View Full Version : Possible River Phoenix reference in JE$U$ CRI$I$?

04-22-2018, 10:24 AM
Well, even though the album came out many months ago, I couldn't get around to listen to Heaven Upside Down until a couple of days ago. I just listened to JE$U$ CRI$I$ and I think that the following lyrics might be a reference to River Phoenix:

"So we're sucking up Snow White's powder
White powder, Snow White powder
High as a tower and ready to fall
To the street like a Viper
Like a Viper, like a Viper, like a Viper"

For those of you who don't about him, River Phoenix was one American actor who starred as Chris Chambers in the movie Stand By Me, and had plenty of other well known roles such as young Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade. He was popular mostly in the eighties and was set to star in some popular nineties films but he died at age 23 in 1993 from a drug overdose before he could complete them.

I think the "Snow White powder" is a reference to the cocaine that was mixed in with heroin in the drug which killed him. His autopsy revealed that he had many times the lethal doses of both drugs ("high as a tower") and the "ready to fall to the street like a Viper" references the fact that River collapsed on the street outside of The Viper Room nightclub. Also, The Viper Room is partly owned by Johnny Depp who's collaborated with Manson previously, and the club closes on Halloween each day in remembrance of River, who died on October 31st.

These are just my two cents. I certainly wouldn't know how this reference could tie with the other lyrics, but I find these lyrics really curious nonetheless. Does anybody agree?

04-22-2018, 08:49 PM
Having seen Manson down the street at The Roxy on Halloween...this is always what leaps to mind when I hear the song, too.

04-23-2018, 04:44 AM
Having seen Manson down the street at The Roxy on Halloween...this is always what leaps to mind when I hear the song, too.

I'm very glad to see somebody agrees with me. I searched the lyrics previously on SongMeanings and Genius but nobody proposed this reference in any of those sites, so I thought I could share this guess here.

I remember reading one interview a long time ago in which Manson said that he liked Corey Feldman's character and his deformed ear in Stand By Me, as well as the line "Jeordie screwed the pooch", which Manson said to Twiggy more than once in certain occasions. And him being a film buff in general, he's definitely knowledgeable about River.

However, details about his death are very perplexing since there seems to be different accounts of it. Like for example, some say that River snorted the drug, while others say that he drank a concoction in a Dixie cup. This song seems to reference the former, although I believe the latter is more correct. I was doutbful at first but in a way "cocaine", "overdose", "street" and "Viper" are too relevant keywords in River's death in order for this not to be a reference to it. However, I still don't know how River could tie with the song in general...

I was thinking that maybe, since River previously to his death had a squeaky clean image and was portrayed by news papers and magazines alike as a healthy, nature-loving boy due to him being vegan and outspoken about his environmental concerns, he was some sort of Jesus Christ for his fans and other like-minded individuals, and then suddenly, River dying of a drug overdose totally crushed said image, which most definitely led to a conflict, a crisis in his beliefs and what people who worked with him or were/felt close to him thought about him? Personally, I really enjoy his work and I wish he wouldn't have died so soon, so he certainly "made it all for me" just like the song says.