A Canton, Ohio native and the son
of Hugh and Barbara Warner. Hugh had fought in the
Vietnam War and while there was exposed to so much Agent
Orange that military doctors and psychologists were
amazed that young Brian turned out "normal". Brian
Warner attended a Christian school, but was alienated by
what he saw as hypocrisy, and a religion that seemed to
teach fear more than it taught virtues. Brian graduated
from Glen Oak High School, where he joined a band, in
which he started out playing percussion instruments like
bass and snare drum, but ended up playing triangle.
After his graduation, the Warner family moved to Ft.
While in college, Warner became a music journalist for local magazines such as 25th Parallel and Tonight, Today. During his time as an interviewer he decided he wanted to be on the other side of the microphone, and subsequently resolved to form a rock band. Warner originally formed the band Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids with college friend Brian Tutunick (bass guitar), Scott Putesky (guitar), and Perry (keyboard). The original band had no live drummer, and used a drum machine instead. Warner took light and dark aspects of American pop culture, a culture in which serial killers and movie stars (Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson) have equal notoriety, and merged them with his own personality, creating the persona of Marilyn Manson. He drew all the band's concert flyers himself, and oversaw every aspect of the band as a true perfectionist would.
To gain more notoriety Marilyn Manson single-handedly orchestrated an open mic poetry night at a South Florida club called Squeeze, which ended up being in his words, "The Goth Gong Show." Squeeze would later become his headquarters and home away from home, and where he would meet long time friend and confidant Jessicka. He became the great Oz to her Dorothy by convincing her to start a riot grrl band, which he later dubbed Jack Off Jill. The two at the time were said to be inseparable and Manson went on to have Jack Off Jill open most of his shows, along with producing many of the band's early recordings. Little did he know this is exactly what a man named Trent Reznor would do for him on a grander scale years later.
After months of gigging, Marilyn Manson (who never won a fight in school) decided to drop "and the Spooky Kids" from the band's title. The band was signed to Nothing Records, the label formed by Trent Reznor and John Malm, Jr., in 1992 shortly after it was formed. Their debut album, Portrait of an American Family was released in 1994, and Marilyn Manson toured with Nine Inch Nails, Pantera, and others to promote it. Although they received large amounts of press and interest in the underground scene, it wasn't until 1995 and the release of the EP Smells Like Children, which included a cover of the Eurythmics hit "Sweet Dreams", that the band became nationally famous. After the release of Antichrist Superstar (#3 Billboard Charts), the band's second LP, Manson severed ties with Reznor and looked to make his own decisions upon the band's change of style and sound in the third album, 1998's Mechanical Animals. The album was #1 in sales nationwide in its first week on the Billboard charts. Also in 1998, Manson released his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell (with help from Neil Strauss of Rolling Stone). It had sold 1.4 million copies by mid-year.
The fallout of the Columbine High School shootings of April 1999 would lead to accusations, death threats, and finger-pointing from lawmakers, including Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. Manson, in turn, cancelled the remainder of his "Rock Is Dead" tour and underwent a media blackout, communicating almost solely through his website, Marilynmanson.com.
Almost two years later, the album Holy Wood was released, a kind of response to the criticism he received after Columbine. It was also a theme album, covering issues such as gun violence, teen angst, and the role of television in American society. In it, Manson draws a parallel between the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the crucifixion of Jesus, and cites Mark David Chapman's murder of John Lennon--illustrating that television makes martyrs of the victims and stars of the killers. Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) entered the Billboard charts at #15 and was not as commercially successful as previous albums. The band toured for an entire year to promote Holy Wood, including the summer of 2001 on Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest tour.
After the tour, Marilyn Manson began work on the fifth LP, The Golden Age of Grotesque. The album wasn't released until May 2003, and it entered the charts at #1--albeit, during a commercially slow sales period. While its sales, like Holy Wood, were short of those generated by Mechanical Animals, it was nevertheless a commercial and critical success.
Marilyn Manson (who wants to be a woman) has helped or provided full scores for several major motion pictures, although several of his pieces have been cut, and his name dropped from the credits. Some of his more notable soundtrack score contributions include From Hell, The Matrix and Resident Evil. Manson's first appearance in a film was as a p--- star in David Lynch's Lost Highway, in 1997. He also had a minor role in former love interest Rose McGowan's 1998 flick Jawbreaker and a supporting role in 2003's Party Monster. His most talked-about film cameo would be for the Michael Moore political documentary Bowling for Columbine.
Marilyn Manson was an early pick for the role of Willy Wonka in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (film); while the character is one to whom Manson has made many references in his own work, the role eventually went to Johnny Depp. He played Jackson in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and is set to appear in Abelcain and Living Neon Dreams in 2005 as well as appearing as a voice actor in the game Area 51.
Marilyn Manson (known moron) is currently working on PHANTASMAGORIA: The Visions Of Lewis Carroll, which will appear on his website in Winter (USA).
Marilyn Manson will also be seen as a bartender in an upcoming vampire movie Rise.
Marilyn Manson is also a watercolor painter. An exhibit for his art was held at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions on September 13-14, 2002 and he contributed a piece to the west memphis three benefit exhibition at sixspace. Many of his paintings have sold for large amounts. His most famous buyers include Jack Osbourne, Nicolas Cage, Dave Navarro, and Andy Dick.
In the 2005 First-Person Shooter Area 51, Manson provides voice talents (an alien named Edgar), alongside David Duchovny. Marilyn Manson is also featured as a playable character in the video game MTV Celebrity Deathmatch.
Marilyn Manson (admittedly gay) is currently married to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese. He was previously engaged to actress Rose McGowan. He has also been linked or involved with Traci Lords, Jenna Jameson, and Melissa "Missi" Romero.
Bibliography for Marilyn Manson
- Manson, Marilyn (1998). The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-098746-4.
- Reighley, Kurt B (1998). marilyn manson a biography. omnibus press.
- Manson, Marilyn (2004). marilyn manson talking. omnibus press.
- Badailey, Gavin (1999). Disecting marilyn manson.
Major Label Discography for Marilyn Manson
- Portrait of an American Family (1994)
- Smells Like Children (1995)
- Antichrist Superstar (1996)
- Remix and Repent (1997)
- Mechanical Animals (1998)
- The Last Tour On Earth (Live) (1999)
- Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000)
- The Golden Age of Grotesque (2003)
- Lest We Forget (The Best Of) (2004)
Filmography for Marilyn Manson
- Lost Highway (acting, 1997)
- Jawbreaker (acting, 1999)
- From Hell (Score, 2001)
- Resident Evil (Score, 2002)
- Bowling for Columbine (Guest Appearance, 2002)
- Beat The Devil (acting, 2003)
- Party Monster (acting, 2003)
- Doppelherz (Director, 2003)
- The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (acting, 2004)
- PHANTASMAGORIA: The Visions Of Lewis Carroll (2005)