An Online Unofficial Chronological History of Marilyn Manson, Continued: 1998, Part 2
(c) 1999 by Paula O'Keefe / email@example.com
This newly-soulful Manson began at once to open up to his Internet faithful, with a set of early posts that were surprisingly emotional and affectionate. Fans (off the board) responded not only with warmth but with extended speculations on what had really happened to bring on the new persona.
One much-discussed factor was Manson's romance with pop-culture actress Rose McGowan, whom he had been seeing since late 1997 (he had met her at the premiere of Harmony Korine's film Gummo.) The more sentimental placed the change in Manson entirely at love's door; the more rational factored that in with an entire year's worth of stresses, adventures and growth. (Manson himself was cagey: "There is a bit of a love story that exists on this record. The name I gave to the thing I was in love with was Coma White. It starts as the name of a girl I'm in love with, then ends up to really be a drug I've been taking. So I'm not really sure what I'm in love with." He also told Pulse that while he was definitely in love and the relationship was mutually monogamous, "MA is about being trapped between two worlds, and part of that includes being delusional about love and not knowing if it's real. Right now my attention is focused on one person, but that doesn't change the way I feel about the rest of the world.") - But wherever you placed the credit or blame, there was no doubt the guy sounded different.
Witness this set of messages, especially the online snipe from the estranged Daisy B. and Manson's response:
9/19/98 6:05:26 PM
PLEASE EXCUSE MY ABSENCE
as I am in London at the moment dispersing information to Europe regarding our
I wanted to give you time to digest Mechanical Animals, and I hope you are
I am watching and in a week you will see me here more regularly when I return to
I would like to apologize to New York because the police shut down our record
signing, hopefully we can make up for it later.
I hope the uncensored "The Dope Show" footage will satisfy your needs. I'm going
to give you some sneak previews of important things next week that I think you'll
appreciate. I truly love and appreciate you and your support, and FUCK all the
senseless assholes who post here trying to annoy me. It doesn't work.
09/25/98 5:44:26 PM [Sent by "Scott - You knew me as Daisy"]
You know there was once a time i was them, but know i am me, and after finding
this out i finally came upon the conclusion this is how it was meant to be. i come
here today not to contact Brian (marilyn as you know) but to reach you his fans,
but always remember brian and i will meet once again, on his way down and my
way up....... just wait you shall see...
09/25/98 7:01:53 PM
I'm back and I will be here for you. Thanks from the 5 of us, for your words.
In response to "scott". you were always scott and that's what you couldn't see.
we all live in our minds. you are dragged down by your lack of imagination.
we will never meet again. you will never meet these wonderful people again.
I love therefore I am.
(---"I love therefore I am"?! )
Manson also felt free to express his distress and disappointment over fan unhappiness with the new/old direction of MA, especially the claims that every song on it was a retread of some glam favorite, as in this post:
09/26/98 9:30:53 AM
Some of you have looked deeper. keep looking there is much more.
so many things, inconsequential things are distracting us from the sad truth.
this is the exit, this is the exit.
sometimes you are Coma White.
some people, people who haven't experienced and would not
know...sit and try to judge someone's work in a sentence.
it doesn't make you stronger. you can't feel someone else's pain.
who is better, what does this song rip off?
I am a pop artist,
I know how to make my statements in musical references, in
images. but I am a dead star. I am pointing to you...don't
miss what I am telling you. the numbness has worn off.
humanity is the worse thing to feel.
I've always loved you...
until he got fed up with it all:
09/30/98 12:36:46 PM
LET ME SAVE ALL THE LOSERS THE TIME AND TROUBLE.
I'M A SELLOUT. I'M NOT AS COOL AS I WAS ON THE FIRST ALBUM
AND MY IMAGE SUCKS. AND THIS WEBSITE IS LAME.
IF I LISTENED TO PEOPLE LIKE THAT I WOULDN'T BE WHERE I AM.
YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE WHO I AM.
AND UNTIL YOU CAN STAND WHERE I DO, SIT DOWN
I'M GLAD THAT YOU HATE ME ENOUGH TO SPEND YOUR TIME HERE.
I STILL WIN THEN, DON'T I?
But the best 1998 posts were allusive little gems like these, mini-poem/essays that one wouldn't be surprised to see turning up in future songs - the real treasure of the website is the chance to get these unannounced, impromptu (and creatively-spelled=) Manson originals:
fri 9 oct
Subject: WE'RE ALREADY DEAD
I love to let you see through my brain
rewinding and replaying.
I love to let you shoot through my brain,
and what are we really selling?
and what are we really buying?
I'm on my way
you are too
I'll see you when we get there. 1-5-15
I prepare to bring you
OMEGA AND THE MECHAN1CAL ANIMAL5
[---note the 1 and 5]
like a theif in the night...
god is nowhere
god is now here
In early October the first 20 dates of the MA tour were announced. Manson described the forthcoming shows as a three-chapter structure ("kind of a three-part rock-opera-style bombastic nonsense,", he chuckled to CMJ New Music) with the first two parts based on the new material ("the feelings of alienation...the pain and the over-exaggeration of rock stardom") and the third reprising parts of the ACS shows (appropriate, as ACS is still supposed to take place in the future).
"It's a longer show than last time, Manson told CMJ, "because I think a lot of people were disappointed that we didn't play longer last time. We had enough material but I couldn't really tolerate myself for more than an hour and 15 minutes at a time, so I imagined that the crowd felt that way too."
Meanwhile, on 10/14, MTV reported that the long-pending Scott Putesky lawsuit (despite the wide range of figures that had been bandied about, it turned out - with a weird appropriateness - to be for $15 million) had been settled out of court. MM manager Tony Ciulla denied that Interscope had pressured Manson to reach a quick settlement, but besides that said only "the matter is closed and the terms are confidential."
10/19: oh man, here we go again. Syracuse Mayor Roy Bernardi and fellow local legislators, claiming "a moral obligation to the people of Syracuse," called for a ban on MM's scheduled 11/19 show at the Landmark Theater. The Landmark said it had no plans to call off the show, though they admitted that Onondaga County officials' threat to withhold $30,000 in county funds might put a damper on it... Meanwhile, however, Charlotte NC's scheduled Nov. 10th show overcame a protest petition signed by hundreds of locals (I've been there; I can picture them...); the Coliseum Authority tossed them a crumb by saying it would conasider establishing a show rating system in future.
But that anti-tour momentum was starting to roll... On October 26th, the band played a surprise pre-tour show in a Lawrence, Kansas club, spurring "an ugly clash" between MM fans and protestors from Rev. Phelps' notorious Westboro Baptist Church (http://www.godhatesfags.com - a "church" known for picketing the the funerals of AIDS victims with vicious homophobic banners and more recently for doing the same at the funeral of Univ. of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, beaten to death in an antigay hate crime). Precisely what brought Rev. Phelps' troopers to the MM show was never stated.... Meanwhile, down under: Fred Nile, Minister of Parliament from New South Wales, Australia, raised a protest to M's scheduled appearance at the January 1999 Big Day Out Festival, and wrote to the Ministry of Immigration asking that Manson be forbidden to enter the country. Why? Because, well of course, his main objective in coming to OZ was to recruit for the Church of Satan. Naturally.
The first cut-short show of the tour came on Hallowe'en, in St. Paul MN, when Manson missed a step while leaving the stage prior to the first encore. Though the Rev. was apparently no more than temporarily stunned by the four-foot fall, the end of the show was cancelled.
At the Nov. 6th Billboard Music Video Awards Show, "The Dope Show" won Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Clip of the year and Maximum Vision Clip of the Year. Paul Hunter, then working on the "Drugs" video, was named Best Director of 1998.
On Nov. 21st, the puke hit the fan. Before and after a scorchingly brilliant performance at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, the band trashed its dressing room with an "impressive looking" (said venue staff) food fight - which included burning a t-shirt, damaging wall plaster and dismantling the baseboard heating system! - then going on to further destructo merriment at their hotel, the adjoining Poughkeepsie Sheraton. Burnt carpets, sinks stained with hair dye, and a generally high noise level were the toll there. A total damage bill of $25,000 was levied, the venue saying they would hold some of the gate receipts against the damages. (Manson is reported to have willingly apologized and paid the bill, later adding a deadpan comment that the rampage was the result of his not having been provided enough drugs...)
However, two days later: the Spin Incident. As reported by the New York Post, Craig Marks, Executive Editor of Spin Magazine, accused Manson of assaulting Marks and threatening his family after learning that he would not be given the full cover of the magazine's January 1999 issue. This cover had been promised to the band at the time of the "Mechanical Animals" release, and was mentioned as such in pre-release publicity for the LP. Marks, however, told the Post that since the Manson album "wasn't performing" - after its rocket-propelled debut it dropped rapidly and was #77 on Billboard's charts at the time of the incident - a decision had been made to use a cover showing a number of artists instead. (In fact, in what almost has to be an intentional slap, the cover was a full portrait of Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, with only an attached overflap showing small pix of other bands including MM.)
--According to the report, Marks was invited backstage after the band's 11/23 NYC show at the Hammerstein Ballroom
and was warned on the way to the dressing room that Manson was unhappy with Spin. Manson allegedly shook Marks' hand, then stepped back, yelled for
everyone in the room to be quiet, and told Marks, "I can kill you, I can kill your family, I can kill everyone you know." Marks claims that he was then
charged by Manson's two large bodyguards [he's never had more than one...] who pinned him against the wall, one by the throat and one against the chest,
warning him that "when you're dealing with Manson, you're also talking to us." Manson reportedly added, "That's what you get when you disrespect me.
All I'm asking for is respect." The Post report described the editor as "bruised and battered."
Marks thereafter announced that he and Spin would pursue "criminal and civil action" against the bodyguards and MM. (So if you wondered why you did not see MM's much-loved and acutely-missed security chief and bodyguard, multi-tour veteran Aaron - without whom I would quite likely be in a wheelchair - on the remainder of the MA tour: an emergency appendectomy was the primary cause, but threat of litigation was a definite factor.)
Manson's own statement, which appeared on the band's website, said only that "I had a conversation with Craig Marks expressing [that] I was tired of Spin's immature business behavior and the series of deals they had broken with me...I simply no longer wanted to work with him or his magazine that obviously has a lack of respect for musicians or their fans." MTV was not the only outlet to wonder publicly if any of this had actually happened or was a publicity stunt intended to boost flagging album sales (!).(Marks himself acknowledged that this last was "feasible").
--It should not be overlooked that the Jan. 1999 issue of Spin also contained
a pointless bit of MM dish, "The Dupe Show," in which staff member Joshua Clover was dressed/made-up as MM and chauffeured around LA for a day, deceiving people. While Clover's snipes are pretty minor ("Demographics indicate I'm very terrifying in Florida. I am a one-man traveling Disney World of evil." --"I wonder if people look at me and see the end of the world. I want to think they do..." -- Oh yeah, that made Manson bleed I'm sure), it probably added nothing to the love between the magazine and MM.
(Curiously enough, Manson had discussed the matter of his bodyguard with Kurt Loder in an interview, prior to the Spin incident. Loder asked if Manson could just "sic him on somebody... can you say 'would you go squash that person for me'?". Manson presciently replied that "it doesn't really work like that, because everybody wants to sue you for something," and claimed that most of the time "I just try to get him sex... I want to see him get some love because bodyguards need love too.")
(MANSON HEX #2: On January 19, 1999, Marks, along with editor-in-chief Michael Hirshhorn, was summarily fired from his executive position at Spin Magazine. The Manson incident was not mentioned; rather, the charges had to do with alleged doctoring of financial records. Though Spin claimed at the time that it would continue to support Marks' suit against Manson, there's no known resolution to this matter as of August 1999.)
The European tour's road was a bit rocky; Munich and Vienna shows on Dec. 5th & 6th were cancelled due to unspecified illness, with bodyguard Aaron D. being hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy on the 6th and shipped hastily back to the States thereafter. There was a slight problem with the band's hotel accommodations in Oslo, Norway, on December 10th: they had, by chance, been booked into the hotel that hosts the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony, on the very day of that prestigious event. The hotel developed second thoughts about having MM and crew on hand, and suggested that they find other lodgings, which they - apparently without complaint - did. (MTV, unable to resist the joke, called this "as close as [Manson] may ever come to picking up the Nobel Peace Prize.") And the December 18th show in Denize, Belgium, was cancelled due to strained vocal cords, though Manson was able to play the following night's tour closer in Paris. At home, MM prepared to close out 1998 with a gala show at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
December also brought news reports on an alarming (and probably unconstitutional) anti-MM campaign yet, being conducted by a Fort Worth, Texas organization calling itself the Crime Prevention Resource Center. At "Marilyn Manson Awareness Training" seminars conducted for local police departments, school district representatives, the Tarrant County (TX) Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and even for an orphanage, the CPRC recommended that schoolkids who are Manson fans should - for no other reason! - have their lockers searched and their reading and Web use monitored. Ramon Jacquez, director of programs for the organization, claims that "a majority of goth-rock fans engage in criminal activity, such as drug use and graffiti writing" (oh uh-huh, we've all seen those walls plastered with "Goths Rule OK"...)and that this is sufficient cause for schools to "classify Goths as a street gang on a par with the Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings" (!!!). Manson's interest in expressing himself and his belief system, seminar attendees were told, can "entice children to journey into a world of drug use, occult practices, criminal activity and self-mutilation." Numerous sane voices have countered these claims.
The final notable incident of 1998, and one that marks some sort of milestone: New York band the New Radicals scored their one and only hit with the catchy "You Get What You Give," which included the verse: 'Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson/Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson/You're all fakes, run to your mansions/Come around, we'll kick your ass in." Manson claimed offense only in that he disliked being mentioned in the same sentence with Courtney, though he told MTV he was "giving an open invitation" to NR singer Gregg Alexander that "I think I'll crack his skull open if I see him." Alexander himself claimed straight-facedly to be a major fan of all the mentioned artists, "only trying to make sure they got as much exposure as possible". Still, this marks the first occurrence (at least in my knowledge) of Marilyn Manson's being considered so much a part of the rich/boring rock establishment that up-and-coming bands (as opposed to old has-been bands, who had been doing it all along) could earn pseudo-points by taking public shots at them.
(MANSON HEX #3: On July 12, 1999, New Radicals announced their breakup. The band had already signaled its instability by cancelling a number of summer festival gigs, and singer Alexander had made it plain he had no interest in continuing to tour behind the band's above-named hit single and only LP, "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too.")
MM to Kerrang!, on the Teletubbies: "I have one... it's obviously all very drug-inspired. You know the child in the sun? I've seen that when I'm on drugs, so I know that they know what I know."
Best MM statement of 1998, to UK mag Time Out:
TO: "So what is 'the positive end'?"
MM: "A very selfish one which caters to my tastes. A place where artists, musicians, creative people were in control, rather than those people who try and suppress thinking. Have those people be our workhorses - cleaning our brushes, so to speak."
TO: "Blimey. You really do believe in the whole 'messianic power of rock'n'roll' thing, don't you?"
MM: "Sure. What else is there to believe in?"
...go back to Coyote's Spookhouse.
...go to History of Marilyn Manson before ACS
...go to 1997 update.
...go back to 1998 in review.