2001. It came out of the blue this one. I got a call telling me that Marilyn was going to be in town (NYC) doing a couple of shows and needed a studio and engineer to complete a remix for the From Hell movie soundtrack. Of course I said 'sure!'.
Manson sent his drummer, Ginger Fish, along to bring in the required gear and setup for the mix ahead of his arrival. Ginger seemed to live in fear of his boss. He was paranoid that he wouldn't have all the hard drives of possible sounds/samples that Marilyn might want to use. He had nearly every sound from at least a couple of entire previous Manson albums. Literally thousands of samples/sounds. But Ginger feared that he might have left one song's worth of files in a flight case that was currently winging it's way to Japan for the next leg of Manson's tour. I was thinking 'what are the chances that Manson is going to want a sound from that one particular song?!’. Nevertheless, Ginger continued to get more and more anxious about Marilyn's arrival at the studio.
One the first day, Marilyn didn't show up at all.....we waited until about 2am and finally we were told that Manson was hanging out with Elton John and wouldn't be coming. The second day we waited for hours and hours until late at night Marilyn showed up - wearing civilian clothes - no backside showing and no makeup either. By the time he arrived, I'd heard enough horror stories from Ginger that made me think that this was not going to be a easy session - but I have to say that Manson was polite and respectful to me throughout - it was Ginger who seemed to get the brunt of it all.
Unbelievably, one of the first things that Manson asked Ginger for was precisely the one bloody hard drive that Ginger didn't have - the one that was floating it’s way to Japan. And I swear I heard a fearful whimper from Ginger as Marilyn asked him for it. It was freakily like Manson had been listening in to everything that Ginger had been saying.
Marilyn came with a small entourage which included Dita Von Teese the famous burlesque dancer/model/actress. She didn’t say much - but she sat on my sofa looking every bit the part of Marilyn Manson’s girlfriend. Also in the studio was Manson’s guitarist, John Lowery (aka John 5). John looked like a total goth rock metal guitar player with his full sleeve tats etc so I was a bit surprised when he picked up my vintage Gibson acoustic and started playing some brilliant bluegrass on it. When he saw me looking a bit surprised he said ‘I was playing with KD Lang before this’. I wouldn’t have guessed that was coming. KD Lang to Marilyn Manson - that must have been quite a culture shock! John also played with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper and David Lee Roth! At one point there was what looked like an LA groupie hanging around in the studio and Marilyn told one of his crew to get rid of ‘it’. He said ‘it shouldn’t be here.’
Ginger told me that for the last few weeks or more Manson’s manager had been pushing Marilyn to get this remix done because the film producers of From Hell were getting anxious for it. So Manson, night after night got Ginger to setup their touring studio in his hotel room after every show they played and said he’d come and get on with the mix - but he never did. So Ginger had taken it upon himself to work on the remix himself and had sequenced up quite a few tracks of stuff that sounded pretty good. Well, when Manson asked me to push up each fader so he could listen to the parts Ginger had created, he’d listen to a few seconds then, without any debate, say ‘get rid of that’, ‘get rid of that too’ etc - until, within a short few minutes, all of Ginger’s work was trashed.
On the positive side though, Marilyn knew exactly what he did want and the rest of the session was efficient and productive. We recorded some new heavy guitars with John 5 and within a couple of hours, after sitting around waiting for Manson for over a day and a half, the mix was put to bed. BTW - Marilyn’s vocal takes were pretty amazing.
PS I don’t think I got credited for this mix, maybe my studio did though - Beat360.
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