In the mid-90s just after Broken Spectacles broke up I felt a little lost for a while. We were all going to go solo from there. I wasnt quite sure what my “thing” was after being part of the “Eddie and Matt” monster for so long.
Caught a local Marilyn Manson show one night… Cant remember why. Brian was a fellow scenester, but it wasn’t our style of music. Just something to do. Turns out that show had a major impact on me and the direction I would go in over the next decade.
What I witnessed that night was similar to many other Manson shows thru the years. An onslaught of shock schtick pain hatred horror and extreme negativity. All in the name of doing something different to get attention. We were accustomed to it in the local scene, because we’d watched Brian and the guys come up since the beginning.
It was never about the music. It was more of a voyeuristic thing to see who he was going to hit or whip or torture or gag or what he was gojng to pee on or set afire. In the beginning, we were all so young, it was I suppose just another “thing” we did being part of the scene. It was a happening. Just like any other show.
But this night was a few years later. I remember standing there, as this loud pounding aggressive music raged against a backdrop of posters that read “your parents hate you” god hates you” etc. thinking to myself “well this is becoming a viable thing now, this kind of deep level negativity as an influence. Imagine the polar opposite of that. That… that could be YOUR thing man. That already IS your thing. You just need to develop it more overtly so it’s clear what it is and so it has an actual effect.
After hearing that in my head I left the venue. A song or two in. I got what I came for. I entered that show feeling a bit lost and without a mission. I left a half hour later with a very clear mission. I was the anti-Manson. The Ambassador. Ah hah! In any way i could i would use the albums and the shows as a positive influence to affirm life and joy and peace and love. It was simple.
True story. Hadn’t thought about this or even remembered it till seeing this story this weekend.
Soon after I recorded the Acoustic in New York album, now under my real name Ed Hale rather than Eddie Darling; the album was filled with this optimistic spiritual high on life spirituality. And soon after, Rise and Shine.
Hadn’t thought of Brian or Manson in 20 years. Wasn’t sure what he was up to. Was never 100% sure if he took the hatred and pain circus act seriously or if it was just a show to make money and he was secretly living in the suburbs married with five kids gardening. This was the first time I’d seen him around in decades.
I have to admit I felt sad from learning about these new revelations over the weekend. I always privately harbored this hope that Brain was a mad genius who was only using the whole Halloween and negativity schtick as a costume for a short period of time to get a foot on the ladder and then he’d change it up and become his true self and come out with some brilliant musical work of art that would blow us all away. What I didnt expect was this.
What I walk away with is a deeper appreciation for the idea that what we take in and what we put into consciousness can have a profound effect on who we are and who we ultimately become. Important to remember.
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