Just as the name 'Marilyn Manson' is a dichotomy of opposing elements, the term 'Eat Me, Drink Me' is itself a union of opposites in the context of Alice in Wonderland. 'Eat Me', the cake, made Alice grow while 'Drink Me', the bottle, made her shrink. In other words, the album title can dually act as an extension of the black/white, good/evil dichotomy that Manson continually portrays.
Eat Me, Drink Me can be seen, to philosophize on a deeper level, as the union of expansion and contraction; dichotomy of opposites, Marilyn and Manson. And the theme which is directly illustrated in the live performance.
Marilyn Manson's 'The Rape of the World' tour, since it first began in June 2007, has presented in live audio/visual form many of the themes Manson has spoken of and alluded to since Eat Me, Drink Me's inception. The core three, along with the usual occult and esoteric evocations, are Alice in Wonderland / Lewis Carroll as extension of the Phantasmagoria film script, Vampirism and Manson's hero, David Bowie. All three themes are referenced both in overt and in subtle overlapping manners.
Click thumbnails above for each influence on the Rape of The World tour.
Here comes the moon again.Marilyn Manson, If I Was Your Vampire
As a preamble it is prerequisite to note that Manson has quoted to the press as hiring the tour director for Bowie's infamously theatrical 1974 'Diamond Dogs' tour as his own for The Rape of the World. Since mid 2004 Manson has spoken of Bowie's seminal 'Diamond Dogs' album/era as the foremost significant influence on his musical and visual direction.
The allusions begin before the concert even starts. The music which plays whilst the crew is setting the stage hearkens past references to Manson's performance such as the original Patti Smith recording of 'Rock 'n' Roll Nigger' along with allusions to vampirism, albeit tongue-in-cheek, such as 'Cry Little Sister' by Gerard McMann, the title theme to the 1987 teen vampire hit The Lost Boys.
Since early 2007 Manson has mentioned several films as being inspiration to the new era. These include Bonnie & Clyde, Harold & Maude, Badlands and other fatalistic love-unto-death movies, along with the 1983 vampire film starring David Bowie, The Hunger. The film opens with a cameo appearance by the founders of goth-rock, Bauhaus, playing their timeless goth anthem 'Bela Legosi's Dead'. As the song progresses scenes interlude of vampiric love, murder and feeding in a nightclub setting. It is not a stereotypical vampire film in that the word 'vampire' is not spoken once throughout the entire film and the would-be vampires do not feed by fangs but with an artfully concealed knife inside of an ankh pendant, the Egyptian symbol of eternal life. After both Bowie and Catherine Deneuve lustfully feed from two victims the title and opening credits roll with the classical soundtrack of Schubert's Trio In E Flat, Op. 100, which the film also closes with.
The last song which plays to the audience before the lights go out is 'Bela Legosi's Dead' by Bauhaus, immediately followed by Schubert's Trio In E Flat, Op. 100 in a pitch black concert hall with all that is visible being two dripping black M's staining the stage curtain, the exact order as The Hunger begins. Shrieks and dissonant chords follow until the shroud drops with Manson howling the opening lines of "If I Was Your Vampire", making the circle of vampiric allusions complete.
|Left; an animated version of Manson's vampiric red eyes with heart-shaped pupils displayed during the Beautiful People performance and previously discovered within the album booklet. The fast travelings, pale skin and dilating pupils are similar to those of a vampire lying in wait for his prey. Right; projection of a backward winding clock used during 'If I Was Your Vampire' (credit : Javier Miranda).|
Left; American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, a book Manson has made no secret as being a fan of since 2000, and one of the possible ispiration for Manson's prominent butcher knife during the performance of 'If I Was Your Vampire'.
Right; still frame from the German industrial metal band Rammstein's 2006 Volkerbal tour showing Till performing on Mein Teil as the Master Bucher with a similar knife microphone. An unfortuitous resemblance, as the song is a litteral retelling of Armin Meiwes and Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes's cannibal romance which occured in Rotenburg, Germany, in 2001 ('Mein Teil' = 'my member', an allusion to Brandes penis which was chopped off and consumed by the two lovers), a love to death story which would later inspire Manson for the album's title and directions, and explains this 'borrowing'.
|Left, a still frame from the film Phantom of Paradise which, discussed years prior in The CELLULOID section of The NACHTKABARETT, has been a visual reference Manson has paid homage to since The Golden Age of Grotesque (Thanks to Vaughn Michael for posting this on the BABALON forums). Right, Manson performing in Korea, with a similar makeup and an updated version of the sword microphone.|
|Left & right, respectively, Marilyn Manson on the 'Rape of the World' tour and Lewis Carroll, who inspired much of the album's thematic nature, title, as well as the film project 'Phantasmagoria' which Manson has been developing since mid 2005. Though a subtle allusion, Manson can be seen donned in a Victorian styled guise which evokes the decor of the Victorian era which Carroll was a part of. The Victorian era has been an inspiration of Manson's since 2004's 'Against All Gods' tour which was very heavily influenced by the Victorian aesthetic in the direction Manson was heading in.|
|Left; Manson as the White Rabbit.
The symbol worn on (at least during a segment of) virtually every performance of the Rape of the World tour.
Right; Enigmatic John Tenniel illustration showing an enlarged Alice and a fleeing White Rabbit.
|Left; behind Tim Skold, an hypnotic spiral projected during the mOBSCENE performance, and intertwined with the Leg Swastika/Pentagram previously displayed in the mOBSCENE video and printed on the Lest We Forget cd & dvd. Right; Alice running through a surreal spiraled fog vortex, escaping Wonderland in Disney's version of the tale.|
To reiterate from the first words of this section, just as the name 'Marilyn Manson' is a dichotomy of opposing elements, the term 'Eat Me, Drink Me' is itself a union of opposites as one, the cake, made Alice grow while the other, the bottle, made her shrink. In other words, the album title can dually act as an extension of the black/white, good/evil dichotomy that Manson continually portrays. Eat Me, Drink Me can be seen, to philosophize on a deeper level, as the union of expansion and contraction
This theme can also be seen within the live performances as the theatrics of the concerts illustrate Manson growing and shrinking during the show :
|EAT ME: Alice, who grew after eating the the cake with said instructions to do so, and Manson who "grew" during the performance of The Love Song (later on the tour, during The Reflecting God).|
"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice [...]; "now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!" (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off.) "Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears?..."Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Chapter II : The Pool Of Tears
|Another interesting shot of Manson growing, with the mushroom platform completely hidden by fog, emphasizing the feeling of a surreal elevation, and Disney's interpretation of the scene.|
|DRINK ME: Alice with the bottle which shrunk her to the height of ten inches and a "shrunken" Manson performing 'Are You The Rabbit ?'|
"What a curious feeling!" said alice, "I must be shutting up like a telescope." And so it was indeed : she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now right the size for going throught this little door into that lovely garden.Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Chapter I : Down The Rabbit Hole
|Left; a 1988 version of McBeth (stage decor, costumes and make-up: Gottfried Helnwein). Among other oversized stage elements somehow reminiscent of Alice's shrinking and the Mad Tea Party, a very similar giant chair is used. The very subtle reference acts as a proof that Manson's collaboration with Helnwein, or at least his inspiration from the Austrian artist is still alive. Thanks to Norsefire of Celebritarian.co.uk for submitting this discovery.|
|Manson - 'Through the Looking Glass'. Another Alice allusion and a one-time tour theatric, this time in France during 'Sweet Dreams'.|
|Manson performing live on the Summer 2007 European leg of the 'Rape of the World Tour'. An animate version of his 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' can be seen writhing and swaying on the background projection during 'The Nobodies'. Visit the 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' section of The Nachtkabarett to read more about the Live Flowers and the underlying references they imply.|
|"OFF WITH HER HEAD." The signature line and its illustration from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which Manson enacts onstage to his "Alice", Evan Rachel Wood. As a tangential, or funny, coincidence to this, Manson was casted to play the role of the Red Queen (illustrated above) in the now defunct Alice in Wonderland based film, Neon Living Dreams. Thanks http://ts-sychophant.net/ for the live image.|
I was invited to a beheading today.Marilyn Manson, Eat Me, Drink Me
I thought I was a butterfly next to your flame.
I've built a robot replica of my girlfriend [Evan]. She brings me absinthe on stage - like any wonderful girl should. There's a very sentimental moment where I slice her head off and perform my sarcastic version of Hamlet with it.Marilyn Manson, November 25, 2007. SundayMail.co.uk
As 'Heart Shaped Glasses' is performed, another dual Bowie / Alice reference is enacted by Manson. A robotic Evan walks onstage pushing a cart with a lit birthday cake, or a bottle of Manson's own absinthe depending on the show. Manson rips off her head, which is wearing heart shaped glasses, and sings the rest of the fatalistic love ballad to it.
|Left ; the early predecessor of the robotic Evan, the "Dita-bot" replete with bottle of absinthe, during the 2003 'Grotesk Burlesk' tour. Right ; longtime visual collaborator with Marilyn Manson, Rudy Coby aka 'The Coolest Magician on Earth.' This screen capture is from Rudy's 1996 prime time network TV special on FOX showing one of his signature acts/assistants, Nikki Terminator ; a sexy female robot who is disembodied, dismantled and reassembled in a similar seductive vaudevillian manner which Manson adopted, among other contributions from Rudy, on the 'Grotesk Burlesk', 'Against All Gods' and 'Rape of the World' tours. Click here for Rudy's official website : http://www.rudycoby.net/|
Vigilant fans may remember, the precursor to this performance took place on the 2003 Grotesk Burlesk tour where a stocking and lingerie clad android waitress pushed a cart holding a bottle of absinthe across the stage while Manson sung 'Tourniquet'. Throughout the song Manson progressively tore off her limbs and ultimately beheading her, placing each appendage onto the tray in front of her dismembered torso.
Discussed earlier in regard to the albums connections to Lolita, Nabokov also wrote the novel Invitation To A Beheading, both which Manson has cited as being inspirational in the era and additionally having its title referenced in Eat Me, Drink Me's title track. Interestingly enough, Nabokov happens to have been the first translator of Carroll's 'Alice In Wonderland' into his native Russian (as well as Edgar Allan Poe's works), as revealed by Manson in his 2007 SPIN magazine cover feature, which could explain this similarity between some aspects of both books: the trial and condemnation to death by decapitation in a fictious country and society the protagonists fail to become part of.
|Still frames from The Phantom of Paradise, as noted above. The fictitious band, 'The Undead' (the name of which, of course, ties into the tour's vampiric imagery, where the guitarists have knives as guitar heads and the lead singer has a knife base microphone, summarily amputate, impale and then decapitate members of the audience (the body parts are ultimately amalgamated in a chamber to create an Frankenstein-esque rock star). The 1974 film is noted a handful of times within The NACHTKABARETT as containing a variety influential aspects on Manson.|
Along with the signature line of "Off with her Head!", as an epithet directed at Alice by the Red Queen, this performance is another allusion to Bowie and his infamous Diamond Dogs tour. During Bowie's performance of the song Cracked Actor, he sat in repose while singing to a skull. Though Bowie has performed the song in this manner in years since, the images contained herein are from the Diamond Dogs tour which was documented in the 1974 BBC documentary 'Cracked Actor' which infamously depicts not only the theatrical greatness of the tour but Bowie's decline into cocaine addiction.
|"Suck, baby, suck, give me your head"|
David Bowie performing the song 'Cracked Actor' on 1974's Diamond Dogs tour, bemusing and singing to a skull.
Photo by Bob Gruen.
Manson has made innumerable references since the band's inception to Bowie inspiration on his performance. The first overt reference to 'Cracked Actor' however was the chorus of the song 'Vodevil' on 2003's The Golden Age of Grotesque:
Crack, baby, crack, show me you're realDavid Bowie, 'Cracked Actor'
Kiss, baby, kissMarilyn Manson, 'Vodevil'
Bowie's inspiration for his own death's head soliloquy was conjured directly from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The play contains one of the most signature scenes in theatre history where Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, laments over his former friend's newly exhumed skull. Speaking directly to it, the mortality reflecting Hamlet's own future demise.
|Still shots from the fateful scene in Hamlet, the left being one of the most famous of all Hamlet depictions, Lawrence Olivier|
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now?Hamlet, Act V Scene I
|As another Shakespearean decapitation reference, Jack Skellington reenacting the famous scene with his own skull during his lament in Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas", in front of a full moon background (which is quite reminiscent of the first background projection of a vampiresque full moon presented on this article). Manson is obviously no stranger to that scene, with his 2006 cover of the song 'This is Halloween', another famous gothic anthem, and the subsequent one-night incarnation of the Pumpkin King during a Halloween live performance for 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno', just before the dawning of the new era...|
|"333 Half Evil" jacket worn during the Eat Me, Drink Me concerts. Right, an early parallel; an illustration from 1995 as part of the Marilyn Manson fanclub newsletter. The duality/complementarity implied in the pun is reminiscent of the Double Cross' meaning and of course Marilyn Manson's own duplicity.|
The Celebritarianism themed elements are also omnipresent within the Eat Me, Drink Me tour. Chris Vrenna's double synthesizer stand acts dually as the Celebritarian Double Cross symbol onstage. Along with a very subtle nod, the raining pills projection screen during 'The Dope Show' features a large white soma pill, a la the Mechanical Animals disc, with a Celebritarian double-cross as its "manufacturer's" imprint which reads 'Eat Me' on the reverse side.
|During the performance of The Dope Show a Mechanical Animals-esque soma pill falls within the shower of raining pharmaceuticals. A Celebritarian Double Cross on one side, 'EAT ME' imprinted on the reverse, giving a whole new dimension to the era title. The round shape also evokes the round host bread, or sacrificial body of Christ used during the Catholic Mass.|
|Mechanical Animals disc, 1998. A "Coma" Soma pill. For more see the COMA WHITE section of The NACHTKABARETT.|
|Still frame from the 1992 remake of Dracula depicting Vlad the Impaler's dramaticized crusade against the invading Turks, and exactly how he earned his title. Though not an exclusive story telling mechanism used in the film, given Manson's recent and numerous vampiric references, along with past allusions to 1992's Dracula, creates an apt parallel between Manson's above introduction to the film's depiction of "the forest of the impaled". Right : engraving representing an impaling from the 1596 book 'De Cruce' by Juste Lipse.|
See The CELLULOID section of The NACHTKABARETT
|Subliminal image flashing for a short second at the end of the Disposable Teens performance, an even more explicit reference to the Columbine massacre, as it's actually a negative of Manson's 1999 watercolor 'Crop Failure', representing the shooters Harris and Klebold. Left; captured from the Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel, Germany. Right; from a video of the Prague concert, both in June 2007.|
|Manson's original watercolor of Harris and Klebold which was also used to illustrate 'The Nobodies' 2004 single's backcover (as this particular song was actually about the kids). Right; image of a tabloid appearing within the Phantasmagoric introduction of Manson's website which surfaced one year prior, one of the purest examples of Celebritarianism - death packaged and sold to the masses, with the byproduct of martyr making from the remains of the deceased.|
|Tridimentional projection of tomb crosses in line during Manson's growing for The Love Song, in continuation with the 15 crosses projection discussed before, and also reminiscent of the image presented below which accompanied an audio preview of another Holy Wood track, The Death Song, on a hidden.
Photo credits : Javier Miranda and Platinum_Orgy.
|Manson performing 'You And Me And The Devil Make 3,' on the first leg of the 2007 European tour, in front of a projection screen depicting the infamous Hindenburg blimp disaster, the crown and joy of Third Reich achievement in flames over a New Jersey skyline.|
|The Hindenburg disaster of 1937 in Manchester Township, New Jersey, which also graced the cover of Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut album, another band famous for being alleged and notorious conspirators of the occult.|
In the wasteland on the way to the Red Queen...Marilyn Manson, Eat Me, Drink Me
it's no wonder our stage clothes have dreams to be famous.
|The iconic cover of Elvis Presley's first record. Right, Manson, evoking "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", while singing 'Rock is Dead' in a classic white styled Elvis jacket.|
One of Manson's first overt allusions to Elvis was circa the Mechanical Animals era. While performing The Dope Show on the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards the censors only allowed him to be filmed (at least predominantly) above the waist, finding his adrogynous and anamorphic guise, as on the cover of Mechanical Animals, too extreme for network television. Manson, days later on an MTV interview remarked that he smiled on the censorship as it made him "feel like Elvis". For those who don't (but should) know, while performing on the Ed Sullivan show on national TV in the 1950's Elvis was only allowed to be filmed from from the waist up, the powers-that-be believing that his gyrating rock 'n' roll hips inspired the teenage audience to engage in premarital sex. "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" has been an infrequent but perpetual iconic reference for Manson, personified him in photoshoots, being friends with Lisa Marie Presley and later appearing on the 2002 TV special 'Elvis Lives' as an interviewee for Elvis' reign over on rock music.
|Left; portrait of Elvis appearing among other dead stars in a 2001 Celebritarian projection during the Guns, God and Government tour.
Right; Manson's prior identification to Elvis in a 1998 portrait.
|Bowie on the 1974 Diamond Dogs tour (photo by Bob Gruen) and Manson in boxing attire during the ''FIGHT' Song' live performance, replete with microphone hanging from the ceiling and red carpet ropes surrounding him as a boxing ring.|
|Manson performing with an unusual expressive black make-up in Korea, 2008, to compare with the members of the fictious band The Undeads' facial motifs (right). An even more evident allusion to 'Phantom of the Paradise' for this late concert, after the knife microphone and the decapitation.|
Blow out the candles on all my frankensteins.Marilyn Manson, Putting Holes In Happiness
|Manson donning his shiny black vinyl gloves he also wears in the Putting Holes In Happiness video, and which illustrate perfectly the Frankenstein/Mad scientist inspirations evoked in the lyrics and era imagery, such as Dr. Gogol from Mad Love, an above all the glamorous Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (right).|
|Also during the performance of 'You And Me And The Devil Make 3,' Manson performing in from of giant lips (quite possibly his own) which mimic the lyrics he sings.|
|A double faceted connection ; The lips, portrayed in the style of the famous Rocky Horror Picture Show emblem, a film which also features an androgynous, make-up clad villain as its protagonist. The inspiration behind the Rocky Horror lips however may have been that of a Man Ray painting, another icon of Manson's (See The ART & THE GOLDEN AGE OF GROTESQUE section of The NACHTKABARETT), entitled 'Lovers'|
|Yet another Alice connection, the Cheshire Cat fading to smile, illustrated by Disney and Tenniel respectively.|
"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Chapter VI : Pig And Pepper
"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin, thought alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!"
|Two depictions of the Hell's Mouth, devouring the damned, an entity that is never mentionned in the Bible itself, but nevertheless flourished in Christian iconography through the ages. Left; from the psalter of Henry de Blois, c. 1150. Right; from The Hours of Catherine of Clèves c. 1440 (notice the similar composition with the central mouth and the towers/cauldrons, and the mouth and MM fangs on the picture below). On these two early depictions, the entity is actually composed of a sort of beastly trinity, which makes a further connection with the title 'You and Me and the Devil makes 3'.|
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty-two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.Revelation 13:5-7
|Left; revival of the Antichrist Svperstar era's Shock logo US flag under the form of a background projection while the reunited band is performing on 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem'. Right; Manson holding a flaming Bible in an updated version of his Antichrist Svperstar performance repeated during the whole Rape Of The World tour, while reciting the infamous incantation 'The time has come for bitter things', which shares a similar meaning with the phrase 'Everyone Will Suffer Now' used to dub this new 2008 US leg of the tour (actually lyrics from an other Antichrist Superstar song : 'Little Horn'). Another play on the word 'consumption', yet this time with a different meaning, as the bible is litterally consumed by fire.|
January 2008 sees the tour take an unexpected new turn, as former bassist Twiggy Ramirez reunites with the band he had left in 2002 after the 'Holy Wood' era (which also means Skold's departure from the band). To finish where they left off, the band changes its setlist with more songs from the three albums Manson and Twiggy co-wrote (including the song Little Horn, the lyrics of which have been used as the working title of this leg of the tour 'Everyone Will Suffer Now'), and revives elements of its past iconography such as the Shock US flag above, emphasizing the apocalyptical dimension already present in the show.
|Left; Twiggy Ramirez donning an Alchemist hat à la Alejandro Jodorowsky during the 2008 leg of the tour. Right; Twiggy wearing a repulsive makeup evoking rotting skin and consumption by pestilence. Yet another evocation of Plague by the band, which also fits perfecly with the mantra 'Everyone Will Suffer Now', which could perfectly apply to an epidemic of some sorts (photo credit : Bomb_shell).|
|Skold performing in Estonia. December 22, 2007. Closure ; his last performance with the band while dressed in the manner as his first public appearance as member of the band in 2002. See ART & THE GOLDEN AGE OF GROTESQUE on The NACHTKABARETT for more on the significance of the suit, as a reference to a performance art walk by Viennese artist Günter Brus.|