Best Of '99: Boston Promoter Says Hole Dropping Off Manson Tour

Publicist says band is still on for upcoming dates, but would not confirm Tuesday show in San Diego.

[Editor's note: Over the holiday season, SonicNet is looking back at 1999's top stories, chosen by our editors and writers. This story originally ran on Friday, March 12.]

Less than a day after Hole leader Courtney Love took to the airwaves to

say her band might be leaving its co-headlining tour with Marilyn Manson,

a Boston promoter announced Hole have already dropped off the double

bill.

In addition, Hole's publicist cited Love's threats to pull her band off

the outing and could not confirm the band's participation in the tour

beyond Sunday.

"The band Hole [have] pulled out of the co-headlining tour with Marilyn

Manson," read the press release from the Cambridge, Mass.-based Don Law concert promotions company. The release went on to say Manson would still headline an April 9 Worcester, Mass., Centrum date.

The release was sent to a number of alternative rock radio stations in

the Boston area, according to Pamela Fallon, public relations director

at Don Law, who said she did not know the source of the information.

WBCN (104.1-FM) afternoon DJ Bill Abbate said he read the notice over

the air during his Friday (March 12) show.

A spokesperson for Hole's management company, Q Prime, would not comment

on the Law release.

"... I am not confirming that," Hole spokesperson Gayle Fine said Friday

afternoon. "We have made no announcement to that effect and if people

are going to the [Saturday night] Anaheim [Calif.] show, they will see

Hole."

Just seven dates into their first joint tour, Hole and Marilyn Manson

seem to have reached a critical juncture that could compel them to go

their separate ways.

Hole leader Courtney Love said in a phone interview Thursday with cable

music channel MTV the tour has serious "production issues" that may

doom the joint outing. Though the bands played together at Sacramento,

Calif.'s Arco Arena on Thursday and will play the Pond in Anaheim on

Saturday, Love said there was a good chance Hole will quit the tour.

The double bill was initially dubbed the "Beautiful Monsters" tour by

Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur and later titled by Manson's namesake

leader (born Brian Warner) the "Rock is Dead" tour. Apparently mocking

the conflict between Manson and Hole, the goth-turned-glam singer was

credited with renaming the tour recently "Hole Is Dead" on the band's

official website.

"The bands will meet over the weekend to discuss the issues," Love said

in the MTV interview. She would not detail the production concerns that

are causing friction between the bands.

A representative for Manson could not be reached by press time.

As of Friday afternoon four of the tour's next seven dates were still

confirmed, according to venue representatives.

The outing, which kicked off in Spokane, Wash., on Feb. 28, has been

rife with the kind of back-and-forth sniping many expected between the

outspoken Love and Manson.

While Fine assured fans with tickets to the Anaheim date and Sunday's

show at Los Angeles' Forum that Hole would be on the bill those nights,

she was noncommittal about future tour stops. When questioned about the

next scheduled show, a March 16 date at San Diego's Sports Arena, Fine

said, "I don't know about that date, it goes back to what Courtney said

[in the MTV interview]."

If the tour were to continue without Hole, one tour industry expert said

Manson would be hard-pressed to fill the 10-18,000 seat venues into

which the 35-date outing is booked. "Historically, Manson has gotten

arena-level press but not sold out arenas," said Gary Bongiovanni,

editor-in-chief of tour industry trade magazine Pollstar.

The bands have been subtly — and not so subtly — ribbing each other

every chance they could get from the stage each night. Love and her band

were reported to have left the stage after 45 minutes during a Spokane

show in reaction to her apparent disappointment with the audience.

At the following stop March 2 at Vancouver, Canada's PNE Coliseum,

Manson reportedly made a lewd remark about the Hole leader that prompted

Love to run onstage and jump on the singer's back during his band's

performance.

In two separate interviews published Tuesday in the San Francisco

Examiner and Wednesday in the San Francisco Chronicle, Manson

referred to Love as "a bitch" and said before the tour, Hole was the "last

band in the world I would ever, ever want to tour with." When asked if any cows would be sacrificed when the bands performed at the Cow Palace Wednesday, Manson quipped, "Well ... there's always Courtney."

The onstage ribbing continued unabated at the Cow Palace show.

Between raw versions of such Hole staples as the set-opening

"Violet"

(RealAudio excerpt) and the band's next single,

"Awful"

(RealAudio excerpt), Love took swipes at Manson for what she suggested

was his band's over-the-top, flashy production. "Sorry if we don't have

any pyro," Love said. "We're sort of all about the music."

Near the end of Hole's set, Love polled the audibly Manson-partisan audience as to whether they wanted her band to continue. When the crowd responded encouragingly, Love issued a winking apology for her band's lack of stage accoutrements.

"I guess you're sort of waiting for the pyrotechnics show," Love said. "We don't know how to do fire and stuff. We're just a rock 'n' roll band, you little sh--s." Love concluded her onstage comments by implying that she'd "feel like a dork" if her band offered the sort of stage show that followed.

While Manson kept his barbs to a minimum while onstage, he did take an

opportunity, after an over-the-top version of his hit

"The Dope Show"

(RealAudio excerpt), to take a verbal swipe at Love, the mother of a

toddler: "Let me ask you all an honest question," Manson, dressed in a

shiny, silver two-piece outfit, said. "How many of you are here to see

Marilyn f---ing Manson?" After the crowd erupted in a howl, the lanky

singer, whose forehead was painted a deep blue, added, "I show pity for

the older people on this tour ... the graying mothers."

On the same website posting that renamed the tour "Hole Is Dead," a

comment attributed to Manson read: "Due to extreme problems being

caused by Hole, we were unable to attend the aftershows ... it appears

to be a war between us and Hole. I don't expect them to last very long."