Music | The Devil You Know?: Marilyn Manson holds his tongue 

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First, he calls early. That ain’t very rock & roll—much less shock rock—of Marilyn Manson, is it? That is, unless he calls early to say he’s right outside with a sixer of PBR under one arm and the severed head of ex-bandmate Twiggy Ramirez cradled in the other. Oh, that’s right: they kissed and made up after Ramirez sued. Settlement? Also not very shock rock. But you know, what is?

A tit-for-tat response to censorship! Oowwww! When the Powers That Be (word to the long, age-spotted, tremor-afflicted arm of the LDS Church) refused to allow a then-nascently notorious Marilyn Manson to open for Nine Inch Nails at the Delta Center in 1994, Manson didn’t play—but he did stroll onstage during NIN’s set and shred a Book of Mormon like so many carrots. Ha-ha. Suck on that.

To Salt Lake City’s Gentile population, Manson’s deed is tantamount to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. We have a dream, too: that some people will keep their noses out of places they swore they’d never go in the first place. If it’s too loud, you’re too old, and if it scares you too? Get a helmet and some Xanax, you craven prude. Christ.

So here’s Manson, using a rare phone interview to promote his Eat Me, Drink Me tour stop at the SL-scene of the crime. All the post-scripture shred talk said Manson got banned from Salt Lake City. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t—for all our state’s little peccadilloes, it’s hard to recall an official edict banning a rock star from performing here. Could be he just stayed away. Whatevs. Marilyn Manson, we summon thee! Dial in and speak ill, you sick, twisted, remarkably well-spoken, blanch-eyed devil!

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“It’s good to be able to come back there, ’cause … I remember the crowd was amazing,” he says. Somewhere a cat screeches, a precious vinyl copy of the Beatles’ butcher album is scratched—its owner screams like a girl, and nails play tooth-pulverizing notes on a chalkboard. Whuuuuuuuhhhh? Ass-kissy PR-speak? Marilyn Manson? Eh. Let him finish. “I have to say that I’ve met some of the most deviant people in Salt Lake City, despite its reputation for being religious,” he says, sniffling from an ostensible cold.

Now you’re talking. They say you guys righteously trashed the hotel rooms that night; one can only imagine the orgy of damage and diddling that went on—and your allusion to deviance among our rebellious teens is tantalizing. Bounce us on your knee and talk of orifices plundered and duvet covers torn asunder!

“No, I can’t really remember all the details. But I remember we videotaped it and lost that tape and I’ll hope forever that it never turns up.”

Bitch, what? Are you saying you fear your most embarrassing moments popping up on YouTube? You’re Marilyn Manson.

“Naw. I’m just joking about it. Um, I’d probably be most afraid for it to show up because I would have to be reminded of what my deviant behavior was. I like to try and forget about that through drinking and drugs and other ways of suppressing your devilish ways.” Therapy? “I don’t need therapy. That’s what I have music for, so … I’m not going to do it.”

Isn’t that how it always goes down? Gene Simmons turns out to be an asshole and his legendary business savvy only got him through Week 3 on The Celebrity Apprentice. Alice Cooper is an evangelical Baptist Republican. Britney’s crazy. Rock & roll is just fulla letdowns. What really happened that night?

“I remember that the promoters were offering to pay us not to play that night. And I told Trent Reznor about it and he said, ‘Why don’t you come up onstage at my show and then they can’t do anything about it?’ But he didn’t know that I was gonna be bringin’ the book with me.

“I didn’t get paid, but it wouldn’t have been that much money, anyways. Of course, I will be, uh … bringing, uh … all of the hellfire with me … there. No one should be surprised if something like that happens again, of course.”

MARILYN MANSON @ Great Saltair, 12408 W. Salt Air Dr. Friday Feb. 15 @ 7:30 p.m.

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