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Smells Like Children era - 1995 to early 1996

Marilyn Manson
"This is your world in which we grow"
Twiggy, Ginger, Marilyn Manson, Pogo, Daisy
Twiggy, Ginger, Marilyn Manson, Pogo, Daisy.

Smells Like Children EP - October 1995

USA touring 12 September 1995 to February 1996.
Diary Of A Dopefiend tour, nicknamed 'The Snow Tour'


The lettering for the SLC EP cover is influenced by the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The name 'Smells Like Children' is itself inspired by the Child Snatcher character from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The photo of Manson on the album cover, wearing a crumpled tophat, echoes that character's sinister appearance.

MM: "I'm really into children's movies from the 60's and 70's, Willy Wonka, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A lot of my personality comes from the villains of children's movies."

Of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, he says:

I used to so look forward to watching it as a kid when it came around on Thanks Giving that I'd even go to the store and buy candy for the event. It's the definitive Marilyn Manson movie.

'Smells Like Children' is recorded at Trent Reznor's New Orleans studio. Originally meant to be the Dope Hat single, it just growed.

Samples from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang mix with themes of use and abuse. The tackiness and decay the band found in New Orleans affected the mood of the EP. Three cover songs help to illustrate that mood: 'Sweet Dreams' (The Eurythmics), 'I Put A Spell on You' (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) and 'Rock 'n' Roll Nigger' (Patti Smith).

Record company management - fearing legal trouble - are unhappy at the unauthorized 'Willy Wonka' samples and the recordings of fans 'confessions' used for 'Abuse Part I - There is Pain Involved/Abuse Part II - Confession', by Tony Wiggins. As a result, early promotional copies of the album are quickly recalled.

A 'tidied up' version of the EP/album is finally released on 24 October, during the band's tour with (Christian!) support band Clutch.

The 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)' cover song gets valuable airplay on radio and MTV and many mentions in the media. Fans who discover the band at this time are later to be known as the 'sweet dreamers'. In the UK, the song is not released as a single until 27 July 1996.

A fan's review of 20 October 1995 describes the new stage setting. The venue is Bogart's, Cincinnati, Ohio:

A large Ouija-board backdrop has 'Marilyn Manson' at the top where real boards have 'Hello' written. 'Smells Like Children' is in smaller writing at the bottom.

Hanging overhead are some Howdy-Doody style ventriloquists' dummies (or is it Knucklehead Smif?) and a rubber chicken. And there's a boy mannequin tied up with rope. See some of this in a SLC live photo.

Straight quote: A roadie comes out and sets the Rev's mike up to about eight feet high, meaning he's going to come out on those stilts we've heard about! Amongst the array of water bottles is a plain brown beer bottle with no label, which is probably one of those prop bottles we've heard he is substituting for real glass on this tour, thank goodness. Madonna's keyboard says 'Sieg-Farrakhan!'

The Smells Like Children tour ended in Stuart, Florida on 4 February 1996 and took place during very harsh winter weather. Officially called the Diary Of A Dopefiend tour, it was nicknamed 'The Snow Tour'.

In Manson's biography, he even describes one night, in January 1996, when they were snowed in at a hotel in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 'Sesame Street Live' touring company and the Orlando Magic basketball team were trapped there too.

Jon Conak, of the Orlando Magic team, told the New York Times: 'Remember the bar scene from Star Wars with all the animals and aliens? That's what that night looked like. A bunch of basketball players, Sesame Street and some guy with green hair dressed like the Grim Reaper chain-smoking.' That's Daisy he's describing.

Smells Like Children themes and influences

Said it before and I'll say it again: Main influences and themes are the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Child Snatcher villain from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, New Orleans and it's ambience, 'samples of real life' placed on the SLC EP itself, and the themes of abuse and drugs.

Smells Like Children Timeline

1995 - from September
September 1995 - Headlining tour from 12 September to 17 (18?) December 1995, with Clutch in support.

24 October 1995 - Smells Like Children EP is released.

December 1995 - Headlining in Cleveland on 28 and 29 December, with Johnny Skilsaw as support. Headlining on East Coast and Midwest USA from 31 December to 4 February 1996, with Lunachicks in support.

31 December 1995 - New Year's Eve at The Academy in New York City. During sound check, Daisy and Manson have an argument. At the end of the show itself, Manson knocks Daisy's guitar around and pushes him offstage.

Daisy was later to say: 'Sometimes it was for show, but this was personal. I remember getting off the stage and I was livid. It was the closest I ever came to hitting him.'

Many more dates (24?) are still to be played, from 2nd January in New Jersey, to 4th February in Florida. Support acts: Fuzland Pilgrimz, Lunachicks, Hanzel Und Gretyl (and?).

"Tell me something beautiful, tell me something free / Tell me something beautiful, I wish that I could be."

Antichrist Superstar era, 1996 to 1997»