I'll never forget that first view when he shambled onstage looking like some sort of disheveled mental patient & they started into "The Family Trip". Back then their shows were amazing, sonic ritual in its purest form, you could feel the crackle of magick in the air and you never quite knew what would happen. But it started back on Valentine's Day and I was mesmerized and spent the next day (in those days long before easily found tour dates on the web) calling their management to try and find where else they were playing....
I saw a LOT of shows in those early days, I road tripped all over the east coast many times over and met a lot of cool people some of whom I am still friends with (like Kristen!). I'll never regret those shows... those days were magick, before Manson lost his edge and resorted to familiar choreography. You never knew what would happen... one night he set the drums on fire (and scared the shit out of Sarah Lee Lucas who promptly quit), many times he cut himself up, other times he threw a tantrum & walked offstage. But it was NEVER boring. It was intense and mesmerizing - he may not be a great singer or musician, but at his height he was a helluva showman.
Oddly enough one of my other most memorable Manson memories was also on Valentine's day two years later in 1997. I was an active poster on the "spookhouse' mailing list (still going strong after over 10 years!) and when AntiChrist Superstar came out we noticed that the liner notes said "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" was recorded live on Valentine's Day 1997 (even tho the album came out in 1996...) So we all decided that everybody on the mailing list would have to make it to that show because of course you could hear us in the background (even tho it hadn'thappened yet).
When a show was announced for Dayton, Ohio on that date about 50 members of the mailing list traveled there, some coming from as far away as Alberta, Canada. We took over an entire Motel 6 down the road and Jay (DarkeOne) made up commemorate T shirts with a "Motel 666" design. We took up the whole front row of that show at Hara Arena and it was amazing. During "Tourniquet" Manson brought out the dwarf from the video (who sadly passed on not too long afterwards) and he threw roses into the audience - I still have some of the rose petals and his guitar pick from that night in my wallet.
Hard not to reminisce on an easily remembered date. Kinda funny that these are the memories I most associate with Valentine's Day.
Photo by EVB - taken at the 9:30 Club, February 14, 1995