Sunday, October 12, 2008
Punk Rock and the Occult and
Other Mysterious VooDoo
OK - so its October, the month where Halloween/Day of the Dead is celebrated... all things undead, creepy, crawly, mysterious and magical come to mind... and today is October 12... the day in 1492 that Cristofero Colombo's ships made landfall in The Bahamas thinking they'd reached East Asia... and with them, they brought European diseases to the indigenous people of the Caribbean, and took home to Europe spices, fruits and vegetables. This date used to be a holiday. Now we just acknowledge what it is, banks and the government get the day off (though on whatever Monday falls closest to actual October 12), and there's a parade in NYC that's always controversial. HOWEVER... those whose consciousness is more in tune to the Halloween/Day of the Dead mysterioso side of life will acknowledge October 12 as the date in 1875 that weirdo, "magus," inspiration to Jimmy Page and possible sperm donor to the lady who gave birth to Barbara Bush (W's mom, making W the son of the Beast) - Aleister Crowley was born.
Stiv Bators was totally into all this... magick, Crowley and conspiracy. He would have loved these Is Aleister Crowley Barbara Bush's real dad? rumors and he would have perpetuated them.... I recognize among Stiv's friends and acquaintances whom I got to meet while Stiv and I were roommates in London, a certain penchant for the occult and mysticism's various icons. Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV immediately comes to mind. Bryan Gregory of the Cramps seemed to pay more than lip service to the occult, and the whole band embraced the aesthetic.
Of course, Led Zeppelin are the best known of rock n rollers associated with all things Aleister Crowley... but when one considers that rock n roll was considered The Devil's Music back when it started taking a foothold, it certainly also speaks to the other-wordly power people have invested in music.... or at least believe music to possess.
Certain locales, too, are teeming with the power of the belief in the occult, and New Orleans is one such place. It was in that city that novelist Anne Rice lived and wrote her Vampire books. And it is the city that is the location of the strange movie starring Robert DeNiro as "Louis Cyphre" (oh come on - straight-up Lucifer would have been better), Angel Heart.
And it is the city in which Johnny Thunders died an early junkie death.
Magick and bad juju are also the stuff of legend in modern day Faust type recollections of the lives of influential musicians like Robert Johnson, the Delta blues guitarist who was one of the first of "dead at 27" musicians, probably setting the bar for that curse that felled Janis, Jimi, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Minutemen's D Boon, Echo & the Bunnymen's Pete DeFreitas, Kurt Cobain and all the others who died at that age.
Robert Johnson, as rendered by Lamar Sorrento
This Halloween, Punk Turns 30 once again pays a Day of the Dead tribute to our punk anti heroes who have passed on. Punk Rock Day of the Dead will be celebrated in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania thanks to the efforts of the Progressive Galleries and The Thing With Two Heads.
Halloween in Harrisburg.... don't miss it!