Marilyn Manson: The Alice Cooper of the 1990s

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Marilyn Manson: The Alice Cooper of the 1990s

For a sense of how long it’s been since Marilyn Manson was the bad boy of American rock, check out a story in the satirical online newspaper The Onion, “Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-To-Door Trying To Shock People”:
“Stung by flagging album sales and Eminem’s supplanting him as Middle America’s worst nightmare, shock rocker Marilyn Manson has embarked on a door-to-door tour of suburbia in a desperate, last-ditch effort to shock and offend average Americans,” the story (fictional, we should perhaps add) begins.
“Linda Schmidt was preparing to drive her daughter Alyssa to a Girl Scouts meeting when she found Manson standing on her porch draped in sheep entrails... ‘I tried to be nice and humor him a little. I said, “Yesiree, that sure is some shocking satanic imagery, no doubt about it. And that one eye with no color in the pupil, very disturbing. I’d sure like to suppress that.” I mean, what do you say to Marilyn Manson?’”
And that was written two and a half years ago. (Since then, Eminem has also ceased to frighten anybody.)
Ever since Elvis, rock has always found someone to carry out its vital function of making parents think their children’s souls are in danger. Long before Marilyn Manson (born Brian Warner) ― who performs in Seoul for the first time Saturday ― there was Ozzy Osbourne (pre-dementia), and before Ozzy there was Sid Vicious, and before Sid there was Alice Cooper, and prior to Alice Cooper, John Lennon qualified in some circles.
Manson’s hook was sacrilege. He titled one of his albums “Antichrist Superstar” and tore up Bibles onstage. In middle America, religious organizations reacted like taunted dogs, lobbying to stop his concerts as soon as they were announced, then showing up at the venues to protest. This tended not to diminish his TV coverage.
Citing his “outrageous behavior,” Korea’s Media Ratings Board refused to let Manson perform here on three separate occasions in 1999 and 2000. Saturday’s concert, at Seoul Olympic Park, was permitted on the condition that no one under 19 be admitted. The souls of Korea’s youth would appear to be safe, at least until Eminem comes to town.


by David Moll

Tickets for Marilyn Manson start at 77,000 won ($67). The stadium is near Olympic Park station, subway line No. 5. Call (02) 410-1360 for information.

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