Seventeen years ago Marilyn Manson took his circus freaks, septic pale-blue contacts and casual cross-dressed satanism to Ozzfest. America was a country only a year into the cultural about-face of the Bush administration, and protests were rampant.
This is the subject of a cool archival video recently uploaded to the Ozzfest YouTube channel. Manson was at the height of his powers during the tour's 2001 stop in Denver — a state that was then reeling in the wake of the Columbine massacre — so naturally agents of moral panic took to the streets and screamed false equivalencies as loudly as they possibly could.
A few highlights:
*One protestor saying: "Do we believe that all who hear Manson tomorrow night will commit violent acts? No. But does everyone who sees a Lexus ad buy a Lexus? No, but a few do!"
*A really prescient Michael Moore cameo
*A man in a clown mask making his extremely reasonable case that Columbine ought to be blamed on bullying and intolerance, rather than heavy metal
All in all, it's a fascinating watch that will teleport you back to a time when Marilyn Manson was a cultural lighting rod and a truly controversial figure. Watch above.