Interview:Zepp Savini Interview by Adam De Ville

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Zepp Savini Interview by Adam De Ville
Interview with Zepp Savini
Date unknown(Unconfirmed)
Source Collide, pt. 1, pt. 2
Interviewer Marilyn Manson
Photography: Torbjørn Rødland
Stylist: Mel Ottenberg
Zepp backstage in Italy - 1997
What would it be like to tour with one of the biggest and most controversial rock acts ever during the highest points of their career? I spoke to Zepp Savini, a name you're probably not familiar with. That is, unless, you've seen the backstage footage from Marilyn Manson's Dead to the World or God is in the TV tours - in which Manson can be heard screeching "Where's Zepp at!?". As Zepp tells us, this is a phrase he heard daily during the seven years he spent as Manson's personal assistant.

Where are you from and how did you get into music?

I was born in 1964 in Reading, Pennsylvania. It's the place Monopoly got Reading Railroad from. At around age 10 I became interested in digging through my mother's record collection and soon found myself listening to Janis Joplin and The Chambers Brothers. By the time I was approaching my teens, I discovered The Beatles, and when I turned 13 I discovered KISS and it was all over.

I would paint my face up and wear the high heel shoes that a neighborhood girl gave me, and I'd walk down to the corner candy store dressed like Ace or Gene or Peter. I don't recall doing Paul's star, I think it was too plain for my taste. Anyway, my bedroom was plastered in KISS posters for many years. That was the '70's.

Where did the nickname Zepp come from?

Rolling Stone Magazine signed for Zepp in Japan - Manson had Japanese girls in his hotel room help him with the characters

Well, as the end of the '70's approached, I expanded into AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. When I was about 18, I began to hang out at a local mall where some kids would gather at a nearby pavilion to smoke pot. These were the days when boom boxes were common. I had an 8-track and a cassette version, and I would frequent this weed smoking den, always with music in hand - and it just so happened that at that particular time,

I owned more Led Zeppelin tapes than anything else. When I wasn't around, or hadn't shown up yet, the other kids would say "where's that Zepp dude?". That's how it started. My first tattoo was Jimmy Page's ZOSO rune and contrary to what it says in Marilyn Manson's autobiography, it's NOT regrettable. In fact, I currently have about 40 tattoos and I refuse to cover the ZOSO. It's extremely symbolic. Of course I still love all those bands, but when 80's metal hit, I dove in head first. Then came Death Metal, then came Grind. Always the heavy stuff, it was my first choice. That said, my music collection is very, very diverse. There isn't much that I do not listen to when the time is right. You gotta be broad or else you lock yourself into a single style and that doesn't allow for expansion or exploration.

How did you first meet Manson and start working with the band?

Manson and Zepp with an after show pass 1995 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1994 I was going through a deep Nine Inch Nails addiction when I read that Trent started his own label and signed a new band. Because of my intense respect for his genius, I figured any band that he would sign had to be superior - so I bought Portrait of an American Family and that CD stayed in my player for a year straight! Sometimes I would listen to it all day, over and over. Then I saw Marilyn Manson open for Nine Inch Nails and began to follow them around the northeast United States trying to catch as many shows as possible.

Those early shows were so intense. The level of violence and creepiness, coupled with the Satanic elements, really drew me in and the guys in the band sort of freaked me out. There was an element of the unknown that I feared and it created a curiosity that I found myself compelled to examine. On a very cold December night in Philadelphia, I decided to wait in the parking lot after a Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson show at The Spectrum to see if I could make contact with any band members as they left the venue in hopes of getting a snapshot. Determined as I was, I waited until finally at 3:30am, Marilyn Manson himself and Twiggy Ramirez came walking out to get in an old white van they travelled in. This was our first meeting. I got the snapshot I wanted along with a complimentary Dope Hat baseball cap. I was ecstatic. So I enlarged the photo from that night into an 8x10, and showed up at another show seeking a paint pen autograph on it. I got it, plus I got another picture, which I again enlarged and repeated the whole process over, each time grabbing another picture to get autographed next time around.

It was always really strange because obviously it's mostly always girls who got backstage, but for some reason the manager at the time, Frankie, was cool to me, and every time I was backstage and in the presence of the band members, I didn't really say or do much, so none of them minded or became annoyed by my presence.

Zepp at Elvis Presley's Graceland, Memphis Tennessee 1995

I'd kind of just chill out, sip on beers and act like it was no big deal although inside I was probably losing my mind. When the Nine Inch Nails / Marilyn Manson tour was over there was a break where Marilyn Manson was preparing to embark on the Smells Like Children Tour of 1995. During that period I used a cheap black and white video camera to record myself in my living room lip syncing to Get Your Gunn. I was dressed a bit like Manson and it really was nothing special except for the fact that for some unknown reason, I appeared semi-invisible in the video and you could actually see right through my body to objects that were behind me! It was like magic or something. At the end of the song I held up a card with my telephone number on it, then I mailed the tape into the Official Marilyn Manson Fan Club in Florida.

A few weeks later I woke up one morning and went to check my messages on the answering machine, and one of the messages was someone claiming to be Marilyn Manson. The caller went on to say that it was late and I was probably sleeping, but he hoped that when I woke up, that I would find my bed filled with little black boys trying to molest me or something to that effect. In all honesty I actually thought it was Manson himself and because of my phone number on the video - it wasn't hard to put 2 and 2 together. But he left no return number and I spent the next few weeks basically sitting by the phone day and night waiting for him to possibly call back. He did. I was there to answer it, and the rest is history.

Marilyn Manson, Twiggy Ramirez and Zepp - Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1995

When the tour started I went to a bunch of shows, each time getting access to the band before and after the shows. One of those times Manson wanted to know if I'd use his personal Hi8 Camcorder and film the show, because he was interested in reviewing the footage from an audience perspective. That one night turned into many nights, which turned into me traveling on their tour bus up and down the east coast. The whole thing was truly indescribable. But after about a month of poor hygiene and a terrible road food I came down with the flu and at a show about 75 miles from where I lived, I abandoned ship and let them finish the tour without me.

I never really knew what to make of the experience, but I did know that If they ever called me again, I'd do it all over in a heartbeat. Needless to say, they did call again, and the same thing happened - soon I was put on the payroll. It was an absolutely exhilarating feeling when I received my first paycheck with "Marilyn Manson Incorporated" stamped on it! That's the long story. The short version is, I was just a dedicated fan who was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, with a little known band that was about to explode on the scene.

Did you have an official title during your time with Marilyn Manson and what would a typical work day consist of for you?

Manson took eyeliner and said "I'll make your eyes look like you have an infection" circa 1997

I suppose my first title was videographer. When the Dead to the World Tour began in 1996 I was listed in the official itinerary book as Manson's Assistant and Wardrobe. At one point, I think maybe during Mechanical Animals, I was listed as Satan's Little Helper. I wore so many hats through the years that just plain Zepp was my true title. I mean, I was always the Dressing Room Coordinator, but was never listed as such. I was Manson's assistant, band assistant, dressing rooms, wardrobe, live-show-clothing-quick-changer and gag support, luggage porter, laundry boy, hot girl gatherer and so on. When I lived with Manson and Twiggy in Hollywood I was also the errand boy and dog sitter. Many, many times over the years I was referred to as The Hardest Working Man in Rock-n-Roll by people in the business who had seen and done a hell of a lot more than me, so I figured they were probably telling the truth.

I was very naive about the whole business so I just worked my ass off non-stop 24/7. It became extremely stressful as time went on. Manson always expected perfection and I was hell bent on delivering it. Some of the toughest experiences were the quick changes between songs during the live shows. The song ends, the lights go out, and you have about 90 seconds to get Manson out of one outfit and into another by the dim illumination of flashlights. The normal routine was for him to come off stage screaming and flailing about some sound or lighting issue, arms swinging around and legs kicking - and the whole time you're trying to undress and redress him for the next song. Try strapping stilts on someone who's super pissed off. Or buttoning up a shirt on someone who's throwing punches into the air. It ain't easy. That was my life for 7 years.

Still from the Dead to the World video - Zepp undresses a bloody and angry Marilyn Manson after a show in 1997

Off-stage Manson is usually calm and reserved, but during the shows he becomes possessed and turns into a violent raging lunatic. Anything goes and everyone was fair game. There were many times I feared for my life or at least serious injury from flying mic stands and whatnot. You had to really pay attention every single second. He pissed a lot of people off and there were times I'd give late night pep talks to the crew in order to keep morale up. I'd tell them not to take anything personal, that we were selling tickets in good numbers and if Manson had to become the Tasmanian Devil on stage in order present those songs in the fashion they were meant to be presented, then so be it. The way he acted on stage was indeed the best way to perform those songs. If someone got caught in the crossfire, it was par for the course.

Marilyn Manson calls for Zepp backstage on the Rock Is Dead tour in 1999.

Did you do any drugs in Marilyn Manson's infamous "White Room" at his home in Laurel Canyon?

No. All my drug days were long gone by that point. I smoked a lot of excellent Californian skunk bud while I lived there but that's it. Long before I met Manson I had some serious issues with old school meth. Not like the shit that's out there today, but addictive nonetheless. Of course, I did a lot of cocaine too when the speed wasn't around - so by the time I arrived at the Manson camp, I had learned some hard lessons in life and was determined not to repeat those mistakes. I remember one night in 1995, I did a line of coke with Manson after being clean for a few years and it made me feel horrible. I knew right then and there that I had to stay strong. And I did. It's a big misconception with many people that I must have done some hard partying with the boys, but in reality I was basically sober except for some smoking. I had to be. There was way too much to do on a daily basis. A habit would have fucked that all up.

You feature in the photo booth images in Dave Navarro's book 'Don't Try This At Home', do you have any memories from visiting his house?

Zepp in Dave Navarro's book 'Don't try this at home'

It's funny because that directly relates to the last question. Dave was doing a lot of heroin at that particular time, and every time I was over at his house he was shooting straight smack or speedballs. Usually he answered the door wielding a shotgun. He had this funny habit of only doing half the shot, and he'd let the needle hang there in his arm while still holding a complete conversation. Then after about 5 minutes or so he's do the rest. So finally after visiting him multiple times, I told him how I used to have a similar problem with needles. He just looked at me with disbelief and said apologetically that he didn't mean to do that shit in front of me because it was probably torture for me.

In reality, I was so rock solid in my conviction that it did not phase me at all. That's the power of Satanism at it's finest. Where AA fails you, the stubbornness that goes along with Satanism can throw up an impenetrable wall of confidence. Anyway, I know Dave eventually cleaned up his act, probably just by the Power of Dave alone, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to do naked beaver shots in his photo booth. Those didn't make the book.

How did the Jan Terri private show with you on the stage with her happen?

Zepp and Jan Terri in Chicago 1999

Ya know I'm not sure. Manson loved her act and had her perform backstage after shows quite a bit. It was probably just another night and Manson dared me to go up and get on stage with her. Many times when she would karaoke I would picture that ball that used to follow the words in old cartoons, so I thought it appropriate to get my testicles out and pretend like they were bouncing along to invisible words under my balls. She sang and I bounced the balls to the words. It was pretty funny.

You did some impromptu dancing on stage with Monster Magnet, how did that come about?

Monster Magnet's powertrip signed to Zepp from Dave Wyndorf

Oh Dave Wyndorf and the boys were so cool to tour with. Monster Magnet forever! Every night during Spacelord they'd bring out various girls to dance during the song and one night Dave had the bright idea of asking me if I'd join the girls for a dance. I don't know, I guess he was just mixing things up a bit. The thing that made it so crazy was that it was Easter Sunday in Philadelphia and my mother was in the audience along with a bunch of my friends. So I got out on stage and did a strip tease act, mimicking the moves of so many strippers I'd seen over the years. It was crazy. My mom later told me she didn't look. I'm sure Jesus did though.

You met so many famous people over the years, were there any particular musicians or celebrity stories that stick out?

Oh jesus. Where do I begin? As far as meeting people that I looked up to personally - Pantera on Ozzfest '97 (RIP Dime!!!), Slipknot and Black Sabbath on Ozzfest 2001. Also Britney Spears, Courtney Love, Melissa Auf der Maur, and Traci Lords come to mind. As far as stories that stick out? There was the time that I was doing my usual bit of packing shit up in the dressing room after a show and some of the guys from Slayer just happened to be there. Well, I was talking to someone and in mid sentence, out of nowhere, Twiggy came up and spit right into my mouth. For some reason I wasn't even phased by it and just kept saying whatever it was I was saying and completely ignored what just happened, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Kerry King say "I thought I'd seen it all up until just now!" Ya know, the way I see it, if I could stun Kerry King with a backstage antic he'd never seen before, I've done good.That very same night I was hand fed a shot of whiskey by Dimebag Darrell. That's a serious claim to fame. I was even on the wagon at that point in time but of course not at that particular minute.

There was such a big controversy and fallout with the Marilyn Manson/Hole tour in 1999, what was it like behind the scenes?

Zepp and Courtney Love backstage at The Big Day Out Festival 1999

I never really did understand that one. There was something going on that I wasn't aware of I guess. I was disappointed though. I think it's possible some off color comments were made about Kurt just to wind her up a little and she was basically like 'fuck you, I'm outta here'. When things started to really fall apart, I made it a point to tell Courtney's assistant that despite the atmosphere, I wasn't part of it and that I was a great admirer of Hole. In fact, at one point during that tour there was a certain roadie who was confident that he could talk Courtney into letting me eat her pussy. I didn't believe him, but he assured me he could eventually set it up. So I told him if he could set it up, and I got to lick her crotch for even 30 seconds, I'd pay him $1000. I was dead serious. It never happened. Fucking fraud.

A sign that was used quite a lot in 1999

Ya know, over the years I did a lot of stupid shit and I was fired and rehired several times by Manson's management. The beginning of the Hole tour was one of those times. I had gotten fired in Perth, Australia and was gone for quite some time when I received a phone call saying they needed me back because the shows weren't going so well and that they'd up my pay $300 a week more if I got on the next flight. So I did. The very next day in San Francisco, Courtney's dressing room caught fire from an electrical fan and I risked my life trying to wheel racks of her clothes out before they went up in flames. The SFFD had to treat me for smoke inhalation. I thought Jesus Christ, welcome back, here we go!

Were there any band members you got along with better than others?

That's hard to say. Probably Pogo. We were roommates in the early days before the band budget was big enough for separate hotel rooms. It was always Manson and Twiggy, Ginger and Daisy, and Pogo and me. Although Pogo was probably the most insane of the bunch, he was also very smart. If I were a contestant on the TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire I'd definitely have him as my phone-a-friend contact. Manson always called him a conversational terrorist because once you got him going on a particular subject, he'd tell you more about it than a fucking encyclopedia. He's crazy, yet down to Earth. Philosophical and foul mouthed. I think some people would describe me as such, so it was easy to relate to him.

Did you have a favorite Manson song that would be played live?

Early days? Get Your Gunn, Wrapped in Plastic and Misery Machine. Later Years? Angel with the Scabbed Wings and Astonishing Panorama of End Times.

You visited so many places around the world, did you have any that you looked forward to revisiting every time?

Zepp at the beach in Perth, Australia in 1999

Australia without a doubt, then Japan. I love Australia. I wish I had been born there. The weather is perfect, the food choices are outstanding, and nature abounds with many interesting plants and animals. The whole atmosphere is spectacular and the Aussies themselves are one of the finest groups of people there are. The same can be said about the Japanese. They have a level of honesty and etiquette in their country that is unparalleled. Their crime rates are extremely low - Americans could use a little influence in that area.

I'll never forget being in bustling downtown Tokyo and watching a small flatbed truck pull up to a high rise building. It was loaded with a hundred little packages like a Fed Ex or DHL company or something. The driver grabbed a box and disappeared into the office and left his entire cargo unsecured with literally hundreds of pedestrians strolling by while he made his delivery. I stood there and watched for about 10 minutes until he returned, and in that time not one single person gave those items on his truck a single glance. The thought of stealing anything didn't even enter anyone's mind. It was beautiful. A perfect model of how things should be. I was in awe. I could deal with living in Hawaii too. I do good on beaches. The Sun is my friend. The Sun is my God.

Which tour do you look back on with the best memories?

Marilyn manson, Twiggy and Zepp - photo booth at an unknown movie theatre 1995

Smells Like Children in 1995 absolutely. The shows were so fucking violent and raw. Manson was always bloody by the end of the set and shit was getting destroyed right and left. Nothing was sacred and no one was safe. The audiences in those days were spellbound and mesmerized by the spectacle of it all. It was very intense. Dead to the World in support of Antichrist Superstar in 1996 and 1997 was a continuation of that for the most part, but things began to change because the whole thing just blew wide open and everybody in the world began to want Marilyn Manson to come to their town. Which we did.

In Part II of our exclusive interview Zepp Savini, former personal assistant to Marilyn Manson, he shares some more unsavoury tales from his 7 years on the road with the band. Zepp has also given us full access to many more never before seen images from his personal archives, documenting the rise of one of the most notorious frontmen in rock 'n' roll history.
Marilyn Manson and Zepp backstage in Tokyo 1999

How did choosing the girls from the crowd work, did you get girls for the band members too or just Manson?

In the beginning it was simple. The goal was to ensure that the after show party room was filled with enough hot girls to choose from. So I would grab a stack of after show passes and mingle with the crowd an hour or so before show time. I sized up potential candidates based on good looks and attitude. Black hair and milk white skin was usually a plus and quiet and shy was another. Manson as well as myself became irritated by overly talkative females.

The most difficult part was giving a pass to a girl with her boyfriend by her side. He never got one of course. Manson would say "Go break up some marriages" meaning that the guys would become increasingly pissed off the longer the girls stayed backstage. I witnessed many a dude pacing back and forth outside the bus while his girl was getting drunk with the band. By 3:00 AM their relationship was over!

Zepp goofing around in Manson's outfit 1998

In the later years someone devised this system of putting the initials of the person handing out the passes on them in order to know who exactly was responsible for letting certain people backstage in case the were too ugly or annoying. There were a few crew members assigned to the task as well as myself, but I had such a bad attitude at that point in the game that I rarely handed out passes anymore because I was like, fuck that, I'm not fucking responsible for some stupid chick's antics or whatever the fuck happens after the show. If you don't like our picks, go find your own was my theory.

Most of the time however, the fans merely wanted to see Manson himself at the after show parties for a picture or autograph and he was the one that came to them the least. More times than not he was a no-show along with Twiggy and Pogo. Sometimes none of them would go to the room and there'd be 20 or 30 very tired and disappointed people. Most of the time I'd tell the fans that me giving them a pass was not a guarantee of anything and that it was quite possibly worthless.

Were you around for some of the more debauched and creative acts with the fans backstage, and what was the weirdest thing you saw on tour?

Zepp checking the podium backstage in 1998

Well ya know, I'm not so sure it was the fans who brought mayhem to the scene. When Manson's autobiography first came out and I read how he blamed myself and Tony Wiggins for helping to create the most depraved and decadent period of his life, I first thought "Hmm, that's cool, but how is that possible?" Then after many years went by and I had left that life, I realized maybe he was right.

For instance there was this time in Topeka, Kansas that we had a room full of groupies, strippers, The Slashers, as well as my future ex-girlfriend. We had music blasting and the booze was flowing and I had my video camera out. Next thing I know, one of the girls decided to show me her new clit ring and that set off a chain reaction. Soon there were about eight girls with their pants down showing their various styles of piercings. One of the girls, who I believe had some Native American Indian in her blood didn't have a clit ring but she sure had an awesome clit. She had been giving me a beer gargling blow job for some laughs and then I did a little crotch smoochin' on her. It was a big crowd pleaser. But then as always, for me, it wasn't enough. I had to take it one step further and I asked her if she was interested in pissing in my mouth. An oral golden shower of sorts I suppose. She loved the idea and so I laid down on the floor and she squatted over top of me. It was a beautiful view! After a few moments of concentration, her stream began to flow like a water cannon and my cup did runneth over. When she was done and had moved to the side, I spit the urine upward like a human geyser and it went all over everything. Manson quietly came over afterwards and handed me a bottle of Jack Daniels and said "Here, it'll help kill the germs." For the next couple of weeks the crew members called me "Orca."

You were at the filming for The Dope Show video in 1998, what was it like to be on set?

Zepp and Manson during a break on the filming of "The Dope Show" video, Los Angeles, California, 1998

Again, like the album production, it was boring. Incredibly boring. The video took two days at three locations. The first day of shooting lasted 19 hours and the second took 21 hours. There wasn't much for me to do. I had no real input on any of it so it was enormous amounts of sitting around and waiting. Once, I actually walked into a shot without realizing it and the director yelled "Cut"! I was extremely embarrassed to say the least. There was a positive side for me on the last day when we were next to the L.A. County Courthouse with the pink cops. I hooked up with a gorgeous girl who was an extra on the set. We flirted for a bit and then went down in a drainage ditch to have sex. Afterwards I threw the condom on the windshield of a Los Angeles police cruiser that was parked nearby.

As far as the prosthetic shoot for Mechanical Animals, it was even more tedious. It lasted three days and myself and Manson's bodyguard were in the studio for 60 hours straight, pun intended! When it was finally over, Manson hopped into his rental Volvo and backed up right into my fender, then sped off. I blew up and began to smash shit. He had this gigantic boom box that I raised up over my head and in one body slamming motion, shattered it against the concrete floor of the studio. The bodyguard, who was still on the scene grabbed me from behind a put a bear hug on me until I calmed down. 1998 was probably the beginning of me becoming a disgruntled employee for various reasons.

Some of those reasons were money related, but there were health issues I had that were going unchecked as well. I had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease a year prior, and I was living with a severe case of depression and sleep apnea that would never be diagnosed until a decade later. In retrospect, both of these ailments contributed immensely to my increasing displeasure with life itself.

Filming "The Dope Show" video, Los Angeles, California, 1998

Little was really documented about Zim Zum while he was in the band, how was he compared to the other members?

I think he was less of a rock star and more of a regular guy who got caught up in the lifestyle. I think there was a period during the recording of Mechanical Animals where he went AWOL. We were supposed to be making a record and no one could find him for several days. I mean, in his defense, he came along during a period when everything was like a high speed freight train. He grabbed a rung and held on for dear life. He was a very likable dude. No bad attitude and easy going I'd say. I saw him getting a BJ once and he has a big dick so wherever he's at now I'm sure he's doing okay.

Did you ever get to meet Anton LaVey?

Anton LaVey signature to Zepp

No. The closest I ever got to him was just outside of his home. It was January of 1997 and we were doing back to back shows at The Warfield in San Francisco. Afterwards when we were leaving town and heading for Arizona, we stopped the tour bus smack dab in front of Anton's house on California Street. It looked awesome! The whole thing was painted flat black. Manson ran inside to say goodbye and Traci Lords, who had been hanging around the Manson camp at the time, went with him. Everybody else just hung tight and after about 30 minutes he returned and we left. While he was inside though, his daughter Karla came out to say hello to us and that in itself was very cool.

Two days earlier Manson had joined the LaVey's for dinner at The Black House. He later told me that once inside he was escorted to a room where he was told Anton would greet him momentarily. Then without any doors opening or noise or anything, Anton just simply appeared out of thin air. Manson said there must have been a secret panel somewhere. Anyway, after dinner Manson did something that I never in a million years expected him to do. He asked Anton LaVey to sign an autograph to me. I was humbled at his gesture and felt like I had achieved the nearly impossible thanks to my friend and boss. It's a cherished signature. So no, I never met him, but I do have his autograph made out to Zepp. Rege Satanas! It's quite possible that I may hold the very last autograph he ever signed because sadly, nine months later he died.

What was Rose McGowan like back then? Did she travel on tour with the band too?

Rose McGowan and Zepp

I liked Rose. She was always cool towards me personally. Yeah she spent some time here and there on the road with us. Some people called her a bitch occasionally, but I never saw it in her. She had this habit of standing so close to me when she was talking to me that her breasts would touch me sometimes. Gotta love that, right? She was a little flirty with me sometimes it seemed but I never let my mind go in that direction. Strictly business was my mindset. I mean Christ, you don't even look at the boss's woman the wrong way, yet alone flirt or something. That's a death sentence in any world. I spent a lot of time dog sitting Rose's two adorable Boston Terriers, Bug and Fester. I developed a sweet relationship with them in the time I spent living at the Laurel Canyon home with Manson and Twiggy. Those dogs even got their picture in a Rolling Stone article once.

Was it true Manson’s Dad kicked her out of the house when they split up?

I don't know anything about that one. Never heard anything about it. Hugh's a playboy though. He probably kicked Manson out of the house then tried to get frisky with Rose. LOL.

How did the Columbine shooting effect the Guns, God and Government tour and the lead up to it?

Marilyn Manson and Zepp backstage in 2001 on Hawaiian shirt friday for the crew

Everyone in the band and crew was saddened by the tragedy, but we all knew it was not Marilyn Manson's fault. It conjured up thought of bands in the past like Judas Priest and Ozzy who got blamed for things, but the fact that certain groups of people had already been protesting the shows for quite some time before Columbine made it especially worrisome as far as our safety.

We had already been receiving the occasional bomb threat long before the shooting. We'd be at some venue setting up for a show and someone would call in a bomb threat. Then we'd have to evacuate the building while bomb sniffing dogs were brought in. They always turned out to be false. Merely attempts to try and thwart the concert. Fortunately for us, our schedule right after the school shootings consisted of five more dates in the United States and then we headed off to Europe for a couple of months. Manson said it best when Michael Moore asked what he would have said to those kids. Manson replied, "I wouldn't have said anything. I would have listened."

A visit to Columbine High School while on tour in 2001

How many shows do you think the Westboro Baptist Church turned up to while you were on tour and did you have any conversations with any of them over the years?

Lawrence, Kansas - The very first day of the 1998 Mechanical Animals Tour

Too many to count. In the Antichrist Superstar era, you were guaranteed to see a crowd of protesters at the American shows. I look back on it now and I feel a little disheartened by the interactions I had with the Christians. I would spew blasphemies and vulgarities solely to make them angry. It was unnecessary, pointless, and a waste of my time. I had very few meaningful conversations with any protesters because let's face it, you cannot reason with the mind of an unreasonable person.

Protesters in San Francisco - 1997

Those people are dead set in their ways, close minded and convinced their rhetoric is absolute. You cannot have any sort of intellectual conversations because they are not open to any idea other than what they've been taught. If you make any sense in front of them they'll tell you it's a trick from the devil and if you make a solid point they come back with faith. Faith is always the trump card. If you unveil an absurdity in their message, they hit you with faith. Don't give in to reason and intellect, just have faith. Plus, many of them were just plain crazy loons.

Manson and Twiggy before showtime - Dallas, Texas 1998

When's the last time you heard a retarded person say "there's no such thing as Jesus", and when's the last time you heard a Mensa member say "there's definitely a God and he's watching you right now!" The best that I could ever do was plant a seed by name dropping the great Richard Dawkins and especially the fantastically awesome Sam Harris, as well as Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. Otherwise known as the Four Horsemen. All I could hope for was that one of those names would take root with those people, because from that would grow a tree of grand knowledge, the ultimate savior.

A lot of Marilyn Manson fans will be interested to know you're now married to Alison, who is the ex-slasher featured in The Long Hard Road Out of Hell and the Dead To The World VHS, how did that happen?

I met Alison very early on. Her and Jeanette (RIP) were outside Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut (Connect-I-Cut) a few hours before a show, and they were all bloody from carving Marilyn (Jeanette) and Manson (my old lady) into their chests. The band hotel was about 3 blocks away, and as we were on the bus getting ready to roll to the venue, I decided to walk cause I was tired of waiting. When I saw them out front I ran back to the bus and said to Manson "Quick, quick give me your video camera! There's a couple of chicks up there and they're cutting their fucking tits up!!!" That's how we first met.

They did some serious traveling back them. They turned up at shows 3000 miles from their homes, basically following us around the entire United States and even coast to coast in Canada. Like it says in The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, there was something special about both of them. They were extremely non-invasive and private and you could tell they were not dumb girls by any means. I later found out Jeanette had an IQ of 150. (160 is considered the low end of Genius scale, up to 220)

The Slashers and Zepp - 1997. Left to right: Jeanette, Zepp, Alison

Anyway, we began to allow them into all the shows they wanted for free and also let them in a few minutes early so they could have the center position at the barricade each time. It's what Manson wanted. Then I began to let them get showers and crash in my hotels room. They were always so humble and resistant to special treatment. Anyway, I slept with Jeanette just a few times, but never Alison. I was such a slut and did an awful lot of disgusting things on the road that both were aware of so I always figured they probably were not very attracted to me sexually, so I never really pressed the issue.

We stayed close friends always and when I finally resigned from the Manson camp and sought a more normal lifestyle, I bumped into Jeanette occasionally throughout the years but lost contact with Alison. Then, in 2004 when I moved back to my hometown from a 5 year stint in Cleveland, Ohio, I went to a Marilyn Manson show in Reading at the Sovereign Center. There, I bumped into Alison, who was actually there to try and find me because she heard through the grapevine that I might be attending the show.

That started off daily phone conversations and before I knew it, she quit her 2 jobs, left her boyfriend who was in the middle of a bad crack habit, and moved some 50+ miles to be near me. We began dating, moved in together, and got married a few years later. It was at this point that she confided in me that she was into me the whole time throughout the years, but never made a move because she was too shy to do so. Ain't that somethin'?! Who Knew?

What life lessons did you take away from your time on the road?

Nietzsche was right. "The Earth has a skin, and that skin has diseases: and one of those diseases is called man."

Final question, do you have a favorite Led Zeppelin song?

Zepp at the band hotel in New Zealand, 1999

Heavy Zeppelin? In my Time of Dying, Dazed and Confused, and Achilles Last Stand. Lighter Zeppelin? Ten Years Gone, In the Light, and Tea For One. Now if you had asked, do I have a least favorite Led Zeppelin song, I could have kept the answer to just one song: D'yer Mak'er.

What am I listening to lately? Glad you asked! Ghost, Cobalt, Amy Winehouse, and Looking for an Answer. If you don't own the album Gin from Cobalt or Eterno Treblinka from Looking for an Answer, go get them!