, absolutely no, onstage sex, animalmutilation or calling upon Satan. (In fact, the phrase "Anti-Satan" in "1996" is the ONLY mention of the Infernal Name in the course of the show.)
1-4-97: International Ballroom, Houston TX
Mon. 1/6/97: Caldwell, OH, Mayor Dick Winder briefed City Council members on "security and other issues" re:1/12 MM show.
1-7-97: Shrine Mosque, Springfield MO
Tues 1/7: Members of the Idaho Education Association held a press conference to warn parents about "theMarilyn Manson band". The group urged parents not to allow those younger than 18 to attend "based oninformation members gleaned from the band's home page on the Internet".
1-10-97: Mammoth Event Center, Denver CO
1/11: MM plays Salt Lake City's Wolf Mountain Arena tonight, instead of the originally scheduled Utah StateFairpark, as a result of Armed's lawsuit. A federal judge refused to order the Fairpark to book Manson, but at the same time told the venue's management that it couldn't ban acts it doesn't like unless theperformance violates legal standards on pornography, or presents a clear and present danger. The judge madehis ruling after Armed & clan requested an injunction to force the concert to be held at the Fairpark. A secondsuit for monetary damages was also filed.
Sun. 1/12: O'Connor Fieldhouse, Caldwell, OH : Hymn-singing prayer circles join fans outside sold-out gig butshow goes without incident - 400 people had gathered at nearby Jewett Auditorium to pray for Manson and fans.
1/14: Oklahomans for Children and Families (OCAF) members petition the Oklahoma City Council to block MM'sOKC show on 2/5. Among other false claims, OCAF states that the show features an American flag with a Naziswastika in place of the stars (Yeah, right. See description above.)and that the group "issues an invitation forchildren to accept Satan into their hearts as their savior and lord. Many children do as they say." (Local fanscountered this campaign with a set of brilliant mock press releases.)
Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating responded with a statement that Marilyn Manson is "further proof thatsociety's moral values continue to crumble," and urged people to boycott the February 5 concert.Keating's statement says in part, "From what I have learned of the content of their lyrics and message, as wellas their conduct on stage they are clearly bent on degrading women, religion and decency, while promotingsatanic worship, child abuse and drug use. These people are peddling garbage." (*sigh*)Many of Keating’s constituents had contacted him, hoping the governor could block the group's performance atthe State Fairgrounds. Keating's statement noted that since the Fairgrounds are not owned by the state, he ispowerless to stop the show; but he added, "I would encourage Oklahomans to vote with their feet anddecline to attend this event. If no one comes to listen to their trash, this group will go elsewhere and not comeback."
1-15-97: PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1/15: Vancouver signing "riot" - 500 kids, queued outside the A&B Sound record store, were cleared out by copsafter pressure caused a plateglass window to collapse in. Some had been waiting for ten hours and apparentlybecame over-anxious thinking the band might finish signing and leave before they got their chance (as, indeed, they did). At leastsome of 'em got their sigs...Local fans blame the store's crowd control, which was - perhaps rightly - determinedto keep all the kids out of the street and thus crammed onto the sidewalk.
1-17 & 18-97: Moore Theater, Seattle WA
1/17: The lovely and disturbing "Tourniquet" video debuts on MTV
1-19-97: Salem Armory, Salem OR
1-21 & 22-97: Warfield Theatre, San Francisco CA
1-24-97: Phoenix Civic Plaza, Phoenix AZ
1-25-97: Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA
1-28-97: Crosby Hall, San Diego, CA
1-29 & 30-97: The Joint/Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas NV>
mid-late Jan: "3 x 3", the first demo tape by Three Ton Gate, circulates quietly among fans (it had been firstreported around the Web in December). Three Ton Gate, the new project by Scott Mitchell a/k/a Scott Putesky(formerly Daisy Berkowitz), is represented solely by Scott on this effort, though visitors to his webpage alreadyknow that he’s recruited a singer, Goth-looking Tyreah James. The three tracks, all originals, are "Honor","Head", and "Hollywood’s Heaven". (Others rumored to have been considered were "Heaven On The Brain","Nice Day for a Dream", "Edgar Loves Annabelle", and a cover of Blondie’s "Heart of Glass".)
2-1-97: Convention Center, Albuquerque NM
2/2: Pan Am Center, N Mex State Univ, Las Cruces NM - show cancelled, citing "lack of security"According to MTV News, the school says it usually supplements its own 14-member campus police squad withlocal cops for concerts, but that a city police-contract holdup had made that impossible. The police say that, infact, they haven't worked school concerts in some time, and wondered why administrators didn't simply contracta private security firm.
2/3: TV's 700 CLUB fulfills one of Manson's fondest wishes by doing an anti-MM show (which also condemnsMetallica and White Zombie). The show's host, televangelist Pat Robertson, urged a large-scale response toManson, saying; "I think it's time that people protest all over this nation. This thing is the most degrading ...itincites people to murder, to rape, saying that date rape is no big deal. In an era where we're so concerned aboutsexual harassment - a little six-year-old gets busted for kissing a girl on a cheek [this was an actual recent event],and we're talking about date rape and killing virgins! It's unbelievable! Yet this is going to the top of the heap."Robertson quoted the lyrics to MM songs (including one he called "Killing Everyone") and told his audience"you'd better watch out for your children and grandchildren... To these kids, it's a kick, it's a rebellion: 'let's playSatan worship'. They are like sheep without a shepherd, and they're being herded." -- Manson told us thatRobertson claimed the lyrics to "Cake and Sodomy" incite the listener to commit date rape, kill your parents andrape your sister ("your sister!" repeated Marilyn indignantly). ---Ol’ Pat then plugged his teleministry's"information" sheet, "Repulsive Rock"(see below).
2-4-97: Fair Park Coliseum, Lubbock TX
2/4: confrontation @ Lubbock, TX, show between spooks and 75 praying protestors - "they were cursed by somefans but sheriff's deputies kept trouble to a minimum" according to the AP report.
2-5-97: TNT Building, Oklahoma City, OK
Weds. 2/5: OK City show goes on as scheduled despite all the fuss.
MTV News microphones went among the singing and praying Christian gathering outside the hall and captured such remarks as "We need to pray for Brian Warner, the leader of the band; we need to pray for band members; we need to pray, guys, for everyone who's down there tonight!" and the now-classic "If they're gonna have anatmosphere here that praises Satan, we're going to lift Jesus higher!"
Manson, in Guitar World magazine: "...people who feel so repressed would obviously go more out of their way toreact - sexually, musically, however it's gonna be - whenever they're given any kind of chance to. I've found thatthe best crowds we've had were in Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City...all these places where there was so muchresistance against us playing. The audiences were great. It was so worthwhile to go there. It was like missionarywork."
2-7-97: Memorial Hall, Kansas City, MO
Fri. 2/7: Omaha NE mayor Hal Daub issues press release warning parents to "keep their children away" from MM's 2/8 show there because the band "promotes hateful, anti-family values" and "themes such as Satanism, murder and date rape".
also 2/7 [from MTV News]: Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Elmbrook Middle School has banned the so-called MarilynManson "look" after a scuffle involving pro-Manson and anti-Manson students. The school has banned blacklipstick, fishnet stockings, white face paint, pentagram jewelry, and the band's T-shirts. The skirmish reportedlybroke out after Manson devotees pretended to cast spells over other students.
2-8-97: Mancuso Hall, Omaha, NE (Guess the parents didn't listen. =)
Sat. 2/8: 12 Fitchburg, MA, 7th/8th grade kids @ St. Joseph School join teacher Marilyn Hartigan in protestingMM's 2/21 show there. Kids call group "disgusting" and "Satanic," saying they're [AP quote] "horrified by theband's allegiance to CoS founder Anton LaVey, a part-time lounge singer" (!).Parent Ralph Riley was also quoted:"I thought Marilyn Manson was the name of a female country singer...The next thing you know your kid is at aSatanic cult concert."
2-9-97: Des Moines Convention Center, Des Moines IA
2/9: A Fitchburg family, the Reillys (same as above?) pickets the Wallace Civic Center and passes out anti-MMleaflets. Father Richard Reilly is one of the first on this tour to make the false claim that MM sells T-shirts whichsay "Kill Your Parents".
2-11-97: Toledo Sports Arena, Toledo OH
2/11: It’s reported that Christian groups in Anchorage, Alaska, are raising money to buy up and destroy as manytickets as possible to MM’s forthcoming (March 4th) show there.
2/12: Manson is berated on Mutual Radio Network's "America in the Morning" program: "the darling musical group reminiscent of Adolf Eichmann starring in 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'."
2-13-97: Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis IN
2-14-97: Hara Arena, Dayton, OH
A major Spookykids event attended by a mass gathering of the clan. Spooks came from as far away asCanada.=)
2/14: Members of the Christian Family Network (CFN) attend Hara Arena show in Dayton, write a shocked reviewof "this vile event". I’d quote it, but it’s so rich in detail and so reeking ofthe poor things’ dread ("I can’t imagine the pit of hell looking much different," they quiver) that it reallyshould be read in its entirety. One detail ought to be mentioned: when Manson draws a broken (fake) bottle across hischest and fails to draw blood, they express regret - not because they hoped to see the Enemy bleed but because"self-mutilation would have been grounds for arrest under [the] Ohio Revised Code."
Their website also provides an extremely interesting letter detailing theconcessions they obtained from the Hara Arena management and local police. These include that:
1) the arena would not sell tickets to full capacity (the arena holds 7000 but sales were capped first at 6000 andthen at 5,200 tickets)
2) there would be no arena-sponsored publicity of the event
3) a new policy would stipulate that arena management not only investigate any band proposed to book thearena but have a "fall-back" band scheduled to fill any date which "Manson or another group like his" (!) tries tobook. This last will be logistically impossible, but shows the lengths to which the Xian opposition will go andwants promoters to go.
Also on 2/14: the first Manson-related suicide. Ben Bratt, age 13, of Pollock Pines, CA, hangs himself with aguitar string on this date. He was actually listening to the Sex Pistols when he killed himself, and had the name"Sid Vicious" carved into his chest, but his parents cited the ACS CD (which they themselves had bought him forXmas) as a major influence, along with NIN and the Dead Kennedys. The death follows the suicide of Ben'sfriend and fellow Goth/Industrial fan Chad Stuart, who had hanged himself in a nearby park on Jan. 28th.
2-15-97: Wheeling Civic Center, Wheeling WV
2/15: Wheeling AFA Chapter president Kathleen O'Connor is quoted re: the alternative "family celebration"they've put together to counter the eee-vil devilvibe of MM's presence in town. 250-300 people attend the night ofmusic, food and prayer. Although she believes MM's message is Satanic, "our hearts go out to him and to any ofthe children that take his lead."
2-18-97: RPI Fieldhouse, Troy NY
2-19-97: Springfield Civic Center, Springfield MA
2-21-97: Wallace Civic Center, Fitchburg MA
2/21: initial (limited) USA and Canadian release of the new David Lynch film, "Lost Highway." Manson andTwiggy appear briefly in the film as porn actors; the band's version of "I Put A Spell on You" also appears on thesoundtrack.
2/28: nationwide opening of "Lost Highway"
2/28: Premiere party for the Howard Stern biofilm "Private Parts" televised (for the whole weekend) on MTV.Manson and Twiggy in frequently seen attendance; MM provided a new song for the soundtrack, "The Suck forYour Solution".
Pause for a discussion of two March events with far-reaching consequences.
The American Family Association (AFA), a right-wing Christian morals group (succinctly labeled by MTV Newsas "paleo-conservative") launches a campaign to stop MM's scheduled April concerts in Jackson and Biloxi,Mississippi. The direct responsibility for the campaign falls to the local chapter, called the Gulf Coast AFA, andthe method they choose projects the AFA straight into Manson history: they post to their website that set ofdocuments now known to us all as "the Affidavits". These two astonishing fictions purport to be statements underoath from two unidentified teens who claim direct witness of dozens of criminal acts performed onstage andoffstage by the members of Marilyn Manson. The first "affidavit" is presented as a full description of a MMconcert and describes a gauntlet of atrocities from nudity, animal killing and onstage sex to a Black Mass andblood baptism in Satan's name (it also introduces a herefore unseen member of MM, a nameless, naked femaleguitarist). The second one purports to describe the band's offstage conduct in similar terms. No brief summarycan possibly convey the surreal, minutely detailed luridity of these articles, which blatantly load the writers'darkest fantasies onto the band's shoulders, and also make it clear that no one involved in the writing has everbeen within a mile of an actual Manson show. Read them for yourself or wait and see if RayGun gets permission topublish them.)
The Affidavits came to the attention of online Manson fandom, which noticed that the Gulf Coast page bore thefootnote (as it still does) "we are seekers of truth" along with a request for corrections or additional information.(Sample from one of their replies: "If the affidavits are lies I would really like to know about it. We are seeking thetruth and do not which [sic] to spread ANY mis-information. We appreciate your insight into the affidavits andwill add your comments to our internal "trial" of the affidavits to find errors and to prove them false or correct.")Dozens of Spooks e-mailed the listed address to scold, complain, reason, offer facts or ask for a retraction. Thefirst few got a response; after that, they apparently realized we were onto them and stopped writing back. Theyalso pulled the Affidavits off their web page. (The writers, BTW, were never identified.) Over the next few weeks,fans watched as the AFA chapter scrambled to establish its story. Apparently afraid of being cited by others andfound at fault, they waffled between admitting that the statements' veracity was under question, and claimingthey needed some OK from the alleged teenage affiants' legal counsel. In April, they posted that the Affidavits'accuracy had been established (!) and anyone might feel free to use them. However, soon afterward the site wasdismantled and it exists only as a shell, still marked "under construction" nine months later. (This may havesomething to do with the fact that Rev. Donald Wildmon, head of the AFA, refused to defend the Gulf CoastChapter or the affidavits when Manson sued in April...)
No matter - the damage was done. The Affidavits were taken as literal truth by many of the band's more credulousopponents - they still are, despite Manson's having specifically debunked them on several occasions, and accusations which originated there appeared in anti-MM diatribesacross the country. --More proof, if anyone needed it, of the ubiquitous influence of the Internet. (Manson: "a groupthat sits around and makes up all these stories...these sick ideas they’ve made up in their own heads, I haven’ttold them this, so who’s really the sick one?" Plus several more pragmatic remarks; he commented on the charge that he tosses bags of drugs to the crowd that "if I had all those drugs I wouldn’t be giving them away, I’d be backstage doing them.")
But speaking of the 'Net...The AFA affidavits not only established the low and grimy moral ground the Xianopposition felt free to claim in this fight; they also planted the seeds for the fan-organized Manson defensemovement which would become the international, online Portrait of an American Family Association (POAAFA).Founded by Nova Bonzek (~moonfier~) and one Rev. (Shawn) Lightborne, the POAAFA came into being to coordinateletter-writing and protest campaigns in the dizzying flurry of attacks on the band that filled the first half of 1997(as this history makes clear!). As fans reeled from the literally daily arrival of new bad news, it became clear that acentral source of information on the shows, their status, who was the local opposition at each point, and how tocontact that opposition would be invaluable. A source of facts and truth about the band with which to counterthe lies was also needed. Such was the original POAAFA in the spring of 1997 (and such is it basically today,now having a network of webpages and its own mailing list); though fan support for it is mixed, its work throughthis stretch goes on tirelessly, and includes much valuable education plus - in all likelihood - partial credit forrescuing the Richmond, VA concert.
(we now return to the flow of history.)
3-4-97: Egen Center, Anchorage AK
The rumored church-sponsored ticket buyout never materialized, but the show was still jinxed. Manson wasdelayed in going on stage because one of the Syquest portable hard drives for their computers was mistakenlyshipped to Japan ahead of schedule. Mayor Richard ("Slick Rick") Mystrom had insisted that the band obey arecently established - and according to Alaskan fans, very arbitrarily enforced - 11 PM curfew, resulting in theshow lasting a mere six or seven songs. The local Baptist Church school also reportedly told students that any ofthem found to have been at the show would be expelled (causing some humorous speculation on which teacherswould have to brave the lions’ den to catch transgressors...)
3-7-97: Club Quattro, Osaka, Japan
3-9-97: Club Quattro, Nagoya, Japan
3-11 & 12-97: Club Quattro, Tokyo, Japan
3/13: MTV News announces that MM will play on eight dates of Ozzy Osbourne’s OzzFest metal tour thissummer.
3-15-97: Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia
3-17-97: The Palace, Melbourne, Australia
3/17: LaCrosse, WI, authorities rule that allegations of nudity and sodomy are false and MM's contract to playthe LaCrosse Center on 4/5 must be honored; however, Xians set up picket line at venue days before show.
3-19-97: The Powerhouse, Auckland, New Zealand
3/19: Bill Holmes, Exec. Dir of the Biloxi Coliseum, tells the Biloxi Sun-Herald that while he's well aware of thecontroversy and agrees that the best thing the ministers can do is take their message to the community, theColiseum is a public facility. Holmes shows a nice respect for his audience's intelligence and maturity: "Peoplewho find him (Manson) objectionable can stay home, but there are people, not all of them young people, whochoose to be here, and those who come will have a good idea of his work." If a performer requests certain datesand those dates are open, he reasonably explains, "you cannot refuse a promoter the dates if the show is notillegal and poses no direct threat to the audience or the building."
Meanwhile, however, American Family Radio - a Gulf Coast station owned by the AFA - joined the group'sInternet and letter-writing campaign against MM. The AFA had local politicians on board as well, as shown by aletter dated 3/19, posted to the Gulf Coast AFA's website from MayorKen Combs, of Gulfport MS, to the beleaguered Holmes. Combs - writing on Official City stationary - says, "I feelthat Manson’s appearance and giving him a forum to spout his poisoned philosphy [sic] is not in the bestinterest of the Mississippi Coast Community," especially "during this holiest of the Christian seasons celebratingthe risen Christ." (--see also a related letter and their Manson Fact Sheet for parents.)
3/22: Nimitz Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI: 45 minutes into the show, Rev. Manson takes a fall onstage,cuts a wrist artery and is rushed to hospital. There's speculation that he collapsed from exhaustion, that he washyperventilating due to the tightness of his corset, or that he just slipped. Whichever, Xians claim divineintervention stopped the show...
3/25: The Biloxi City Council votes unanimously to ask the state to ban Manson's scheduled 4/12 show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Stale law forbids alcohol sale during sexually explicit performances, so if Manson's show turns out to violate lewdness laws, the Council wants the state' Alcoholic Beverage ControlDivision to revoke the venue's liquor license (--um, despite the fact that no alcohol is to be sold during saidshow?) The 3/26 Biloxi Sun-Herald quotes Councilman Tom Wall as claiming that Manson's shows "have a lot offilth and pornography," and the Coliseum's Bill Holmes counter-claiming that he's talked to six venue managerswho'd hosted earlier dates and told him nothing untoward had occurred there. "I want to cancel the show, " wailsHolmes (this guy's had a rough week =). "I've got people saying I'm in bed with Satan." However, he fears alawsuit from the band should he publicly debunk..
3/26: Gulf Coast AFA reports on the above council meeting with the following astounding passage, reproduced hereexactly as it was printed: "Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) rules forbid lewd, obsene, or sexual behavior or anykind of neudity. The City has not made a request for A.B.C. to montior Manson's concert but a seniorenforcement agent tells us that if a request comes agents will attend to make sure the gourp doesn't break thestate's obsenity laws." (No comment required.)
---The 700 CLUB's April 1997 Viewer Guide prominently features a quote from Manson: "Things need to go to thepoint of extremism in order to be born again... It's my job to sort of cleanse the world of its sins." The Guide alsopromotes a "fact sheet" on "Repulsive Rock: Infiltrating Young Minds" which is dedicated almost exclusively toMM ("the latest example of how many of today's rock bands are glorifying violence and place anti-Christianthemes in the minds of young people") with a mere one-line nod to Metallica, Snoop Doggy Dog [sic] and TupacShakur. It quotes longtime MM foe Sen. Joseph Lieberman ("this is, perhaps, the sickest group ever promoted bya Mainstream record company") and indignantly cites an "Internet Church" set up to "worship" Manson, atwhich "a digital counter clicks away the number of souls that have been damned as a result" of visiting the page.(None other than Shlee's much-quoted Church of Antichrist Superstar! =)
4/1: In the past week 800 people have called/faxed/emailed the office of Jacksonville, FL, Mayor John Delaney toprotect MM's 4/17 show there. One of these people is Stan Carter: "The man (Manson) is pressing hatred anddislike and violence toward Christians. This man is a slap in the face. He's no less an affront than Nazis marchingdown Myrtle Avenue."
4/3 Mississippi Senator Ron Farris sends a letter to Manson's tour director protesting the band's 4/14 Biloxi show,expressing the wish that groups with (ahem) "counter-cultural and/or radical messages" would refrain frombringing their "spectacles" to Mississippi. (A man of delicate sensibilities, evidently.)
4/4: the Weekend Vidette, Illinois St. Univ. student newspaper, devoted much of its weekly issue to opinions onthe scheduled 4/6 show in Normal. Student responses ranged from indifferent ("I'm not a fan, but the churchesthat are trying to ban him are ridiculous" "Those who don't want to participate shouldn't") to hostile ("I'mdisgusted with their videos", "I don't agree they should come, because there are better groups we should behaving", "They're here to entertain, be fake, take our money and leave"). Church groups seemed to regard theSunday date of the show as a direct personal affront.
4-5-97: LaCrosse Center, LaCrosse WI
..go on to Part 2 of 1997.