((talk about aleister crowley))
Crowley’s influence fell heavily on the late sixties and seventies. Biographies of Crowley had been published in England in 1958 and 1959; his autobiography, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley (1929–30), was re-released in 1969. The Beatles inserted Crowley’s face (back row, second from left) in the cartoon cover collage of their landmark Sergeant Pepper album (1967). It is rumored that the title song’s first line (“It was twenty years ago today”) alludes to Crowley’s death in 1947. Because of its descent from blues—called the “devil’s music” in the American South—rock already had a voodoo element lingering from Afro-Caribbean cults. But the Satanism in classic Rolling Stones songs and the magic pentagrams on Led Zeppelin’s album covers and stage costumes came from Crowley. Jimmy Page, Zeppelin’s virtuoso lead guitarist, collected Crowley memorabilia and bought his mansion, Boleskine House, on Scotland’s Loch Ness. The fad for backwards messages in rock songs, which the Beatles popularized, is said (on what authority I cannot confirm) to have been inspired by Crowley, who lauded the practice of reverse reading of scripture in medieval Satanic rituals. Crowley admirers in seventies rock included David Bowie and heavy-metal musicians like Ozzy Osbourne, whose song, “Mr. Crowley” (“You waited on Satan’s call”), appeared on his first solo album after leaving Black Sabbath.