Aleister Crowley Magick and Rock&Roll - Gary Lachman
New York: Tarcher/Penguin Group, 2014. Paperback, 388 pages. New.
Full Title: Aleister Crowley, magick, Rock and Roll and the Wickedest Man in the World
Launch Copies - Signed by the author When Aleister Crowley, occultist, poet, mountaineer and chess champion died in an obscure boarding house in Hastings, England, on December 5 1947, at the age of 72, few knew he was to become one of the most enduring pop culture figures of the next hundred years. In this definitive work Gary Lachman traces both the arc of the occultist's strange and controversial life, and his influence on rock-and-roll giants from the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, to Black Sabbath and Blondie, of which Lachman was a founding member. Twenty years after his death, in the middle of the Swinging Sixties, Crowley was more popular than he ever was in his lifetime. In 1967, the Beatles put him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Rolling Stones became, for a time, serious devotees, their music and image being groomed by one of Crowley's most influential disciples, the avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. His libertarian philosophies informed generations of notable heavy metal groups like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and others, while these same beliefs form the subject of scholarly theses. His image hangs in goth rock bars, occult temples, and college dorm rooms alike, and he's turned up as a character in pop cultural environments from Batman comic books to Playstation video games.