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Old 09-23-17, 11:47 AM   #1
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Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

While promoting his new album, Heaven Upside Down, Marilyn Manson is speaking freely about his relationship to the 1999 Columbine school shooting—which he claims damaged his career for years.

While Manson's image and music certainly can't be faulted for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's deadly rampage, his claim that Columbine tanked his career is irresponsible and erroneous.

By the late '90s, Manson's attempts to shock had already inspired the backlash that he anticipated with his sexual, sacrilegious videos and photo shoots. But when do a provocateur's antics begin to overshadow his art?

In an interview with Manson, The Guardian points out that British music critics never shared the American media's disdain for Manson's shock value tactics.

Alexis Petridis writes, "His 1996 breakthrough album Antichrist Superstar was largely viewed as hugely entertaining glam metal in the grand gothic tradition of Alice Cooper.

In the U.S., however, religious conservatives seemed to think he really was some kind of emissary of Satan."

When confronted with everything Americans did to keep him from performing in the states, passing legislation and even paying him to stay away, Manson says, "Well, I asked for it."

While promoting his new album, Heaven Upside Down, Marilyn Manson is speaking freely about his relationship to the 1999 Columbine school shooting—which he claims damaged his career for years.

Manson was already locked in a battle with American media before Harris and Klebold carried out what became known as the Columbine massacre, with the murders of 12 of their fellow students and one teacher.

When Antichrist Superstar dropped, conservative Christians gave Manson a ton of free press, arguing that he was "coming for America's children." Music critics, unconvinced that he was inciting actual violence, called his theatrical show a response to late '80s and early '90s disaffected grunge.

Rolling Stone called Manson's persona "alluring nasty," and Manson has since accepted that part of his performance. "I'm this and I'm this," Manson tells The Guardian, "A person and a persona. But I can't really divide the two."

In the weeks following the Columbine massacre, it seemed the American media wasn't interested in the divide between Manson's stage persona and his actual identity.

One reporter, whom Manson blamed several times in interviews but never identified, allegedly said on television that gunmen Harris and Klebold had been wearing "Marilyn Manson makeup and t-shirts" when they entered their high school, fully armed.

The accusation was wrong, but the damage had been done to Manson's career. He appeared on Larry King Now to refute the claim that the Columbine murderers had any connection to him, but perhaps the horror of their actions overshadowed Manson's argument: that artists can't be held legally responsible for what their fans decide to do.

Even now, Manson argues that the question of whether Harris and Klebold were emboldened by his music is irrelevant. "If [the killers] had just bought my records, they would be better off," he says.

But what about Manson's other claim, the one where he says his career would be "better off" if he had never been linked to the Columbine shooting in the first place? Though Antichrist Superstar was hailed as the birth of a new age in shock rock by critics, his first post-Columbine album, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)​, absolutely tanked, failing to sell even half of the millions of copies his previous work earned.

In fact, Manson's album sales just kept careening off that commercial cliff in the years that followed: 2003's The Golden Age of Grotesque​ sold 526,000 copies; and 2012's Born Villain, his worst-performing album to date, sold merely 122,000 copies in the United States.

Those declining sales could be blamed on the Columbine controversy, as Manson would like us to believe, but as the Guardian points out, Manson was able to pivot his career into film and television roles, escaping his dismal album sales into a role on Sons of Anarchy.

For what it's worth, Manson's critical acclaim surged again in 2015 when he released The Pale Emperor, an emotionally resonant album that Rolling Stone called "the grabbiest music he's made since 2000's proggy Holy Wood."

If Manson continues his pre-album release press tour by focusing on his role in the Columbine controversy, he may have problems selling himself as a fresh voice in music. He already has many critics behind him; he just needs to rediscover his disgruntled, goth-glam fanbase.

From Yahoo news.

I liked Manson's early stuff, but lost interest over the years.
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Old 09-23-17, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

It could be a bit of both. Fuck, can't believe it's been 21 years since Antichrist Superstar. Once downloading came into the picture I think all artists' sales dropped off a cliff. Holy Wood is from 2000 and has some great tracks and great writing. I think anything relating to "shock rock" took a hit. Hell, even Rammstein was mentioned in those shooters playlists, but it was obviously easier to target Manson since he was the most visible.

I'm looking forward to the new album, though. Pale Emperor was fantastic and made my top-10 list that year.
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Old 09-23-17, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

I wonder how Manson's music holds up over time for his original fanbase. You can find lots of people today from the 70's and 80's with a continued fondness for the music of their teenage years. Does he have the same long term appeal that a Led Zeppelin or Iron Maiden has?
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Old 09-23-17, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals, and Holy Wood is a fantastic trilogy of albums.

The rest... ehh.

edit: holy shit, the resale prices for AS on vinyl are absurd. That one (and the others) needs a repress. Now.
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Old 09-23-17, 04:17 PM   #5
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

I thought Antichrist Superstar was great. Never could get into his subsequent albums though.
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Old 09-23-17, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

I loved everything up to Golden Age of Grotesque. The albums after that I enjoyed bits of, but rarely played the whole way through like those first five. Did like Pale Emperor a lot.

I believe the decline in his album sales had a lot more to do with times changing thanks to downloads, MTV getting into reality shows than Columbine. I mean, few people stay at their highest level of fame forever, whether you're Britney, Lady Gaga or whoever.
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Old 09-23-17, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

He still had post-Columbine success with Holy Wood, Golden Age of Grotesque & Lest We Forget, which was supposed to be his farewell to music.

The real problem is that his personal life went bad, he became a mess to watch on stage, and his following albums were just cliched "see how shocking I still am." Pale Emperor was a step in the right direction, but he's still a mess live.
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Old 09-23-17, 05:18 PM   #8
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGPu View Post
He still had post-Columbine success with Holy Wood, Golden Age of Grotesque & Lest We Forget, which was supposed to be his farewell to music.

The real problem is that his personal life went bad, he became a mess to watch on stage, and his following albums were just cliched "see how shocking I still am." Pale Emperor was a step in the right direction, but he's still a mess live.


Not in terms of sales compared to his first 3 major releases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marily...on_discography

Holy Wood was great but sold half a million, so it went gold, as did Golden Age of Grotesque.
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Old 09-23-17, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

People got tired of his schtick, like they do with most gimmicky acts. His audience outgrew it.
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Old 09-24-17, 11:40 AM   #10
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Personally I don’t like any of his music pre-Pale Emperor. And it’s not the shock value stuff, because I have no problem with that, I just never found the writing to be very good.
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Old 09-24-17, 12:14 PM   #11
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Antichrist and Mechanical Animals still get a fair amount of play from me. I don't mind hearing his earlier songs pop up in a playlist, but I don't go searching out one of those albums to listen to. Holywood was the last thing I found half enjoyable until Pale Emperor. Everything in between I actively avoid.

I'm not sure Columbine was what tanked his career. It brought him into the public's eye in a way that no advertising could ever do. Moving into his High End of Low phase turned a lot of people off. His abysmal live shows over the last 10+ years hasn't helped at all.

I don't care about him being "shocking", or recreating his peak years. I'd just like him to give half a shit, and find something that works with his current voice. Pale Emperor seemed to do that.
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Old 09-24-17, 12:27 PM   #12
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

The new single is pretty good - reminds me of Deep Six from Pale Emperor and who doesn't like fetishist nuns?


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Old 09-24-17, 12:49 PM   #13
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Shit. I think I just got a new nun fetish after watching that.
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Old 09-24-17, 02:49 PM   #14
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdollaz View Post
People got tired of his schtick, like they do with most gimmicky acts. His audience outgrew it.
When most artists hit a peak it's hard to maintain that popularity.
AS went 1xPlatinum, MA went 1xPlatinum, and the next one that the article mentions went Gold. That's not a huge drop off in my opinion, considering that that happens to many other artists who make a big splash at first.
50 Cent and Lady Gaga come to mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post

I'm not sure Columbine was what tanked his career. It brought him into the public's eye in a way that no advertising could ever do. Moving into his High End of Low phase turned a lot of people off. His abysmal live shows over the last 10+ years hasn't helped at all.
Who knows for certain. But usually notoriety helps rock and hip-hop artists. Gangsta rap in the 90s seemed to thrive on it. You had churches against it, Delores Tucker, etc and they were going multi-platinum.
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Old 09-24-17, 10:20 PM   #15
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdollaz View Post
People got tired of his schtick, like they do with most gimmicky acts. His audience outgrew it.
Ding. Ding. Ding.

He was a novelty act that had a few decent hits and went the way of Limp Bizkit. Not really all that surprising. Not once did it ever cross my mind that school shootings tanked his career.
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Old 09-25-17, 10:34 AM   #16
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

In my memory all his radio hits were cover songs. I always found that odd.
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Old 09-26-17, 02:15 PM   #17
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Never found anything he did any good. He just piggybacked on other so called "Shock Rockers".
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Old 09-26-17, 02:21 PM   #18
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

This thread made me go through his catalog for the first time in a while. And yes I've been buying his records all this time.

Mechanical Animals was one of my favorites when it came out and I still love it today. Best thing he did by far IMO. The so-called trilogy along with Antichrist Superstar and Holy Wood are all great albums. There is plenty of great material there and the albums are very well produced.

I remember being very excited about Manson teaming up with Tim Skold for Golden Age of the Grotesque since I liked Skold's influence on KMFDM. But it did not work with Manson. GAOTG had some decent songs, but the dropoff is pretty steep, and then the next three records all have a few decent songs but are mostly retreads or forgettable.

Pale Emperor seemed like the best thing since Holy Wood but I still haven't spun it a lot. I'll give his new record a shot as I always do. I do think there's more to him than just being a shock rocker. And I'm pretty sure his biggest song wasn't a cover, but maybe that wasn't the case everywhere in the US.
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Old 09-27-17, 08:31 AM   #19
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Sweet Dreams was probably his largest song, which was obviously a cover. His Tainted Love cover was also pretty big at the time, but didn't last. I'm mostly basing this off of non-fans, and what songs they were aware of or liked.
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Old 09-27-17, 09:49 AM   #20
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

I think his cover songs were great in that they sounded nothing like the originals -- definitely one of the few artists that took songs and made them his own.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:16 AM   #21
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

I've always thought of "Beautiful People" as his biggest song.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:31 AM   #22
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
This thread made me go through his catalog for the first time in a while. And yes I've been buying his records all this time.

Mechanical Animals was one of my favorites when it came out and I still love it today. Best thing he did by far IMO. The so-called trilogy along with Antichrist Superstar and Holy Wood are all great albums. There is plenty of great material there and the albums are very well produced.
I got into his music because of Mechanical Animals. I still consider it his best album. I also feel like, by that time, the whole "shock" thing was no longer a factor, but I could be mis-remembering.

Quote:
I do think there's more to him than just being a shock rocker.
I think the only shocking thing, at the time, was the title of Antichrist Superstar, which... yeah... offended some folks. I never bought into that hype, since I got into his music with MA. Going back to AS later, I realized how good the music itself was, and the lyrical content was pretty tame, considering the way he was portrayed by those that hated him.

I keep telling myself I'll revisit the music he released after Holy Wood, but it's just not a priority for me. I like the 'trilogy' just fine, and it would be pretty awesome if he toured and played one or all three of those albums in their entirety.

Quote:
And I'm pretty sure his biggest song wasn't a cover, but maybe that wasn't the case everywhere in the US.
Beautiful People was huge. I feel like The Dope Show was pretty big. But historically, Sweet Dreams was pretty massive for a cover song and I feel like that one gets far more airplay today (as if anyone cares about radio anymore but still...) than any of the others.
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Old 09-27-17, 11:26 AM   #23
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Beautiful People was huge. I feel like The Dope Show was pretty big. But historically, Sweet Dreams was pretty massive for a cover song and I feel like that one gets far more airplay today (as if anyone cares about radio anymore but still...) than any of the others.
Looking at Wikipedia it seems Dope Show did chart higher than the other two. Beautiful People charted slightly higher than Sweet Dreams on the mainstream chart.

I don't listen to the radio and haven't since 1993, so that might be why I don't get that Manson is known more for his covers by a lot of people. Of course I know Sweet Dreams was big for him, but I honestly never knew Tainted Love had gotten big. I just knew those tracks from his compilation release.
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Old 09-27-17, 06:58 PM   #24
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

There are many of his songs I still enjoy to this day. But sadly for him, the thing I find the most memorable was that whole period where so many were convinced he was that geeky Wonder Years kid all grown up.

http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/marilyn.asp
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Old 09-30-17, 11:47 PM   #25
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Re: Marilyn Manson: Columbine Shooting Tanked My Career.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/ne...-short-w506413

Marilyn Manson cut his Saturday night show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom short after a stage prop collapsed atop the shock rocker. The severity of Manson's injuries was unclear at press time, but the concert was canceled after a brief delay.

RELATED

Marilyn Manson's 'Antichrist Superstar': 10 Wild Stories
"Manson suffered an injury towards the end of his incredible NYC show. He is being treated at a local hospital," a rep for the singer told Rolling Stone.

The incident occurred roughly an hour into Manson's concert, the third date on the North American leg of Manson's Heaven Upside Down tour. During "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)," Manson made his way toward the back of the stage, where a prop featuring two giant pistols suddenly fell forward onto Manson. Video from the concert shows Manson grappling the prop before it comes crashing down to the stage.

After the stage crew lifted the prop back up, Manson lay on the ground for several minutes. EMT workers also rushed to the backstage area as venue workers yelled "Ice! Ice!" repeatedly.

At Manson's Friday night show in Pittsburgh, the rocker tumbled off the stage during his concert. After pulling himself back onstage, Manson told the crowd he broke his ankle before calling his tour manager a "fascist," Loudwire reports.

Rolling Stone will update this story when more information regarding Manson's status becomes available.

Watch crowd-shot video of the prop falling on Manson below
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