Since the mid-nineties, singer, songwriter, and general rabble-rouser Marilyn Manson, has led a one-man assault on the status quo. His infectious music and poignant message bely the intelligence hiding behind his makeup. Unlike some artists who might use an alternative fashion sense and loud makeup choices to stand out, Manson’s persona is less attention grabbing than it is incisively satirical. There’s a whole lot more to this white-faced rock star than meets the eye. Marilyn Manson is a multi-faceted artist. Here are some things you may not have known.
1. He Originally Wanted to Become a Music Journalist
Before he adopted his famous stage name, Marilyn Manson — which famously combines the names of two pop culture icons, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Manson — was just a Florida kid named Brian Hugh Warner. After graduating from Heritage Christian School and enrolling in community college, Warner took a position writing for 25th Parallel, a Fort Lauderdale magazine.
2. The Band Was Originally Called ‘Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids’
Formed in 1989, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids was a metal trio featuring fellow rockers Scott Putesky (Daisy Berkowitz), and Brian Tutunick (Olivia Newton Bunny). They dropped “and the Spooky Kids” in 1992 and have since swapped out every member of the band but Manson himself.
3. Walmart Refuses to Sell His Albums
Following the Columbine massacre, it was announced (mistakenly) that Marilyn Manson’s music had actually inspired the shooters’ to action. As a result of this accusation — which again, was totally false — Walmart announced that it would not be selling Marilyn Manson’s music in any of their stores. That ban remains intact til this day.
4. He And Johnny Depp Have Matching Tattoos
Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp are actually longtime pals. In fact, they’ve performed onstage at the Roxy together. They’re also big fans of ink, so the bosom buddies have celebrated their friendship with not one, but two matching tattoos. “No reason” is inscribed on their wrists and the inscrutable “Charles Baudelaire, the flower of evil, this giant skeleton thing” is penned on their backs.
5. He’s Actually a Pretty Solid Actor
A number of Manson’s on-screen performances have played on his famous stage career, asking him to amp up the weirdness for a turn in front of the camera. Party Monster, for example. He more than delivers in those performances,. What’s shocking however, is the acting roles that ask more of the famously strange performer. In Sons of Anarchy, he’s legitimately menacing as a prison gang lord. In Eastbound and Down, he’s hilariously awkward as a roller-skating waiter.
6. He Can’t Go to Sleep Without the TV On
That may not be strange in and of itself, after all, several people across the world prefer to fall asleep with a little bit of white noise playing in the background. It’s just that most people pick a sitcom, or a reasonably quiet drama. Marilyn Manson however, prefers really loud and violent things to drift off to sleep.
7. He’s a Public Fan of Several Satanists
On several occasions, Marilyn Manson has expressed his appreciation for the writings of Anton Lavey (the leader of a sect of the Satanic Church), and Aleister Crowley (a famed occultist and “magician”). In Manson’s defense, these fellas really discuss the “occult” as a means of self-determination and ambition. It’s not the most selfless philosophy, but it’s also not about sacrificing goats and praising the Dark Lord either.
8. He Never Gets Fully Unclothed During Sex
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Manson claimed that he will only have sex with his underwear around his ankles, because of a fear that the house will catch on fire while he’s in the throes of passion. Apparently, the rock star is a little shy.
9. There Are Nude Photos of Him Out There
In 1999, a gay men’s magazine called Honcho published nude photos of Manson taken before his rise to fame. So, those are out there … as if you’d ever want to experience that for yourself.
10. The Contact Thing is a Tribute to David Bowie
Even Marilyn Manson has musical idols, and one of them is (unsurprisingly) David Bowie. As it happens, Bowie, one of the most famous musicians in history, had two differently-sized pupils. As a tribute to Bowie’s awesomeness, Manson adopted the habit of wearing a single contact that makes one of his pupils larger or smaller than the other.
11. He Has a Collection of Metal Lunchboxes
Among the super strange collections that you’d expect at Manson’s home (think: medical prosthetics throughout history), the singer also has an extensive collection of metal lunch boxes.
12. Manson Has a Heart Condition
He suffers from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition that makes his heart beat faster and more erratically than normal. Though the condition isn’t life threatening, it can lead to heart problems later in life.
13. He’s Extremely Charitable
Throughout his career, Manson has never hesitated to help spread a little oddity to a fan in need. He’s helped out Make-A-Wish by letting a terminally ill kid record backup vocals on a track. He’s also a regular contributor to programs like Music for Life, Little Kids Rock, and Project Nightlight.
14. He’s Got a Genius-Level IQ
If you ever thought that Marilyn Manson’s music was strangely insightful for the genre, you were right. In order to be classified a genius, you have to have an IQ of 130 at a minimum. Marilyn Manson has an IQ of 148.
15. He’s a Four-Time Grammy Loser
Though his career has been much lauded by critics, Manson has never actually won a Grammy for his work. He’s been nominated four times (in 1999, 2001, 2004, and 2014), but he’s never managed to bring home the win.
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