The Dark Battle

Full Disclosure; Shirley Manson is one of my childhood heroes. There’s a special weakness in my heart for women who rock hard – Joan Jett, Debbie Harry and the like. But I digress.

I recently read an article regarding the beautiful and talented redhead rocker. In this interview, she’s frank about Garbage’s rapid ascent to fame and her personal battle with body dysmorphia.  I was flabbergasted to read that a women who I had idealized as the ideal hard edge rocker struggled with body image.  She was on magazines, DVDs and countless interviews.  After James Bond ‘ The World is Not Enough’ Garbage had shot to international fame.  In her interviews she seemed just so (excuse my French) fucking cool that I figured nothing bothered her. Like she was made of adamantium.

When I returned to the music it was all too apparent

I only smile in the dark

My only comfort is the night gone black

I didn’t accidentally tell you that

I’m only happy when it rains

I’m only happy when it rains, (Garbage, 2005)

You choke behind a smile

A fake behind the fear

The queerest of the queer

Queer (Garbage, 2005)

Super stardom did not erase her pain. In fact she channeled it into her work and masked it.  In 2012 the band was finally able to go solo and released Not Your Kind of People on their on label STUNVOLUME, Producing music on their own terms  without the record machine.

Ms. Manson is fearless in her exposed nature they write ‘ Battle In Me’

 It’s a bloody war of attrition

Let’s see which one of us is going to last the night

‘Cause I have all of my wits around me

And I’ll be damned if I’m done

Battle In Me, (Not Your Kind of People, 2012)

We can never truly know the dark battles people fight inside their souls.  But we keep on rocking regardless.


  1. Excellent post Jeff- those with the hardest veneers are often those who are most raw inside. Also love the Debbie Harry reference (she’s my goddess)!

    • God don’t even get me started on Debbie. I recently downloaded a bootleg from when she was at a local bar El Mocombo in 1978. Maybe that will be my next post

  2. AlanCare

    Garbage was my go to band during my angsty teen awkwardness and I’ve loved everything she’s done (even turning up in the terminator tv show). Shows no matter how famous we are, we’re all fragile. Great article man, keep up the great work.

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