May 14 - Orlando, FL, The Edge. The last day.

It's hot--we're all miserable. We get into town early. Our hotel has a pool, so guess where we spend our afternoon.

According to the ticket, doors at the Edge open at 5:30, so we head on down about 4:20, only to find ourselves at another of those 'rock band in its native habitat' exhibits. There's chainlink fence and barbed wire (!) separating us from anything interesting. By 5:30 we're still missing two buses, Danzig's and the Mansons'. Um, guess doors are NOT gonna be opening at 5:30... Shortly thereafter, Danzig's familiar silver grey vehicle rolls in, but still no sign of the other bus by 6:00, and we're starting to worry. What if they've cancelled? What if Daisy decided to make the Reverend eat the pieces of his poor red guitar?... A bit after six, the dark blue bus appears, and pulls past us into the chain fenced lot. I can't see it, but I know we're being watched out of one of the dark windows. Just that feeling... We stand, and do our own watching, across the parking lot, as they park and various personnel come and go. We've gotten really good at identifying people by their walks and lower legs: red (non-vinyl) pants=Ginger, long skinny legs and combat boots=Twiggy, etc. Only once do we spot the legs that are even thinner than Twiggy's--the Reverend stands by the bus for awhile, then gets back on. (This game came about because we've got one of the equipment trucks, the big white semi-kinda-thing, partially blocking our view. But we have a clear view of the actual backstage door, so we can verify whose legs are indeed whose when they head inside.)

Ginger eventually heads out to the zoo-going public's side of the fence with the crew member we've nicknamed Anton (never did find out his name, but he's a dead ringer for LaVey--same exact face, same goatee. Blonde and about 30 years younger, but y'can't miss the resemblance note: later identified as the legendary Tony Wiggins)). They walk around, up and down the line. and once again no one notices. Even KORN get more attention when they crawl by.

7:30: the doors STILL do not open. All of the Mansons have made their way inside by now, with one notable exception--that particular pair of legs hasn't ventured down off the bus again to our knowledge.

All hail, and hallelujah!--they finally open the doors at about 7:45. We head on in, Liz in the lead. The guy at the door holds me up for a couple of minutes - he can't decide which wrist to put the armband on. I lose sight of Liz Bat (and later decide this innocent stooge goes on my not-to-be-forgiven list for this little delay). Get in, can't see a damned thing for a few minutes--the contrast between the bright sunshine outside and the black club interior is so strong. I pick my way up the stairs, then find the stairs down to the floor, just in time to see Liz turn AWAY from the stage, trip, fall, pick herself up, and head straight away to the right side. 'Whathefuck?' I say to myself, and hurry on down to catch upwith her. And I look up--someone tall, leaning on the railing. I recognize the red shades, the tattoos...the long straight India ink hair...Fuck. Yes, Liz has found the Reverend, the one person we REALLY wanted to say goodbye to. Thanks to fuckwit at the door I'm only in time to see him give her a big smile, and extend his hand to her. I wave and smile, and get the same in return. Chris and Cathy, right behind me, give their greetings; then the God of Fuck just fades back into the shadows--he's suddenly just not there. It's almost like he was waiting for us, had to make that final contact, and maybe had to make sure we'd be back next time. No one else saw him, and I'm still not sure when or how he got inside--neither Liz nor I saw him leave the bus, and we were watching. (Teleportation again....) Anyway, he was certainly pleased (sez Liz) to hear that we will be back; They'll be out again in July, he said. They'll be headlining.

And, on with the show one last time. KORN play, an OK set for them, and they seem to have several fans in attendance. (The ones flying over my head resemble popkorn.) They play, they leave, KORN is out of our lives, I assume. The road crew sets up the Mansons' stuff. Frankie is wearing yet another Electric Hellfire Club shirt--I'm about to believe that's all that's in his wardrobe. (Just as their sound guy has nothing but OLD Marilyn Manson shirts.) They bring out Daisy's red guitar; I'm surprised that it looks relatively intact after the way things went flying off it the night before. Maybe he has two?--this one did NOT look as if it had met the floor recently. Anton's drafted to help with security, and gets planted right in front of me. (I've still not figured out exactly what this guy does--he seems to be everywhere. We've even seen him driving Danzig's bus.)They hit the stage. It's a good show - not great, but perfectly acceptable. You can tell they're all tired, and pretty glad this is the last night. Right off, during 'Cake And Sodomy', the Rev threatens us with public nudity--hooks his thumbs over the waistband of those oh-so-shiny black pants (which I notice have holes worn in their knees) and starts to peel--but then gets a hold on those exhibitionist tendencies and thinks better of it. Someone to the left of stage center tosses an inflatable male fuck doll onstage, one of those life-size things for the very desperate. The Rev eyes it, rocks back and forth a few times, then swoops down with a talon-like hand, grabs the damned thing by the side of its head, and pushes its face into his crotch. The throwees are going ballistic, and Twiggy's grinning like a maniac. Manson hauls it around for a couple of lines, then tosses it back. (I later see the perpetrators outside the club with the thing thrown over one of their shoulders; it's deflated, and they're looking as pleased as possible).

'Cyclops' goes weirdly; at one point the Rev turns to Twiggy, creeps over and says something. From where I am I can lipread Twiggy's response perfectly--"What?!"--and he pouts. I get the distinct feeling it was a mild chastising. Anyway, Twig doesn't take it well; he whips off his bass, hits the drums with it a few times, whacks it on the floor, then just throws it across the stage taking out a couple of cymbals with it. He folds his arms and stands there, looking like a miffed baby bird. Manson takes no notice--he's perched on the monitor in front of us, finishing the song without its bassline. Frankie scurries frantically to retrieve the bass, hook Twiggy back up, and get the drums straightened out before the next song. I was awfully afraid the night was going to end right there, with only two songs finished. But no, the Rev gets his control back. (Oh, he DOES threaten Ginger with the mike stand a couple of times, but he changes direction on the downward swing so as to miss him--Ginger looks relieved.) They gather themselves, and plunge ahead. I catch Twiggy's eye and give him a 'what happened?' look and silent question. He smiles, gives a big-wide-innocent-eyed look in return, and shrugs. (Oh, I see: 'I dunno-- he's pickin' on me.') Then it's bounce bounce skip bounce careen--he's fine.

At some point Twiggy lobs a 7/8 full water bottle (one of the big ones) at the drum kit, and misses, catching Ginger--who never sees it coming-- upside the head. "Oops!" and Twig skitters across the stage, out of range.

Midset--I'm not sure what song--I'm staring, entranced. The Reverend is right in front of me, almost within touching distance. It's a fairly low stage, with just enough room between it and the barrier for el securitante, in this case Anton. The Rev plants his enormous boot right at the edge of the stage in front of me, catches Anton's eye, and points imperiously at the boot, with a wild gleam starting to show in those mismatched eyes. Anton turns, bows down, and plants his lips squarely on the toe of the big black boot. Cathy and I stare. Anton snaps back to atytention, and Manson throws back his head and fixes the entire place with one of those 'I AM the God of Fuck and all I survey' looks. Energy crackles.

For the first time I don't get kicked in the head, or have to deal out damage, during 'Sweet Dreams'. Cathy does, however--it's so hard to watch the back of your head when you're trying to maintain eye contact. (Actually, we've got one thing figured out by now: having the Reverend fix you with his eyes and sing 'some of them want to be abused' right at you is the equivalent of someone setting off a siren and screaming "Incoming!" He's got a much better view of what's coming from behind us than we do, and it seems to be a subtle warning to duck.)

They don't do 'Get Your Gunn' tonight, nor 'Lunchbox', and it's been over a week since they did 'My Monkey'; tonight is no exception. But they finish off with 'Misery Machine', which has been missing for even longer, and cap it off with (you guessed it) wholesale equipment destruction. Parts fly, things are bashed and overturned, until there's basically a pile of debris in the center of the stage. (Personally, I think it was taking-out-weeks -of-frustration-at-recalcitrant-gear time.) Ginger bounces on his overturned bass drum a few times, whacks at things with cymbals--he's out there, smashing and destroying, a good three minutes after everyone else has left. But (and once again I don't quite see it) he careens off Twiggy's speaker cabinet--which is already precariously balanced, as Twig's been running into it all night--and the whole thing comes crashing down on him. He's out--just a heap, tangled in drum parts and speaker sections. A roadie (Anton?--could've been Frankie) carries him off. We worry.

We all decide to split; the crowd's just a bit too active for our liking. Cathy and I head out to the t-shirt table--her arm's hurting bad from the big blonde guy who landed on it (but I decked him good when he got over us, so that helps some). We lose Chris and Liz, but T-Shirt Land is usually a good place to hang if you're looking for missing comrades.

Something reaches out and gives Cathy, then me, a big hug--it's Munky.
"I'm gonna miss you guys!" he babbles. "It's been sooo cool seeing you down there every night--it's like playing to friends, not strangers. We've got a whole day off before we go back out, headlining," he continues. I take pity and ask if they're coming to DC, but no--they're starting in Atlanta, and working their way back home to California.

"Too bad," I say, "when you do get up there we'll come see you--how's that?" He smiles even bigger.

Chris joins us. "Hey Munky, how about some bungee jumping?" he offers.

No no no, Munk's had his lifetime fill of that. "The other guys are going skydiving tomorrow..I think I'll watch TV or something." From there we verge into 'you guys were staying in our hotel last night' kinda nonsense-- his response is 'well, why didn't you knock on my door?'

'We didn't know which one it was!' we reply, and he proceeds to tell us the exact location of said room, then pulls himself up short with the realization that his 'girlfriend' was there and might not have thought it was too cool...We spot Liz, and bid adieu to Munky.
He's an OK guy, after all.

We decide to step out of the club for a bit of air--as long as you don't go outside the fence they'll let you back in. We get some water and talk, still buzzing from Liz's encounter with the Rev--'he likes us!' and 'he's really looking forward to seeing us on the next tour' and 'I hope Ginger's okay...'

We hear Danzig's dramatic opening music, and look at each other. No one makes a step to go back inside.

One of us spots Ginger (on his feet and looking fine--relief!). Liz calls out "Hey, Ginger!" and he heads our way.

A girl stops him a few feet short of our group. "Where's Scott?" she asks. He looks completely baffled.
"Yeah, Scott." The hamsters are obviously working overtime in his head.
"Scott who?"
The girl gets perturbed. "You know, SCOTT. Scott Pu.."--and she gets as far as the first vowel sound before letting it trail off; there really is 0% comprehension in Ginger's big brown eyes. "Daisy," she finishes.
"Oh" Ginger brightens. "He's over there." He waves a hand in the general direction of the buses and the club, and turns back to us. (And we're trying SO hard to not choke.)

We express concern. Oh, he's all right--well, except for this cut on his hand, and that the left one got kinda crushed.
"I probably won't be able to use this one at all in a few hours," he says thoughtfully, looking down at the somewhat flattened knuckles of his left hand. "But that's OK, I'm not gonna want to drum for five days after tonight." (I'm thinking the "five days" is an oddly specific note in his otherwise fairly vague approach...) "Someone threw somethin' at me - it hit me in the head," he adds, rubbing the lump.
Chris answers "It was a water bottle." (Diplomatically excising the detail of who'd thrown it.)
"Are you certain? I thought it was a beer can. Couldn't've been awater bottle-too heavy."
"It was full," about three of us chorus.
"It was? that WOULD make a difference in how hard it hit, wouldn't it?.."

We thank him for all the shows, and tell him what a great time we've had. He looks pleased. "Yeah, I've seen you guys everywhere. You must be seeing more of the cities than I get to, right?"
Liz laughs. "No, it's 'get up in the morning, drive 300 miles, find the club, do the show, go to the hotel, sleep'--same thing you guys do, 'cept you've got someone to drive for you."
"Oh!" light dawns "that's right, we are doing mostly one-night stands, aren't we?"

A few more fans find him. Is he from Florida? asks one. "Not really..I've been through it, though," he offers. "I'd been in Vegas two weeks when they called me for the audition."
A girl presses up "Who are you? Are you anyone?" she asks rudely . His face falls.
"I'm no one," and he walks on a few steps. "I hate stupid questions," he adds gloomily.
We bounce at him, and assure him we'll be back next tour. His mood lifts instantly-- obviously WE don't ask stupid questions.
"That'll be cool!--but I don't know when that'll be..."

We say it doesn't matter, we'll be there, and let him go off on his appointed rounds. Decide to sit out a bit more of Danzig's set, and see what else we might catch. Liz volunteers that she'd really like a chance to talk to Daisy, and I concur, then look up--"well, here comes your chance," I announce as the Mansons' guitarist heads our way.

We go through the same goodbye ritual--we've had a great time, thanks for all the shows, see ya next time. Liz tells him that they're the best band in the world, and he pulls back a moment--"Well, that's a bit further than I'D go--" --but he's grinning that big silly grin, so you know he's way pleased.
Chris asks him how his guitar is. The grin vanishes, and he looks sad; deep sigh. "All three pieces of my guitar are doing fine, thanks..." We ask about future plans. 'Dope Hat' will be the next single, and there'll be a video for it. Single will include a 'Dope Hat' remix, a 'Cake And Sodomy' remix. "Sweet Dreams', and probably 'I Put A Spell On You'. We voice our enthusiasm for this last one, and he looks pleased that we know what it is. We launch into our now familiar 'we'll make as many shows on the next tour as we can!' litany. He's not sure when that'll be, either (didn't the Rev tell anyone?). OK, say we, we need time to pay the VISA cards down anyway...but it doesn't matter when, we'll be there. He stops, thinks: "we MIGHT be going out with NIN over the summer." (Right. The THIRD possible summer plan for Trent has just checked in.) We all shake hands, wish him well. Liz asks if she can give him a hug, and does so; it's enthusiastically returned, with a big grin. He splits - he's "got a press thing to do". We wave goodbye.

Well, three down, including the most difficult one. Maybe we'll hang out a bit longer and see who else cruises through. (It's about at this point that I forget the can I'm holding is actually one of Madonna Wayne's beer cans that Chris snagged for me--my hand registers 'can' and 'thirsty' = 'Coke', and I take a swig. Ug. Y'know, I still can't stand beer...) No Madonna, no Twiggy. We wait. We decide to circle back through the club to see if either of them is hiding out in any dark corner. Neither is. We go back out, and have just about decided to leave when we spot the ubiquitous drummer on, like, his fifth loop of the place.

"Hey, Ginger," asks Liz, "do us a favor? Say goodbye to Madonna and Twiggy for us?" He nods.
"They might come out in a bit," he suggests," you never can tell with them." Well, say we, we're about to leave--any idea how long? Shrug. "Well, I wouldn't wait six hours for 'em." (Again this odd fixing on precise numbers. we wonder if he was any more focused before the tour began; he's taken an awful lot of cracks to the head in recent weeks.) "Or," he continues, "they could be somewhere REAL fucked up by now, this being the last night and all..." *sigh* We say thanks, just pass on our message. He says he will. (I was starting to get the feeling that this conversation was veering toward the territory covered by Mark and the Rev in Charlotte. Apparently, while Mark was on the bus, talking to Manson, he mentioned wanting to talk to Madonna. "Oh," sez the Rev, "he's in the back being done by some want I should go get him?" Mark declined.)

Orlando set list: Cake And Sodomy; Cyclops; Snake Eyes And Sissies; Dope Hat; Organ Grinder; Sweet Dreams; Dogma; Misery Machine

Let's all go to Dizzy World with people wearing this!: Mr. Manson ? as he's been, with the return of 'ANTI'. I miss the gloves...Daisy - Black t-shirt with stylized flames on the front (it's on the back of the 'Lunchbox' single), green leather pants with the destructed silverish pair on top again. Madonna - his fav black shirt, the ever- present black shorts, red tights. Ginger - black tights, Keep Music Evil II shirt (I NEED one of these!). Played the whole set with his hair down. Tonight in fact was the Night of Three Hairstyles for Ginger - pigtails (the black one with the white tie, and the white one with the black tie, of course) before the show, down and loose during, and the usual pineapple?head effect after. Twiggy - a new (?) bright green dress with flowers appliqued around the neckline, black smeared lipstick, and black and silver glitter eye shadow.

We don't actually think Ginger will remember to relay our message, but figure that since we've talked to the Reverend and Daisy, word will get around. We head out of our little chain link world, and cross the street to the parking lot. Danzig have just started to play 'I Don't Mind The Pain'..