Interview:1998/02/19 Late Show with David Letterman
|Late Show with David Letterman
|Interview with Marilyn Manson
|February 19, 1998 
- Announcer: Marilyn Manson!
David Letterman: Okey Dokey. Our next guest, one of today's most world's controversial performer's. Here take a look at this man in action. Shows film clip
David Letterman: He's just published this biography, here, titled The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, run for your lives America, here's Marilyn Manson, Marilyn! (The band plays and Manson comes in and sits)
David Letterman: How you doin'?
Marilyn Manson: Good, thanks
David Letterman: You've got Olympic fever?
Marilyn Manson: Hmmm, I'm not in the sports too much, I remember the thing with the girl hit the other girl on the leg though, and that's all I remember...
David Letterman: Did you see Bob Dole backstage?
Marilyn Manson: Yeah, he loaned me this scarf
David Letterman: (Laughs) Now...hmm...You and I are both from the midwest, you're from Canton Ohio and I'm from Indianapolis Indiana and I'm guessing that's about all we have in common. (Audience and DL laugh)
Marilyn Manson: (Not laughing) Yeah.
David Letterman: Now, are you more of a guy like me, or you pretending to be not a guy like me? I don't think anyone should be a guy like me, you understand what I'm saying?
Marilyn Manson: I'm not sure if I understand the question....
David Letterman: Well, I'm not sure you underst... do you like bacon? (Audience laughs)
Marilyn Manson: I like Bob Dole
David Letterman: (Laughs) Oh yeah! People, their impression of you is many people like you, of course that's your fan base, other people are reviled and horrified by you and what you supposedly stand for. Is that a fair assessment of things?
Marilyn Manson: Well, I've always measured success not only by the amount of people that love you but the ones that hate you too 'cause if you do something that everybody loves it's not really worth too much.
David Letterman: Do you like to get people upset, is that part of what fuels your...
Marilyn Manson: I like to provoke people so they think, you know, I think it's the healthy part of entertainment... that you don't get too much from the Spice Girls. (Audience laughs, applauses and cheers)
David Letterman: (Laughs)
Marilyn Manson: (To simplify this) kind of...think about...hmmm...Ginger Spice's waist line
David Letterman: (Laughs) You know what I like, maybe I can (Coughs like he's shy) turn you on to this, as the kids say...aaahemmm... the women's hockey team, oh man, I love the women's hockey team
Marilyn Manson: Were they the ones that smoked pot 'cause I'm not keeping...
David Letterman: (stops Manson) I think those are the Canadians snowboarders...
Marilyn Manson: Ah
David Letterman: Yeah, thanks for trying to ruin a good time. (Audience laughs)
David Letterman: What was your childhood like, typical Midwestern in Canton, Ohio there?
Marilyn Manson: Well, hmm... my father sprayed Agent Orange in Vietnam, my grandfather was a cross-dressing truck driver and he collected hmm... bestiality pornography, that I discovered at a early age, and my mother, when I left home, she started keeping rats for pets and she lets them crawl around in her brassiere and she actually had one that she named Marilyn and....it almost died and she gave it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She made a little oxygen tent out of a saran wrap, and cardboard paper. (Audience laughs all the time he talks)
David Letterman: So what you're saying is that it's pretty much Leave It To Beaver at your house, right? (Audience laughs)
Marilyn Manson: Marilyn Manson shrugs
David Letterman: Well pretty much that kind of deal.
David Letterman: Uhm but you now your mother...you...uh now is this a pose? Is your persona a pose? Or is this actually of you? (Audience laughs)
Marilyn Manson: I think everything is in the pursuit of performance art and uh...
David Letterman: So this is as the performance art. Rock and roll music and performance art?
Marilyn Manson: Everything is for me, whether it's just hanging out or making something. I put it in every aspects of my life.
David Letterman: Now, you've written a biography here, let me ask you a couple of questions about things that people think are true about you that may necessarily not be true and I think you discuss them in the book...hmmm... you set fire to your drummer.
Marilyn Manson: Well, there was, there is a lot of rumors saying that we set fire to our drummer and then we killed a chicken but what actually happened was...hmmm... there was a night that we killed our drummer and then we HAD chicken. (Audience and DL laugh)
Marilyn Manson: And they get it mixed up and everything.
David Letterman: You see? You see how things get blown out of your proportion? But there was some kind of fire, you set fire to the guy, you wanted to fire the guy...(Manson interrupts)
Marilyn Manson: I like fire
David Letterman: yeah
Marilyn Manson: I've set fires, one time I set the woods by my house on fire and then one time.... do you remember that John Stewart, fellow?
David Letterman: John Stewart? Yeah, the comedian?
Marilyn Manson: I set his stage on fire
David Letterman: Oh yeah?
Marilyn Manson: I got kicked outta there, I (commit) lighting fire and stuff...
David Letterman: And hmmmm.....
Marilyn Manson: Marilyn Manson eyes the keyboards on stage) I like to break stuff though, I've been looking at Paul's keyboards, you know, this...(Audience laughs)
David Letterman: Paul? What do you think? (Marilyn walks to keyboard) Paul Shaffer: Just...hmm...anyone except this one, it's fine, I like it, come on. Come on.(DL laughing about him all the way)
David Letterman: (laughs) Now, do you...Oh! (Marilyn scares keyboard player that his keyboard's gonna be broken, kind of wants to break it but doesn't)
David Letterman: Great show right here Marilyn!!
David Letterman: You've been arrested a couple of times?
Marilyn Manson: Yeah, but the charges were all dropped, they...(DL interrupts)
David Letterman: On what charges, why did they arrest you?
Marilyn Manson: Well, they said I was naked on-stage, but I was just semi...(DL interrupts again)
David Letterman: That's usually a fairly cut and dry issue. You either were or you weren't naked on-stage.
Marilyn Manson: Hmm...I wasn't exactly naked
David Letterman: Well so, so then they can't arrest you
Marilyn Manson: I think the parts of my body I was showing...(DL interrupts again)
David Letterman: What were the circumstances for them believing you might be naked?
Marilyn Manson: 'cause I was kind of naked when they saw me.(Audience laughs)
David Letterman: How do you think you'd do in jail?
Marilyn Manson: I didn't do too good. Hmm... the guy, when I arrived at jail with these two very large cops, the man who checked me was wearing a First Baptist Church of Jacksonville baseball cap so I knew...and a jar of vaseline so I knew that I was in a lot of trouble. (Audience laughs)
David Letterman: Marilyn, now...
Marilyn Manson: That was to help me remove my make-up.
David Letterman: Are you making this up? Oh, yeah, to help you...(Laughs) Did he have a moisturizer?
Marilyn Manson: Yeah
David Letterman: You have to moisturizer, if you're going to wear that kind of makeup you have to moisturize, seriously, 'cause you'll start to wrinkle, you'll age prematurely (Both look at Paul Shaffer)
Paul Shaffer: Why look at me? (Audience laughs)
David Letterman: Marilyn... (Audience laughs and applauses)
David Letterman: Now, I recognize that this has probably been kind of uncomfortable and awkward for you because it was uncomfortable and awkward for me because we don't know one another and I'm thinking...well, this went pretty well, don't you think we had an ice breaker, kinda deal?
Marilyn Manson: Hmmm.... I'm not aroused. (laughter, applause)
David Letterman: But...
Marilyn Manson: But I had a good time
David Letterman: But, we're going to have to put this one in the W column, that's a win, I'll take that, mission accomplished there. But, anyway, what I'm trying to say is you'll come back now, won't you? You'll come back but we could talk more easily.
Marilyn Manson: Yeah, yeah, I'd like to sing with the band
David Letterman: You'd like to sing with the band? That would be great... (Audience cheers)
David Letterman: Marilyn Manson!! There's the book Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, we'll be right back....
(pause) David Letterman and Paul converses about how Marilyn Manson reminded them of Dick Clark interviewing Alice Cooper.