Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson released a cover of convicted murderer Charles Manson's song "Sick City" on Monday as a download on his Web site (www.marilynmanson.net).
The two-minute acoustic song was labeled "an impromptu Valentine's Day gift to fans" by Manson, who said on the site that the track will not be included on his band's upcoming album, In the Shadow of the Valley of Death, or in his imminent feature film debut, "Holywood." His publicist, Tresa Redburn, confirmed the singer wrote the information on the site.
Chris Nicholas, who directed and produced the video "Demystifying the Devil: An Unauthorized Biography on Marilyn Manson," said the release of the song is likely Manson's way of keeping his name in the news. "It's very typical, just to give people something to talk about while he is recording the album," he said.
"Sick City" was put up for about 24 hours on Valentine's Day, Redburn said, and is circulating on the band's many fansites. The song is a slow, dark, acoustic number that begins with the line "Sick City, yeah, restless people/ Burn their houses down/ What can I do?/ I'm just a person."
Evan Moore, the 19-year-old webmaster of Seems Like Salvation, a fansite devoted to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, said that even though the shock rocker didn't write the song, it fits in well with his body of work.
"I listened to it like 20 times in a row and I really got something out of it, just like any of his other songs," Moore said. "He is a poet, and he can make anything sound powerful."
Nicholas said that he believes Manson who used the names Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson to create his nom de rock refers to the notorious criminal in the song "My Monkey" on his debut album, Portrait of an American Family (1994), though his name is not mentioned in the song.
"I would love to know what the lyrics are about," Nicholas said of "Sick City." "Why he would pick that song of all of Charles Manson's songs there has to be some sort of meaning behind it."
Charles Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 for the "Helter Skelter" murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. "Sick City" appears on his 1970 album Lie: The Love and Terror Cult. His initial sentence was modified to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty in 1972. He is up for parole in April 2002, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Manson is not the first to cover one of Charles Manson's songs. Guns N' Roses included "Look at Your Game Girl" on their covers album The Spaghetti Incident? (1993), and the Lemonheads covered his "Your Home Is Where Your Happy" on their 1988 album Creator.
Manson, who won over millions of fans with the Trent Reznorproduced 1996 album Antichrist Superstar and its single "The Beautiful People" (RealAudio excerpt), released the live album Last Tour on Earth in November. The record included the single "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)" (RealAudio excerpt).
Manson will speak via satellite at the Disinfo.Con convention Saturday in New York, Redburn said. The conference is sponsored by Disinformation Company, which is dedicated to disseminating alternative information and theories about current events.