The Manson show rolls into Atlanta on Election night, and it
appears that he’s never been more popular. While Marilyn’s freakshow may be the focus of his detractors, to his supporters there’s another story altogether. Just as the presidency is up for grabs tonight, in a way so is the position of spokesperson for America’s downtrodden youth. Billy Corgan hasn’t held up the support he had in the early ’90s; with the Pumpkins break-up imminent it doesn’t look like he’ll continue to have access to pop radio and MTV in the future. And what of Manson’s former career overseer Trent Reznor? Haven’t heard much from him since “The Fragile” failed to catch on last year, have we? Early signs point to an upset Manson victory!
While the music press has routinely panned Manson’s albums, it’s never been a secret that his live shows were where it’s at. Next week we’ll know if new album “Holy Wood in the Shadow of the Valley of Death” can finally break Manson with the critics (he could record himself farting in a tuba and his fans would probably love it), but tonight his ‘Disposable Teens’ easily wins the support of this crowd. Many of them probably haven’t even heard this and other new songs from the album yet, but the enthusiasm accorded them is at least equal to that given to old favourites like ‘Sweet Dreams’.
Try as he might to offend and disgust with satanic imagery and suggestion, Manson can’t quite top the sickness or irony his earlier championing of the conservative candidate George Bush achieved. This position stunned many Americans who thought they had him pegged, at the same time affirming that his unpredictability doesn’t show any signs of eroding. One bets that England can’t wait to hear what he has to say about Blair when he shows up in Birmingham come January. Read about it in the paper if you must, tonight Marilyn proved that there’s still no substitute for the in-your-face live onslaught. Listening to the crowd on the way out, it looks like the vote’s in. Manson: 1, Everyone Else: 0.