Saturday, February 6, 2021

Marilyn Manson's fans killed Brian Warner and now all that's left is Marilyn Manson - Part 1

This is not an easy post for me to write but as someone dedicated to truth I feel I have no choice. I have been a Marilyn Manson fan since the days of Portrait of an American Family and I use it frequently as the soundtrack to this blog. I know his work, and his history intricately. I am not writing this post to tear this man down, to aid in the hunt to cancel him, I am writing it because despite his actions I care for the man and what he tried to do with his music and I feel that it is better to come from someone who does care, than someone who doesn't.

The purpose of this post is to provide my analysis of the available information, allegations, and to correlate these with his music and interviews along a timeline. But more than that to tell the story that I think Brian Warner wants to tell, but can't, because of his absolute dedication to and imprisonment by Marilyn Manson. I will provide my justification and reasoning throughout.

I have spent the past week analyzing points of view, interviews he has done, and of course reading the allegations. All of my research here is original I will not simply be rehashing what is currently in the mainstream media. As well as far as I have seen many of the interviews I'm going to link have not been discussed and are quite revealing, and unfortunately, incriminating.

I'm here to tell you a tale of how Marilyn Manson's fans killed Brian Warner. As I said, I don't want to rip the man apart I want you to understand the man, not Marilyn Manson, but Brian Warner. This truly is a sad story and I really feel for Brian and I want you to feel for him too, not just blindly cancel his work that I believe he literally sacrificed his personal self and happiness to make, for you, for the fans, and as he describes in one of the interviews we will cover, for victims. I want to tell this story because I think we, the fans, failed him and are in part responsible for him becoming what he has become.

My motivation to write this post despite the obvious potential hatred it might bring upon me is that this man's music helped me as it helped many people. That does not deserve to be cancelled and if I can help his fans enjoy his legacy and continue to help victims while helping to support Marilyn Manson's victims and freeing Brian Warner of his prison then I need to do that. Nobody else is.

I want to be clear this is all my opinion, I don't know Marilyn Manson and I wasn't there, all I know is what I have been able to analyze but quite honestly the man wears his heart on his music. One of the most important aspects of someone that commits a crime is motive and the only motive going around right now really is "he's fucked up". Yes, he is, but that is not the motive. I aim here to provide a real motive, a human motive, a motive people can understand.

This post won't be for the faint of heart I'm asking you to view the world through the eyes of Brian Warner because only then can you understand him, and why he did what he did.

I'm actually fucking crying writing this, I write about war and turmoil all the time and I never cry. This is hard for me. I ask that you listen to the music, to the interviews, to everything even if you don't like it. Don't skip through, take your time and really absorb and more importantly appreciate everything and to remember that this is a human being. I will be releasing my analysis in parts to allow time to digest the information.

To understand the motive, we must set the context.

The Early Days

We're going to start with his early years. 1991. This is when his band was still called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids and didn't yet have a drummer, they won an award for best new band and features 'My Monkey' which would go on to make it to the Portrait of an American Family album.

At this point the band is all friends, no business. The songs are based on poetry he had been writing for years prior re-arranged for lyrics. I point this out because I truly believe that performing is the single most important thing in Brian Warner's life. I often see people say that he is simply trying to cash in with shock rock and I just don't believe this to be true. He has a message, he always has a message, and I believe it was the need for this message in face of expectations that has now eventually destroyed him.

Their early stuff was outrageous, for fun, for the shock value but behind all that the enjoyment of the performance.

The late Scott Putesky (Daisy Berkowitz) released some of the Spooky Kids music as a remastered album:

Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids became really popular, really fast. In their last show as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids he mentions that record labels had been trying to sign them now for awhile but he couldn't find one that would allow him the creative freedom (I'm rewording it). He was effectively foregoing record deals to keep the Marilyn Manson character, and message intact.

(The quality on this next video is quite poor and the full concert is hard to watch so in this case I have time indexed to the appropriate spot.)

Trent Reznor signed Marilyn Manson and promised that his new label Nothing Records would provide the creative freedom Marilyn Manson required.

Portrait of an American Family

Marilyn Manson's sound, and art, were geared for performances. They were incredibly loud and heavy in person but the sound did not translate well to their initial recording of Portrait of an American Family. Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails helped to remaster the album for it's final release to replicate the live and in-person sound.

Live (and probably one of the best performances of the Portrait Era)

Original Album Recording:

Final Recording:

In this interview Marilyn Manson describes how his childhood is the basis for much of the music that would become Portrait of an American Family. This will become a recurring theme with each album reflecting an aspect of the troubled life of Brian Warner. 

Here is an interview from the Portrait Era where Manson describes how he likes smaller shows over large venues. I can vouch that this remains true to this day. When Marilyn Manson came to Canada in 2019 I ordered tickets in Saskatoon before the Alberta show had been announced. The arena was tiny, there couldn't have been more than 2000 people. It was incredibly easy to get up near the front as the show in compared to what he usually plays was so small. He put everything he had into that show. It was amazing, given his age. I can't believe he would have made money on that show, and yet he did an encore 3 times. He really enjoys being there, in and amongst his fans close up, giving them an unforgettable experience.

This fact of his dedication to the performance will be recurring throughout the analysis and is the primary basis of the motive.

It was also now that his performances had really begun attracting protests as he describes in this next interview and it is really these protests that would set the tone for what Marilyn Manson would become. No longer just an outrageous fun creepy rock'n'roll band, but a protest unto itself. Also please take note that he is quite shy in these early interviews and very reserved, he doesn't really do any theatrics himself and is actually quite focused on wanting to talk about the music and the show. I believe that this is Brian Warner speaking, not Marilyn Manson.

Smells Like Children

Smells Like Children is the Album, or rather EP, that really made Marilyn Manson famous as it had his cover of the Eurhythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) along with a number of other excellent covers such as Femminist Punk Rock Icon Patti Smith's Rock 'n' Roll Nigger.

The inclusion of this song, as the final song, I believe in retrospect really was a statement of what was to come. Marilyn Manson still plays this song live at concerts now and then today. He added an additional foreword to it...

And the world spreads its legs
And the world spreads its legs
For another fuckin' star!
'Cause I AM the all-American Antichrist.
I was made in America,
And America hates ME for what I am.
I am your shit.
You should be ashamed of what you have eaten.

The EP really is part remixes, part experimentation, and part cover songs. It also cemented the final image Manson had come up with for the Portrait era.

Of particular note is why Manson chose to do Sweet Dreams as he felt that the lyrics had been overlooked given it was a dance song and wanted to share how he felt about the song and it's meaning, described in this interview here:

He also describes how work was about to begin on the band's next album AntiChrist Superstar and describes it as a soundtrack for the end of the world.

(continues in part 2...)


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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