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Thu, 02 Aug 2007 13:45:00

Pogo says Marilyn Manson stole his cash

Pogo is mad - and suing.

INSTEAD of paying his keyboard player, Marilyn Manson squandered his band’s earnings on “sick and disturbing purchases of Nazi memorabilia and taxidermy (including the skeleton of a young Chinese girl,)” a lawsuit being filed today in Los Angeles charges. Keyboard man Stephen “Pogo” Bier accuses the Goth rocker and his “musketeers” (his business manager, lawyer and the band’s manager) of assisting Manson “in filching millions of dollars the band made over the years.” According to an e-mail sent to us that was approved by Bier’s lawyer, Keith Fink, Manson promised Bier “partnership proceeds” from the band in 1993, but then spluged on “a multimillion-dollar home, had a lavish wedding in Ireland, gave an engagement ring to Dita von Teese” and collected Nazi artifacts and taxidermy. When Bier asked for the “partnership proceeds,” Manson “devised a campaign to drive Bier out of the band and rob him of his entitlement,” the e-mail states. “Litigation will begin immediately.” Manson’s manager didn’t return calls.

In case anyone doesn’t know, I used to work for Manson.  Here’s what I know for a fact is true:

1. Manson buys a massive amount of very expensive Nazi memorabilia.  He showed me a bunch of it, including a trunk full of complete SS and other military uniforms.  The rug in his, I guess it would be the “sitting room,” was a Nazi throw rug.  The “knick knacks” on the shelves surrounding his TV were all Nazi stuff.  His old eBay account - back when eBay still allowed this stuff to be sold - showed purchases of dishes, officer’s hats, even a door knob.  He’s obsessed with it, and I saw it personally.

2. He’s obsessed with taxidermy.  His - again I don’t know what to call it, the house has a weird layout - drawing room was filled with stuffed crap.

3. The house is a multi-million-dollar home in the Hollywood Hills.  It’s not outrageous or anything.  The houses get more expensive as you go up the hill, and Manson’s house is a stone’s throw from Kathy Griffin’s.  And that was right at the beginning of her “D List” show...what I’m saying is if Kathy can afford the neighborhood, it’s not insanely expensive. A few million at best.  I bet it wasn’t the biggest expense that year, even.  The Nazi stuff probably tops it.

4. Manson’s manager is a nickel-and-dime scumbag who would cheat his own mother out of a dollar.  Manson hardly knows anything about the way he treats people.  By now it must be a million times worse, as Manson has allowed this guy to run off every honest person and surrounds Manson with yes-men loyal to Managerman’s agenda.

5. Manson controls the publishing and rarely allows anyone in the band to even get credited.  When they do, Manson’s publishing company generally controls the work anyway.  Granted, it’s his band, but those guys all wrote material through the years.  I highly doubt they were all fairly compensated, and somehow they all end up telling the same story.

6. As for the campaign against Pogo, here’s what I know.  Pogo was devoted and loyal to Manson, even after Manson trashed and ran off everyone else. I know Manson’s capable of organizing a campaign against a friend.  I helped Manson try to ruin Jeordie White’s (Twiggy, former guitar player) professional reputation.  I helped him draft statements and posts for the website running Jeordie into the ground.  Not that Twiggy needed anyone’s help to look like an asshole...but Manson turned on him like he turns on everyone eventually.  I have no doubt that a campaign against Pogo was organized and carried out.  It seems to be, on a much larger scale, exactly what happened to me: I was promised that as webmaster for marilynmanson.com, I was going to get X number of dollars a month.  Managerfuck Tony Ciulla managed to get me to agree that half of it would be cash, and half would be memorabilia that I was authorized to sell on ebay for whatever I could get for it, and it would all balance out to X number of dollars.

When that memorabilia never materialized, I started asking for my money.  I kept Manson out of it at first, but after a couple of month of not getting more than the 50% in cash, I mentioned it to him.  He had no idea I was getting shafted, or so he said.  He promised to get one of his assistants to send me some stuff.  I got a box of stuff, some of which I sold.  He also started autographing empty absinthe bottles, which we sold on eBay.  Nowhere near the money I was promised, but it was a start.  Then that dried up.  I mentioned it again, and I was “allowed” to sell one of John5’s guitars on eBay and keep a portion of the money.  Another month goes by.  Nothing.  I had a few phone calls with Managerfuck, who actually threatened me and told me to never go to Manson with this shit again.  More time, no money.  I prepared a bill for all back pay owed.  It was a lousy four thousand dollars...nothing to them, but three months mortgage to me.  The moment I submitted that bill, everything changed.  Many of my duties were transferred to this guy that worked for Interscope’s web division; the very same guy I was hired to replace because he was, shall we say, less than great at his job.  Manson stopped calling the house six times a day.  I couldn’t get anyone at the office to return a call.  Then one day it was “We don’t think this is working out.”

Yeah, no shit.  They thought I was just a fan who would slave away for free or close to it.  I guess Tony and the officefolk didn’t realize I would expect to be treated by management as a professional with a right to get paid for services rendered.  Manson’s calling me eleventy times a day to talk about his latest post, an eBay purchase, a lyric...as a fan, those were side benefits to be sure, but the work I did on that website was me selling my services to Tony and the management.

I believe one of my last communications with Manson was to tell him that Tony was a dick.  I get the feeling that one day, Manson will be suing Tony the way Trent had to sue John Malm.  Tony was Malm’s protege after all.

Anyway, the point of all this is that, based on my personal experiences, everything Pogo is saying has the ring of truth to it.


Posted by JimK at 01:45 PM on August 02, 2007
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Comments:

mgnmfrc1#1  Posted by mgnmfrc1 United States on 08/02 at 04:59 PM -

including the skeleton of a young Chinese girl,

WTF????? SO much for trying to give him credit for creating a persona on stage ala Alice Cooper, but this guy is whacked. Too much Absinthe? Maybe those rumors about it are true?

Kathy is too funny! Oh wait, does that make me gay now? Naw, Buzz cleared that up already. Just for the record, I’d do her.

miguelito#2  Posted by miguelito United States on 08/02 at 05:58 PM -

Managerfuck Tony Ciulla managed to get me to agree that half of it would be cash, and half would be memorabilia that I was authorized to sell on ebay for whatever I could get for it, and it would all balance out to X number of dollars.

Dude… WTF were you thinking that let you fall for that?  Didn’t it scream “some thing isn’t right here?” when you heard it?  I could see things like that as for bonuses or something, but not salary. 

Or did you think maybe there was a chance that you might actually be able to sell the things for even more then cash would’ve been?

Rann Aridorn#3  Posted by Rann Aridorn United States on 08/02 at 07:32 PM -

Eh, Jim was probably thinking that Manson was big at the time and he might wind up making more off of the deal than straight cash, like you said. At least that’s the only good excuse I can think of.

But yeah, the Nazi memorabilia stuff is telling, almost as much as anything else. There’s being interested in a period of history, and there’s the dark side of obsession. At this point I really wouldn’t be surprised if he enjoys sitting back and picturing himself as the Fuhrer.

I imagine he’s not much longer for the public scene. He’s surviving on nothing more than his momentum this point, at the fact he’s such a recognizable name that kids can use to piss their parents off with; but why pay for his Yoko Ono style bullshit when they can kill two birds with one stone and buy a 50 Cent album, and not only piss off their parents but latch on to the hot “culture” too? He’ll turn into this wretched little has-been puttering around trying desperately to keep himself “edgy” and in the limelight, until he’s found naked and dead stretched out on his giant swastika throw rug, a hypodermic needle sticking out of the hole in his shriveled johnson.

JimK#4  Posted by JimK United States on 08/02 at 07:41 PM -

Or did you think maybe there was a chance that you might actually be able to sell the things for even more then cash would’ve been?

Exactly.  As Ran said, Manson was big then.  Ebay stuff was selling well, and I was convinced that with the right push, his Golden Age album could cross the goth/metal barrier and win him a bigger audience.  Unfortunately neither he, management or the record company knew what to do with it and the record did exactly what the last two did - play to the fanbase and nothing more.

I still think that had they sent me a regular shipment of autographed stuff, I could have made some real money with it.  But that’s the thing with that whole crew, band, management, all of ‘em - they never keep their bargains and they never think of anyone other than The Man.

#5  Posted by dakrat United States on 08/02 at 10:20 PM -

Given your experience with Manson.  Do you think his book “The Long Hard Road Out of Hell” was mostly factual, semi-factual, or total lies?

miguelito#6  Posted by miguelito United States on 08/02 at 10:25 PM -

Figured as much on why you took it.  Lesson learned I guess.  IME, anytime you have a deal, then someone wants to make a little change, and talks about how great it’s going to be for you.. run like hell!  :)

Or just say that you’d prefer to stick to the deal that was already agreed upon.

#7  Posted by dakrat United States on 08/02 at 10:45 PM -

This is so old, but I always get a kick out of it.

JimK#8  Posted by JimK United States on 08/02 at 11:43 PM -

dakrat - I’d say mostly factual but embellished, if that makes sense.  With occasional bouts of total fancy.

#9  Posted by working_man United States on 08/02 at 11:57 PM -

Never thought that much of Brian, actually, but I never really “got” NIN either.  So much bluster and carefully crafted anger....

artmonkey#10  Posted by artmonkey United States on 08/05 at 12:33 PM -

until he’s found naked and dead stretched out on his giant swastika throw rug, a hypodermic needle sticking out of the hole in his shriveled johnson.

Fucking OW, dude, seriously.

But you know, it’s really pretty funny. I think the Onion piece was so dead-on about Manson’s personality that it crossed the line from being their usually so-ridiculous-it’s-hilarious style to being, actually, somewhat plausible.
Manson has become a caricature of himself, I think. And that’s not easy to do, when you’re already kind of a cartoon to start with. 

Given the info here, (Nazi memorabilia, etc.) you can easily draw the conclusion that it’s not only more than a professional motivation to shock people, but a personal, existential need.

And seriously, how pathetic is it to be someone whose entire self-image and self-assigned reason for existing is to offend and piss off others?
I mean, that’s it? That is what you live for? Not to make any changes to society for the better, or even to enrich or improve yourself..? Just to annoy and aggravate everyone on earth?
Wow, man… that’s pretty fucking sad.

Hey… didn’t he say something a few years ago about offing himself when his records stopped selling well?

Ermm… I’m not the kind of guy who advocates suicide, or even physical harm to another or anything, but… ermmm… I do kid of have this thing about keeping your word.

So… didn’t that day come and go a while ago?

#11  Posted by Vic United States on 08/06 at 04:44 AM -

Manson’s bizarro obsession with Nazi iconography is obvious even in his get up in music videos:

Here’s a scene from the 70’s Nazisploitation movie The Night Porter:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=MG_-YsSncpM

Here’s Manson’s video for Fight Song
http://youtube.com/watch?v=rZ74G4lU84I

As you can see Manson is wearing the EXACT same outfit as the Nazi stripper chick in Night Porter in the Fight Song video, down to the color of the suspenders and arm gloves.

He’s got some issues.

Rann Aridorn#12  Posted by Rann Aridorn United States on 08/06 at 05:20 AM -

Issues? Fucker has a card catalog.


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