Sunday, June 27, 2010

Composite Rocker

Back in the mid to late 1990’s when Marilyn Manson came to prominence I ran into some kids extolling the virtues of said Mr. Manson. They talked about an interview in which he talked about his artistic originality versus that of the Teen pop queens and boy bands. I double taked at that remark. Marilyn Manson original, No. That’s not right. I injected myself into the conversation. I said, “You realize that Marilyn has stolen his act from Four Rock Greats: Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Ozzy Osbourne.” They were like yea right Old Man. At the time I was in my late 20’s, but to teens old is anyone over 25. They ignored me and walked away. Looking back I still hold to my assertion. I know today Marilyn Manson is no longer timely or relevant. Surprising how he polarized public discourse only 6 or 7 years ago. What galled me is Marilyn Never acknowledge his influences, whom he “borrowed” so much from. Rob Zombie in contrast has been public in the fact that without Cooper, Pop and Osbourne, he would not have an Act. Zombie has gone out of his way to not only acknowledge them, but also work with them. I will go a head and list what Marilyn “borrowed” from these four.
From Alice Cooper, Manson took the whole Shock rock concept. Cooper borrows much from Burlesque and Grand Guignol. He is all about theatrical rock, but from the horrific side. He wants to shock us and make us think. By all means this is not new eve to rock, but Alice is considered by many music experts to be the perfector of this form.

From David Bowie, Manson took the whole gender ambiguous and sexually ambigious concept. Bowie famous for doing this with Ziggy Stardaust. Bowie had people guessing what he was or who he preferred to bed. Now none of that is really anyone’s business, in my not so humble opinion. Bowie was able to make you think about that subject in a way no one had or has since.

From Iggy Pop, Manson took the in your face and self mutilating image. Pop was known in the 70’s to do all sorts of harm to himself on stage. All of this was done under the influence of multiple psycho active substances. I am not excusing or supporting this behavior. This was done to shock the audience, and Manson defintely wants or wanted to shock his audience. Actually I think he wanted to shock the mainstrem society. Pop is considered many as the Godfather or Grandfather of Punk. Some of this behavior was adopted by that movement.

From Ozzy, Manson took the whole Prince of Darkness persona. With his antichrist Superstar he tried to do the whole epitome of evil idea. Now he went to go as far as claim to be a practicing Satanist and all that encompasses. Ozzy did it as an act. Ozzy always has enjoyed Horror Films. In the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s, British horror had a whole sub-genre of Satanist Cult films like Devil’s Daughter. Ozzy always did it tongue and cheek. He also separated his stage life from his personal life. Manson has always blurred those lines.
Now in my opinion the four did those things much better than Manson. They also were innovators and pioneers of a sort. Their music was also better too. That is my not so humble opinion.