Marilyn Manson ‘Stole’ Bandmate From Big Name?


Marilyn Manson apparently got a major guitarist from a big name. John 5 said on The Sessions Panel, “The Marilyn Manson thing was very strange, I was such a fan during the [John’s early band] K.D. Lang days. I would listen to it backstage – ‘Sweet Dreams’ and everything. I was really into it, I listened to it, and was always studying it. I was really intrigued.

“We were doing a festival and I was playing with Rob Halford at the time, and Marilyn Manson was on the bill. I was like, ‘OK, cool, this is really wild, I get to see Manson, I get to see him perform – I’m so excited!’

“And this is the first time I’m seeing him, and they cancel because the guitar player or the drummer got mono. So I never got to see him. But before that, I was playing on the Conan O’Brien Show in New York, and I remember I was playing, and I ran out of the studio to see Marilyn Manson, he was playing down the street.

“I buy a ticket from a scalper, and I’m like, ‘I still have time, I have an hour left of the show.’ I buy a ticket and the show’s over because everything got trashed or something that happened. So I keep missing Manson, I never got to see him on stage and I was really bummed out about this because I really loved the band.

“So when I was flying home from Europe when they canceled, my phone was ringing, and I ran in and grabbed my phone, this before cell phones, and they were like, ‘This is [manager] Tony Ciulla. We are having problems with our guitar player, and we got your number from Trent Reznor.’

“Rob Halford’s album was on Nothing Records that Trent Reznor put out. ‘And we wanted to see if you wanted to have lunch with Manson to talk about being his guitar player.’ I was like, ‘Absolutely!’

“I just got off the plane, I think I still have my ear things in, I smelled like Delta Airlines or something… So I go to the Gaucho Grill on Ventura Boulevard [in Los Angeles, CA], and I remember seeing this really nice white Mercedes, and the David Lee Roth album was in the back seat, and Rob Halford CD was in the back seat.

“I was like, ‘It’s got to be his car.’ I go up there and he’s wearing big red sunglasses, and a yellow lover boys shirt, and I was like, ‘Hey, nice to meet you.’ And he goes, ‘I want you to be in the band, your name’s going to be John 5.’

“And I was like, ‘Great, sure!’ And I didn’t audition, he just was listening to the music and he knew I could play and stuff. I remember going home to my apartment, my bags were, I suppose, still packed, and I was practicing my autograph ‘John 5.’

“I remember doing that and I still have that piece of paper.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.