Marilyn Manson
United States
Music group
Before Marilyn Manson
As you might have guessed, this guy wasn't born Marilyn Manson. His real name is Brian Hugh Warner and he was born on January 5, 1969. He grew up in Canton, Ohio. Although there is little reported about Brian Warner's life before he became Marilyn Manson, he seems to have been pretty normal. At least we know he had normal fears, because Brian Warner basically admitted he would have been scared of his Marilyn Manson persona when he was younger, stating, "I've grown up to become the things that hurt and scared me."

Brian Warner Becomes Marilyn Manson
By the time Brian Warner was 18 he had developed creative passions for writing and music. Brian was also very intrigued by the freedom of speech/censorship debate. Brian moved to Florida and worked as a part-time music journalist and began to write poems and stories. It was while he was living in Florida that Brian met up with Scott Mitchell, a guitarist. Mitchell became the first member of Brian's band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. The point of the band, for Brian Warner, was to push the limits of American censorship laws.

Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids
Controversial by design rather than accident, this Florida, USA-based artist formed Marilyn Manson And The Spooky Kids in 1989 with the express intention of "exploring the limits of censorship'.

The original line-up consisted of part-time journalist Brian Warner, who chose the name Marilyn Manson based on actress Marilyn Monroe and murderer Charles Manson. Other band members comprised of Daisy Berkowitz (guitar), Olivia Newton-Bundy (bass) and Zsa Zsa Speck (keyboards), later joined by Sara Lee Lucas (drums). Indeed, all the band members assuming forenames of female icons and surnames of famous murderers.

Bundy and Speck were replaced at the end of 1989 by Gidget Gein and Madonna Wayne Gacy (real name: Steve Bier), respectively. In keeping with their controversial image, they were the first band to be signed to Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and John A. Malm Jnr.'s Nothing label. Support slots with artists such as Suicidal Tendencies, Meat Beat Manifesto, Murphy's Law and the Genitorturers brought them considerable local recognition, in the form of the 1993 "Slammy" Awards (taking the Song Of The Year nomination for "Dope Hat") and sundry other baubles (not least, short-heading Gloria Estefan for the Best Local Musician category in South Florida magazine).

In December 1993, bass player Gein was replaced by Twiggy Ramirez (real name: Jeordie Francis White). Reznor acted as guest musician and executive producer on the band's 1994 debut album, with half of the tracks mixed at the house of the infamous Tate murders by the Manson family (where Nine Inch Nails also recorded).

In March 1995, Lucas was replaced on drums by Ginger Fish (born as Kenny Wilson). Berkowitz also departed in June 1996 (he later sued the band for unpaid royalties and breach of contract) and was replaced by Zim Zum who later departed.

The album "Antichrist Superstar" included the American hit single "The Beautiful People", and reached number 3 on the Billboard album charts. By 1998, they had become one of the biggest bands in the USA, assuming virtual cult status, a position aided as much by their notoriety and propensity for upsetting US right-wing and Christian groups as by their music. Mechanical Animals was a huge American chart-topper that also placed the band in the UK Top 10 for the first time. During the recording of the album, Zim Zum left and was replaced by Johnnie 5.

The highly articulate Manson was forced to morally defend himself when, in April 1999, two alleged fans, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, murdered 15 of their classmates at Colombine High School in Denver, Colorado. The band was forced to abort their nationwide tour, although fans were rewarded with the release of a live album.

Speck and Ramirez left the band in 2002.

Marilyn Manson and The Matrix
Marilyn Manson is not well liked by some people, and has been protested just about everywhere he plays. Despite having an over-the-top public image and some controversial lyrics and stage shows, Marilyn has managed to make a name for himself as a serious artist. He's contributed songs to blockbuster movies like The Matrix Reloaded, Bowling for Columbine, From Hell and Resident Evil. Marilyn Manson has also appeared on the big screen in movies like Party Monster and Bowling for Columbine.

Manson addressed many of the issues raised by the Colombine shootings on the band's new album. Holly Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death) was another impressive collection of articulate and deceptively melodic industrial rock that belied the moral majority's one-dimensional portrait of Marilyn Manson as a corrupting, atonal degenerate.

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