Interview:2010/08/15 The Apple Does Not Fall Far...(Interview with Hugh Warner)
|The Apple Does Not Fall Far...
Photo taken in Vietnam
|Interview with Hugh Warner
|August 15, 2010
If you want to talk to Hugh Warner, who claims it is he, not his son, who is the true "God of Fuck," then someone has to agree to be naked. In this case, it's Hugh and he's offering photographs to prove it... of Twiggy's penis that is. Before we even get the chance to get the ball rolling, his trademark humour shines through as we are greeted in a very serious tone in which he proceeds to ask the following: "Let me ask you a question which is very important, and you can both answer because it's directed at both of you. Have you two ever sucked a sweeter dick than mine?" After which the three of us all break into laughter. In an attempt to answer this infamous question, we have to concede that there is quite possibly no pecker sweeter than that of Hugh Warner. "Thank you, Jesus!" he replies in an evangelic preacher's tone. The next hour and a half reveals a man who is equally as intelligent and caring as he is comical. MansonWiki sits down to speak with Hugh Warner, who informs us of a condition of which he's suffering, N.P.L. (No Pussy Lately) and his role in the creation of the Antichrist, the Artist, and the aura that is his son, Marilyn Manson. Indeed we find that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
MANSONWIKI: Not much is known about you amongst the Manson fanbase. Could you give us a little bit of insight into your background? We know you were active in Vietnam and that Manson used your gun in several photos during the Holy Wood era.
HUGH: You know what is strange about that rifle? That is one of ten that were classified as a war trophy. I brought it back from Vietnam. You know, the picture of me holding it, he had never seen. He had done that photo shoot with him holding it in basically the same way with the "69" on his chest. Then I gave him the photo and then, you know, they did a whole tour around that rifle which was Guns, God and Government, then I gave it to him as a war trophy from Vietnam.
MW: Did he use a replica of that gun on stage, as the podium and mic stand?
HUGH: Yeah, yeah. It's a Chicom type 52, 7.62mm. It used to shoot at us when we used to fly over the countryside spraying Agent Orange.
MW: The plane that you used for Operation Ranch Hand is on display at Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio, right?
HUGH: Yes, it's called Patches because of all the holes. You see when we'd go down on target, we'd be down for three minutes and sprayed a thousand gallons at 200 feet off the ground. So they used to shoot at us quite often. I brought back a raincoat with 38 bullet holes in it until Barbara threw it away.
MW: How long were you active in Vietnam?
HUGH: I was over there for a year. I was a flight engineer and the crew chief. I was the one that would push the button to release the Agent Orange.
MW: The next thing we wanted to talk about with you is Manson growing up. As the father of the Antichrist, what traits do you feel that you have passed on to Manson?
HUGH: What have I passed on to him? The tenaciousness to never give up and to be what you want to be and screw everybody else.
MW: Can you tell us about Manson when he was younger in school? We've obviously read about his antics in his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. Were you often called in to discuss his behaviour and attitude?
HUGH: (laughs) He was a bad boy in the Christian school. You know, they weren't allowed to have candy or anything like that so he would buy candy and take it to school and make a lot of money off of it and sell it to the kids. He was ornery. He was always an entrepreneur, definitely.
MW: Our first introduction to music comes to us from our parents and what they listen to. For example, my father played a lot of Pink Floyd. What musical influences did Manson have as a child?
HUGH: Barbara loved Guns and Roses and Metallica and oh my god, Twisted Sister, and all of them. You know, we would listen to music all of the time. Even when he was in the womb, Barbara used to play Elvis Presley on her belly.
MW: It's interesting that you mention that. We were actually just talking about the Elvis Presley scarf you have on display with Manson's painting, Experience Is the Mistress of Fools, which as we all know is the cover of the Lest We Forget (The Best of) album. Is there a story behind that?
HUGH: Barbara is such a fan of Elvis Presley and of course, I had met Lisa Marie. In '03 or '04 we had went out to one of Brian's birthday parties and this is where Barbara met Lisa Marie and she had said she always wanted a scarf. Brian and her (Lisa Marie) said, well for Christmas maybe you might get one and that scarf from Lisa Marie Presley's father has been her pride and joy.
MW: While we're on the subject of paintings, has this always been an outlet for Manson, even as a child?
HUGH: Yeah, he was always doodling on something or writing poetry and doing drawings. You know, anything to keep his mind busy because he was an only child, and you know when he was young Barbara was a hypochondriac and she always thought he was sick or sick in his mind, but he really wasn't. It's one of those things that you know, parents do to their kids and they don't really realize until they're older.
MW: Out of all of Manson's paintings, you obviously have others on display that few people have really seen. For example, the one of Barbara is really amazing. Do you have a favorite?
HUGH: Yeah, the one he gave me for Father's Day.
MW: That's probably one of our favourites too. Of course you've toured with him since the early days, even as far back as the Spooky Kids. Do you have any stories or memorable experiences that you can share from being on the road?
HUGH: Oh... Those are bad.... I woke up one time and had a bunch of naked groupies on the bus and I could not partake of them.
MW: (laughs) So you were suffering N.P.L. even back then, obviously.
HUGH: (laughs) Yeah, well see everybody thinks that I get laid all the time when I go out on tour with him, but you can't cheat on your wife when your son's with you.
MW and HUGH: (laughs)
MW: Have you toured with him recently?
HUGH: In the early days I used to go out for a week and then come back. I'm just an observer, but it's fun. I enjoy seeing the fans and all that stuff. One of my most memorable experiences was once I flew into Cincinnati and it scared the hell out of me because we landed in Kentucky and I said, "Oh shit," we were living in Florida at the time. He was playing a gig at Bogart's and I showed up there, I was going to surprise him. He was basically just starting to headline at that time and all the roadies had this girl outside, you know stripped naked, signing her body and she was stoned and drunk and wanted to get backstage. I just felt so sorry for her. I went inside and he had a stripper for me and you know, I love boobies. Nothing wrong with mammary glands. You know, why can men go topless and women can't? There is a strange law in the state of New York, that women may go topless as long as they're not complained about.
MW: I've never understood that about censorship. Why they cover the nipple and not the rest of the boob. The nipple is the only common thing between a topless male and female, so why cover the nipple?
HUGH: I don't understand why they don't show penises?
MW: (laughs) Well they're not necessarily the most attractive thing.
HUGH: To some guys they are, but women enjoy them you know. I don't know, mine's nice. (laughs)
HUGH: I've just got to say that my favourite saying now is, instead of "Have you ever sucked a sweeter dick than mine?" I just tell people, "I should have masturbated 40 years ago."
MW: (laughs) Of course all the fanbase is excited and amped up for the new album era. We know that you can't really give away too much, but can tell us how you would describe it?
HUGH: It will make a vagina wet. What can you say after that? If the vagina's wet, all things are good. That's what he told me when I was listening to it. It's very hard, very heavy, very good. Everyone should be extremely excited and happy.
MW: We've seen a lot of the new artwork that's album inspired, it's very dark. Based on the sound you've described they seem to fit very well.
HUGH: It will be a bit like Journey.
MW: Wow, really?
HUGH: Nah, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding. You've gotta realize, I stroke people just like he does. He just really wants people to think.
MW: On one level you have the music. On another level his art provokes thought and encourages people to look deeper. Fundamentally, his music is a lesson of history, philosophy and religion fused into one. If we were ever to thank Manson for anything, it would be for broadening our horizons and encouraging us to think outside of the box, rather than what is typically taught growing up. I would like to think that's part of his goal.
HUGH: Exactly, he's always wanted to do that. He doesn't want people to be like him or imitate him. He wants them to be themselves. He just wants people to think and realize, you know you've been fucked all your life, why go on? It's scary. He's opened my mind up even on religion and I was a devout Catholic. I tease people, but truthfully, I was going to be a priest when I was 12 years old and then Francis Robb let me feel her boobies and it was all over. You know, he practically shit his pants when I walked in a venue while he was on stage and I had a priest shirt on. That was one of the merchandising things we had during that era, Antichrist Superstar. People actually thought that I was a priest. They still think I'm a priest or really religious and you know, I play with it. Just like everything else, people blow things out of proportion.
HUGH: Hell, I've died three times on MySpace, but it's alright. (laughs)
MW: Was his transfer from Christian school something you supported?
HUGH: Well, the reason why we took him to that particular school is because educationally they would let you progress as fast as you can learn and there was no holes barred. You know, if you wanted to work at an eighth grade level and you were a second grader, then go for it. I wanted him to have the best education he could possibly get so that he could do whatever he wanted to do. But then after awhile they started to instill in the children brainwashing and to a certain specific religion and belief and you know, it scared the shit out of him. The rapture was coming, the end of the world and that you'd go home and find your parents dead. That's when we took him out of school.
MW: He was obviously interested in writing and journalism. What did you say when he came home and said, "Dad, I want to be a rock star"?
HUGH: Oh I said, "You know, hey do what you want to do." I was a little bit strange growing up and as I was teaching him, but I didn't believe that parents should instill in their children what they want them to be. Let the children become what they want to be. You know, it's part of being your own self and being an individual rather than a follower. I've never been a follower, I've always gone against the grain. If I didn't like the people I was working for I'd quit. You know, in '87 I decided I didn't like snow anymore, so I just moved to Florida without a job and he and Barbara came down and we were down there for 10 or 12 years.
MW: Which is when he began journalism?
HUGH: Yeah, he was interested in journalism and he would write poetry. That's what he does now, he's still a journalist but he has a different audience and a venue to project it into the public's eye. If you really listen to a lot of his music, it's sung in the third part and it's like he's telling a story. You know, and basically he's doing what he's always been doing. Telling his own story his own way, and doing it his way rather than the "establishment's" way because he has the tenacity and the drive to do what he wants to do. That's probably the best thing I've instilled in him, to just never give up and to give it all you've got. He just really wants people to think for themselves and to question things.
MW: Exactly, I believe that is ultimately Manson's goal. On one level you have the music, on another level his art provokes thought and encourages people to look deeper. Fundamentally, his music is a lesson of history, philosophy and religion fused into one.
HUGH: Well, when you take into consideration, if someone writes something down the general population tends to believe it. Case in point, Christopher Columbus did not discover America, but then, they still celebrate a national holiday. He was instrumental in killing five Indian nations, but they don't print that. And again, it's to censor history and people who don't know the truth about history are misled and it's really scary.
MW: Just as Manson sings in "Irresponsible Hate Anthem," "History was written by the winner." Just from your response, it's easy to tell where Manson got his intuitive drive to question things and look for more than just what lies on the surface. I think that is something else that you have passed on to him.
HUGH: Oh yeah, definitely. You know, life's a lie and it depends on which lie you buy into and it's all a game. Just like the Catholic religion with the priests and the pedophiles, it's all a game. You know, Friday the 13th was just this past Friday, but do people really know where it came from? Do you two know where it came from?
MW: Oh, we were just reading about this the other day. I can't remember what it was though. Something about a massacre or something, I think.
HUGH: The King of France destroyed the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, and again religion is a cult, a joke. Religion was designed for one thing: To control the masses, to control the populace. They need hope for a better life because their lives suck as it is. Once you have the knowledge and intuition to gain more knowledge, you find that it's all really scary. Which is why you have an upheaval with religion now and the entire world. They're gonna find out that we're just an ant farm from outer space.