And you know, okay, point made, but let's face it: no-one--least of all The Beastie Boys--is trying to make Paul's Boutique these days. If someone was, I might be listening to that somebody's rap, but there isn't, and I'm not.
So my immediate response to the little anti-copyright treatise on the big anti-copyright website is, call me when it affects an artist I give a shit about . . . .
But guess what: even though my hip don't hop, and even though I haven't been a Marilyn Manson fan in twenty years, I was reminded today that, even for cool rock dudes with their heads in the sand, it's not too terribly hard to come up with an example of a song that had been pretty much disemboweled by copyright restrictions.
Once it bumps you on the iPod, I mean.
I've always said that Glenn Danzig was cooler back when his songs referenced pulp novels and comic books, and I can speak from experience when I say the same thing about Marilyn Manson.
Like Danzig, the erstwhile Brian Warner had a fascination with junk-culture ephemera that receded once he decided that some more gullible fans might buy into the Antichrist bit.
Though I wasn't at the show Tim told me about, where Warner, I mean Manson, took a stagedive into a crowd that made a collective and concerted effort NOT to catch him, I did attend at least two and maybe more Manson shows in South Florida, back before he jettisoned his Kids, back before he signed on the dotted line for Trent Reznor.
They were good shows as I remember, Marilyn and his Kids circa 1990 the hardest working band on the South Florida dive bar circuit, no Antichrist schtick developed yet, but plenty of dummies and mannequins on stage, Manson rocking his Perry Farrell look but the Spooky Kids usually in drag, always high energy, always a kaleidoscopic light show projected onto the venue's walls, full of Rocky Horror-style high camp, images of Lost in Space lunchboxes, of the Cat in the Hat, and of Scooby Doo.
Bringing us back to "Misery Machine," which in the version I present for you here, features not only a four-second clip of Those Meddling Kids to introduce things, but also a splice of James Brown his ownself, telling us in a bit stolen from "King Heroin" how riding in the Machine would ride you to hell . . . .
It seems a little hard to believe now that Trent's people couldn't clear the James Brown stuff, considering rappers had been ripping the Godfather off for a good fifteen years when this stuff was first looked at. But they couldn't get it cleared, and they couldn't clear the Mystery, Inc. stuff with Hanna-Barbera, either, though that's probably less of a surprise.
So the version that ended up getting released on the Manson debut album was missing its best parts. I guess the "blood is pavement" line still works, and so does the "I am fueled by fuel and fury," they're mighty powerful in fact, in either version, especially at loud volume. But all of the cool subtext is fucking gone in the version of the song that most people know. And that's all kinds of fucked up.
Manson/Warner could have used a bassplayer who belongs to Polydor, and Polydor would have gotten it done on their courtesy. But he couldn't use a five-second sample that live DJ's have been using since time immemorial.
Which I guess is what they were talking about in the Boing Boing article; I just had to find the right way of looking at it to appreciate it. Marilyn Manson in my opinion kind of took an unfortunate path with his career after he broke out of South Florida. He got rid of the cool stuff and kept the stupid. That's his fault.
But the fact that his latter-day fans haven't heard the ace version of his best song, that, my sampling and MCing and DJing friends, that appears to be the fault of some silly and obsolete industry dogma.
Marilyn Manson And The Spooky Kids - Misery Machine.mp3
160 kbps mp3, up for six weeks (right click and save as target)
File under: Spooky Snacks