Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World

eBook - 2014
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This definitive work on the occult's "great beast" traces the arc of his controversial life and influence on rock-and-roll giants, from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath. When Aleister Crowley died in 1947, he was not an obvious contender for the most enduring pop-culture figure of the next century. But twenty years later, Crowley's name and image were everywhere. The Beatles put him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Rolling Stones were briefly serious devotees. Today, his visage hangs in goth clubs, occult temples, and college dorm rooms, and his methods of ceremonial magick animate the passions of myriad occultists and spiritual seekers. Aleister Crowley is more than just a biography of this compelling, controversial, and divisive figure—it's also a portrait of his unparalleled influence on modern pop culture.
Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9780698146532

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lukasevansherman
Feb 11, 2019

"At 9:34 in the evening, Crowley became a god."
The Englishman Aleister Crowley lived what, by any accounts, was an extraordinary life and he's a slow pitch for any biographer. If the name is familiar it's because he became an unlikely pop culture figure in the 60s and 70s, even though he died in 1947. The Beatles put him on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper's," David Bowie namechecked him in a song, Ozzy Osbourne wrote a song about him, and, most infamously, Jimmy Page collected his work and bought his house on Loch Ness. Crowley brought together various strains of occultism, magic (he later added a k), hedonism and mysticism into his own religion, Thelema, best summed up by the quote "Do as though wilt." A lot of how you take this bio will depend on how you feel about spirituality of any sort. I'm an ex-Christian who has a grounding all of the stuff, but found it pretty hard to take any of his "ideas" and magical posturings seriously. Writer Gary Lachman (He was in Blondie!) has written extensively on the occult and is a sympathetic biographer, but he can't prevent Crowley coming off as a sex crazed, monomaniacal, narcissistic, drug addicted, sometimes racist, snobbish b.s. artist. I enjoyed the book for what it was but remain unconverted. For more on the influence of the occult on rock and roll, pick up the very entertaining "Season of the Witch."

KCLSRecommends Jul 10, 2014

Former member of rock group "Blondie" writes a new biography of who was once called 'the wickedest man in the world' but makes him sound like an ineffectual aimless twit! Lacks any magic(k)!

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