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Credit: Phil Donahue


Marilyn Manson defends the right to mosh in vintage clip from 'The Phil Donahue Show'


“I think moshing is a sign of what Christians would call the Apocalypse. It’s a sign of the times – I didn’t invent it.” — Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson’s ability to shock his way the mainstream isn’t a particularly new invention, just ask KISS, Alice Cooper and even Sex Pistols. But while those acts kept most of their shocks on stage, Manson has always intertwined his persona with his personality and taken his no-holds-barred approach to TV interviews. Below is one of the most memorable.

In 1995, The Phil Donahue Show was another piece of daytime TV chat show fodder that most of our brains could do without. Manson was on the show to debate the violence at the heart of a rock tradition; moshing. The metal legend clearly arrived in favour of the dance and was ready to fight his cause. Watch the clip below.

Opening up with some classic local news, the introduction ot The Phil Donahue Show should tell you everything you need about what’s to come. In a daytime TV audience, the chances are, you’re not going to find a lot of punk rock or heavy metal fans. It’s a fair assessment then that when filing in 1995 the majority of the audience were completely unaware of what moshing is.

25 years later and the conversation of moshing is a cringey connection between the generations. But in this clip, the group on the stage have the hard task of explaining what moshing is. You move around in a circle smashing into the nearest person making sure to pick them up if your flying elbow has crashed them to the ground. It’s an odd concept.

Those on the stage do well to explain the joys of such a thing and are clearly emboldened by the presence of Marilyn Manson on the stage. Manson was also joined by Twiggy Ramirez and Madonna Wayne Gacy, his equally well-appointed bandmates.

Manson appears on the show in a clearly confrontational mood. Though never raising his voice or being drawn into sensationalist language, the singer is deadpan when he speaks on the subject. He’s straight-faced even while speaking in front of the parents of a deceased child who had died while stage diving. It has a habit of causing a vitriolic reaction from the audience.

One moment we’re sure Manson would look back on with a degree of regret, after being reminded of his previous comments that he believed anyone who committed suicide because of a song “deserved” to die, he smiles and replies “exactly.” After hearing an audible gasp from the audience, the show continues on its horrendously 90s trail.

Watch the moment Marilyn Manson defended the right to mosh on The Phil Donahue Show back in 1995.