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Marilyn Manson - the Band

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The Spooky Kids

The industrial rock band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, was first started in 1989 by vocalist Brian Warner, who took on the name Marilyn Manson, and guitarist Scott Putesky, who named himself Daisy Berkowitz. The idea behind the names was to take a popular icon's first name and a serial killer's last name. They recruited two other members to the band, Brian Tutunick on bass aka Olivia Newton-Bundy, and Perry on keyboards, now named Zsa Zsa Speck. And over time there were to be a lot more changes. First, they replaced Olivia and Zsa Zsa with Brad Stewart (now Gidget Gein) and Stephen Bier (now Madonna Wayne Gacy). The band started gigging heavily in the Florida area and became well known for their stage show, which featured naked women, bizarre clothes and equally bizarre make-up. Each show tried to demonstrate an 'opposing' or counter-cultural view on society, religion, and government. Eventually they outgrew their drum machine and recruited Freddy Streithorst (aka Sara Lee Lucas) on drums.

Portrait of an American Rock Band

They opened for Nine Inch Nails, a band who were becoming increasingly popular at the time, which provided the basis for the friendship between the two band's singers, Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson. Trent Reznor later was given his own record label, Nothing Records, and Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids was the first band signed to it. It was now that the decision to shorten the name was made, and the band became known simply as Marilyn Manson. They also replaced Gidget Gein with Jordie White (now Twiggy Ramirez) at this time as well. The band started recording their first full-length album entitled Portrait of an American Family released in 1994. The album included several popular songs such as: 'Cake and Sodomy', 'Lunchbox', 'Dope Hat', 'Get Your Gunn', and 'My Monkey'.

Smells Like Destruction

The band opened for Nine Inch Nails on the 'Self Destruction' tour. Then they set out as headliners on their own tour. In 1995, after touring, they hit the studios to record the Smells Like Children EP which originally started as the 'Dope Hat' single. Now the band had Kenny Wilson (aka Ginger Fish) on the album after losing drummer Sara Lee Lucas. The album included the legendary cover version 'Sweet Dreams'. The album also included the cover 'I Put a Spell on You'. It contained the 'Dope Hat' remixes 'Dance of the Dope Hats', 'Diary of a Dope Fiend', and the remix of 'Cake and Sodomy' by Tony F Wiggins entitled 'White Trash'. After the release of the album the band embarked on the 'Smells Like Children' tour.

The Making of a Superstar

The band lost Daisy Berkowitz and replaced him with Timothy Linton now re-named Zim Zum, no longer keeping the famous icon serial killer name. Then they went back into the studios to record one of the most famous of all industrial rock albums, Antichrist Superstar, which hit the stores in 1996. Although recorded first, Antichrist Superstar was intended to be the final instalment of a trilogy of albums.

Spurred on by the hostile reaction they received from religious groups who were appalled at the band's outrageous stage shows and open references to drug use, the album contained songs that sounded quite different to those on Portrait of an American Family, songs such as 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem', 'The Beautiful People', 'Tourniquet', 'Antichrist Superstar', '1996', 'The Reflecting God', and 'Man That You Fear'. With the fame they gained from the cover of 'Sweet Dreams', Marilyn Manson used Antichrist Superstar to establish their place in the world. The band set out on the 'Dead to the World' tour, making a stop at the 1997 Video Music Awards. They then released their first tour video, Dead to the World.

The Glamour of it All

The second album of the trilogy was released in 1998. The album was titled Mechanical Animals, featuring the band's new member John Lowery (John 5) on guitar. The album was again much different in sound to the previous one, Antichrist Superstar, but it still contained the Marilyn Manson feel. Hits from the album where included 'Great Big White World', 'The Dope Show', 'Rock Is Dead', 'I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)', 'The Last Day on Earth', and 'Coma White'. The band set out on tour again naming it 'The Last Tour On Earth', releasing the live album also titled The Last Tour on Earth in 1999. They also released a video to go along with the live album entitled God is in the TV. Both featured live versions of their biggest songs and a new song 'Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes'. The video also featured all their music videos up to 'Coma White'.

Let's Go To Holywood

The next album Marilyn Manson released was Holywood (In the Shadows of the Valley of Death), in 2000. The album was the last installment to the trilogy and also the 'beginning' of the trilogy. It feature songs as dark as those found on Antichrist Superstar but also it shared the 'feeling' found on Mechanical Animals. Holywood contained, among many others, the following songs: 'The Love Song', 'The Fight Song', 'Disposable Teens', 'Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis)', 'The Nobodies', 'The Death Song', 'Born Again', and 'Burning Flag'. After releasing the album Marilyn Manson embarked on the 'Guns, God and Government' tour, after which they released the video in 2002, also entitled Guns, God and Government World Tour.

The Golden Age

At the time of writing, the next album due out by Marilyn Manson is entitled The Golden Age of Grotesque. Meanwhile, the band has also lost Twiggy Ramirez who has been replaced by Tim Skold. What's the next stage for Marilyn Manson? Well, the new album will surely tell all. One thing's for sure, though; Marilyn Manson have made earned their place in music history, helping keep rock 'n' roll alive, bring new sounds - and new controversies - with every album.

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