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The first meeting between the creators of a band that would terrorize the right wing of the United States is, alas, undocumented. However, it is know the Manson, sick and tired of his stint as a music-journalist, met up with like-minded Daisy Berkowitz, and the two decided to create a mad mixture of music, theater, and mayhem together; hence Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids was established in 1989. The name Marilyn Manson "was a pseudonym I had taken on because it kind of defined my style, what I was saying," Manson explained to Guitar World in December 1996, adding "And phonetically, the way it flows, it almost sounds like 'abracadabra.' It has real power to it." One of the musical venture`s concepts was the idea behind combining the opposites and celebrating the extremes of life and in doing so pushing it all to the limit. Years later Manson rationalized to Circus magazine in it`s June 17, 1997, issue, "Light and darkness, life and death are simply two inseparable parts of life. . .
Good and evil go hand in hand." And what better way to illustrate this point than by joining two all-American icons, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson? Daisy Duke of TV`s The Dukes of Hazzard and "Son of Sam" murderer David Berkowitz provided the inspiration for Daisy Berkowitz`s new title, and the first two Spooky Kids were ready to hit the streets for the trick-or-treat campaign of the century.

The band`s earliest incarnation was allegedly the four-man, one-drum machine ensemble that featured Manson and Berkowitz along with Olivia Newton Bundy (Aussie songstress Olivia Newton John and Ted Bundy-put to death in Florida that very year) and Zsa Zsa Speck (the one and only Zsa Zsa Gabor and nurse-murderer Richard Speck). The official line-up took form before the start of 1990 however, with two new, more permanent members who were quite happy to adopt the surname of a murderer and the first name of a female icon, and hence Gidget Gein took over on bass while Madonna Wayne Gacy took his stance behind the keyboards. The Gidget and Madonna monikers surely need no explanation; Ed Gein was a cannibal and John Wayne Gacy the killer of thirty-three young boys.

Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids put on quite a show right from the start. Squeeze-a small Fort Lauderdale, Florida, club-was host to many of the band`s early gigs, some of which have and exaggeration, and even bootlegged videos-filmed by the band`s first trading circles. Jack Kearney, squeeze`s owner (who gets a mention in the "thanks" section of the band`s first album), recounted to Rolling Stone in its June 26, 1997, issue that at one 1990 gig Manson "had a girl named Terry tied to the cross and semi-naked" and added that, in true telephone-game style, before the night was over the incident had been exaggerated to the point that "[people] were saying she was totally naked and her throat was cut." Of course, the bandmembers-and bandleader-have become more and more outrageous, visually and idealistically, as Marilyn Manson`s career has progressed, and such initial Florida gigs in tiny clubs did no, needless to say, present the band in its present-day finery due to the lack of space, high-tech gear, and money to spend on sound, light and special effects. However, the core of what makes a Marilyn Manson live show unique was most certainly in evidence at these early shows. Mr. Manson himself, sans tattoos and sporting the eyebrows he was born with, may not have immediately appeared as otherworldly and frightening as he does on stage today, but on closer inspection back then it was not difficult to see the dirty rock star about to emerge. His now-familiar battle with the mic-stand was already in full form, and his manic pounding of it against his own chest and shoulders caused the naked little Barbie-typed dolls tied to its wires to perform their own accompanying dance.

The alternately articulate interviewee and animal-like performer we all know and love was plain to see right from the start. The incongruence of the future Reverend`s howling, driving vocals with his incredibly calm and mild directions to the monitors, please," or "Hey mister soundman, can you turn up the drums?" were so persuasively delivered that the desired effect was almost immediate) did not seem to phase his early fans who embraced his schizophrenic leaning as one of his unique charms. Already delivering "inspirational"-if a little unclear-speeches (excerpt from the November 1989 Squeeze gig; "What does a man know about his children, you know?" and "What I hear from you people is you come up to me and you say, 'Save the rainforest, save humanity.'. . . What you gotta do is save yourselves."), Manson was no run-of-the-mill death metal dude.

Nor did his band blend into the background. Daisy took to turning up for gigs in pretty little numbers complete with women`s wigs. Madonna, affectionately know as Pogo after his murderer`s nickname (Wayne Gacy, when not on a killing spree, moonlighted as a clown for children`s parties), set up on stage with a "Pogo`s Playground" tent.

Manson`s present-day predilection for on-stage destruction is nothing new; at one early gig at the aforementioned Squeeze he pulled out (amongst other things better left unmentioned) a chain-saw, sawed through some of the set, and apparently put the fear of God into the young woman housed in a cage at the back of the stage. Other antics at this particular show included Manson making what appeared to be a peanut-butter and banana sandwich and tossing it into the cramped crowd and a seemingly simulated sex act between Manson and the caged girl during the crowd favorite "Cake of Sodomy." Of his violent tendencies while performing, Manson would in August 1997 confess to Metal Edge magazine that "it`s part of the adrenaline of being on stage, there`s a real fearlessness and a sense of numbness and immortality, so often I don`t know my own strength and my own limits."

A typical Spooky Kids show back then featured "stage sets" chock-a-block with nasty little toys and devilish decorative touches. Sharing the tiny stage with the band on any given night might be a large shaved doll`s head on a stake, a Lie-Brite set spelling out the charming message "Anal Fun," an enormous hat festooned with banners and flowers, an American flag, or a music stand from which Manson might pause momentarily to read aloud from Dr. Seuss`s The Cat in the Hat. Bloodied and dirty children`s clothing was festively hung from a clothesline with care. All of this was but a teensy taste of what was to come.


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