Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction back in the day.
In the April/May 1987 issue of Smash Hits magazine members of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction did a rather strange spread for the glossy mag. But did they talk about their lust for creating flesh-pounding songs about sleazy chicks, breaking the law and screwing your best friend’s wife? No. There was also sadly no discussion about gay Nazi disco dancers or stories about vocalist Mark Manning’s acid-dropping days. Nope. What the two-page spread did enlighten us to was the bizarre (yet completely understandable) fashion choices made by each of the Love Reaction’s members at the time. Let’s begin with Zodiac Mindwarp himself, shall we?
Manning notes in his little bio in the magazine that his vision for the band was for everyone to look like “monsters from outer space” thanks to all the time he spent reading science fiction as a kid growing up. To Manning, the Love Reaction had to look like they just arrived from “Planet Freak Out.” Though everyone in the band was cultivating the “horrible hair” look, Manning went the extra mile by adding animal fur to his, and who knows what else. Because according to the then 28-year-old Manning if it “looks good” you should wear it. Manning’s jacket is covered in patches including a Sonic Youth one (nice) with a bit of fox fur on the shoulders. Topping off Zodiac’s look is a Nazi SS replica hat which Manning only dug because it was a “rather striking tifter” which is British slang for “hat.”
For Trash D. Garbage (bass player Alan P. Bailey) he actually one-upped Manning in the deceased animal department by affixing the paws of a dead cat to the shoulders of his leather jacket. Garbage notes that he obtained the paws during his days as a firefighter in Canada following a failed rescue of a cat stuck in a tree. Oof. On the back of Garbage’s jacket are the words “Sex Pig” and the reason his hair was shorter than usual for the shoot was because according to Trash someone stuck a huge wad of gum in his do at a party. It was then decided it made the most sense to pull his hair out by the roots along with the gum instead of cutting it out like a reasonable person. But this is Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction we’re talking about, not the fucking Brady Bunch. And rock stars deal with problems that involve gum differently than the rest of us.
Rounding out the sleazy fashion worn by the band are a few other notable things. Like drummer Slam Thunderhide and his “Sex Machine” belt buckle which was crafted from a Triumph motorcycle, Manning’s famous bullet belt, more Nazi symbolism (it was the 80s?), plenty of pentagrams, tons of leather, ripped clothing and more leather, because pretty much all of those things are quintessentially metal, like it or not. I’ve posted the photos from the band’s two-page layout in Smash Hits below for you to wonder at as well as the Love Reaction’s video from 1987 for “Backseat Education.” All hail the High Priest of Love, baby!
More after the jump…