Quintessential rock band of the 90's. Originally called "Marilyn Manson and the Spookykids
" and featured just Marilyn on vocals and Daisy Berkowitz
on guitars, with a drum machine
in the background. Later, the duo added Olivia Newton Bundy
on bass, and Zsa Zsa Speck
on keyboards. Bundy was fired a while later, and went on to form his own band, "Nation of Fear
" Speck was fired soon afterwards, and replaced by their roadie, Steven Bier, who took on the name Madonna Wayne Gacy
" to the fans). The band liked Gacy because he pretty much knew everything about anything.... and he dabbled at keyboards.
Gidget Gein, the second bass player, was added in mid-'90 to "flesh out" the band. Gidget had co-writing credits (with Berkowitz) on most of the early demo-tapes that were distributed to fans, and also on the first LP "Portrait of an American Family". There were two versions of POAAF recorded. the first was so poorly produced that nothing records founder Trent Reznor (who also signed the band after Manson traded demo tapes with him) stepped in to redo the album. Gidget was fired shortly after recording the LP, because, as Marilyn puts it, "He felt that Cocaine was more important than the band." Twiggy Ramirez was hired to replace Gein, and the band toured with nine inch nails and the Jim Rose Circus.
Taking a break from the NIN tour, Manson and Co. went into the studios with Reznor to record the single to "Dope Hat". However, the single became far more than anyone expected, and in the end included fifteen songs remixed by eveyone from Reznor, to Chris Vrenna, to Tony F. Wiggins, the road manager for Danzig. the resulting release was called "Smells Like Children", and hosted the first breakthrough single for the group: a cover of the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)". The band went back on tour, and noticed many more Marilyn Manson shirts on the stops, due to MTV finally taking large notice of the band.
after this tour, the band joined Reznor in nothing studios to record "Antichrist Superstar", a record fueled mostly by insomnia, drug use, and readings of the Kabbalah. During this time, Daisy Berkowitz was fired from the band, as the path he wanted the band to take was different from Marilyn's. They hired a new guitarist for the successive tour: Zim Zum. Taking a departure from the "Beauty Queen/Serial Killer" naming scheme, his name was taken from the hebrew word "tzimtzum", which meant "the filling of the void". Notoriously called "The Butcher" by fans, he was always accompanied on stage with a tape that would play the parts of the songs that he didn't know. after this tour, Marilyn and crew went into the studios to record "Great Big White World", the original title for the CD that would eventually become "Mechanical Animals" (the name was changed due to Marilyn believing people would think it was a racist comment).
after the record was completed, Zim Zum was fired from the group because he didn't remember any of the songs from Antichrist Superstar, and he was quite drugged. He was replaced by John Lowery, a heavily tatooed member of the Rob Halford project, "Two", and composer of the "Street Fighter II Animated Movie" musical score. Lowery Took the name "John5", which wasn't a comment on the "Short Circuit" main character, but a reference to John The Apostle.
Joined by John5, The next tour, known as "The Last Tour on Earth" (followed by a live CD of the same name) was a resounding success, and the fans noticed that the band sounded tighter at this point then they had anytime before. After this tour, the band went back into the studios to record.
Their Fourth LP, entitled "Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)", took the band back to the angrier sound that "Portrait" and "Antichrist Superstar" pioneered, but added a feeling akin to a wild animal that is far more dangerous after being seriously injured. The following tour, called the "Guns, God, and Government" tour so far has been a resounding success; and despite all controversy, Marilyn Manson is far more popular today than most could have imagined (or feared).