Before he graduated to transgressive shock-rock stardom, Marilyn Manson put in some time as a music journalist, writing for the Florida-based magazine 25th Parallel when he was in college. And since he’s a born fabulist, he’s the type to exaggerate his accomplishments in that field, just as he is in every other field. (That level of exaggeration is sort of what makes him a star and an interesting person.) In a recent Noisey interview, Manson even more or less bragged about coining the term “grunge”: “Nirvana was different. That was one of the bands I covered first as a journalist and I’m just going to go ahead and say I coined the term ‘grunge’ in a review of Bleach. You’re welcome.” (For the record: The NME critic Paul Ramball was using “grunge” in 1978.) Manson’s claim made the rounds, and in another interview, Manson has now admitted that, no, that wasn’t him:
Yeah, let me clarify that. I didn’t say I invented the word. I said I coined it, in that I popularized it. I think I actually wrote “grungy.” But it is pretty amusing that that became a headline. I’m like a Furby. You can push me, and then your soundbite comes out, and there you have your headline. So to clarify, I merely claimed that I popularized the word, which is pretty much not accurate, considering the distribution of the periodical that I wrote it in. But I like to self-aggrandize.
Manson might not be a journalist anymore, but he still has a bit of editor in him. He would’ve punched up the “Marilyn Manson says he invented grunge” headlines. Here’s what he offers instead: “Marilyn Manson deserves to have his dick sucked for creating the word ‘grunge,’ and for also making rock ‘n’ roll cool again, because he’s a hooligan.”