Jimmy Page and his "devil" songs

A bit of mysticism from Led Zeppelin guitarist...

Jimmy Page and his "devilish" addictions

Indifference to mysticism, the occult and other irrational things, perhaps, has always been the main human weakness. Paradoxically, the passion for the other world did not bypass rock and roll, or rather, some of its representatives. Perhaps their incredible talent, success and immortal fame is nothing but a kind of fee for a sold soul?

Bernard Fallon once said, "The best tunes are in the devil's bosom."

Of course, you should not believe everything, but it is obvious that the rockers have always been attracted by devilry, black magic and other occult things ...

What skeletons are hidden in Led Zeppelin's closet?

From a book of personal photographs with the history of the group for the 50th anniversary. Photo: Neil Preston

Led Zeppelin are positioned today as sort of handsome and respectable elders, whose era was replete with greener meadows, cleaner air and better music ... But at one time the legendary band simply bathed in a sea of myths and gossip regarding sexual atrocities and - rumors of an alliance with Satan! Or how else to explain the enormous success of the British rock band? They say that if you listen to their legendary "Stairway to Heaven" from the end to the beginning, you can hear an encrypted message from the underworld itself! It is interesting, of course, that someone really did this ... The group owes such “black glory” to its scandalous guitarist Jimmy Page, who not only was the author of the best Led Zeppelin things, but was also known as a mysterious person ... And yes, Page really was not hearsay familiar with black magic!

Crowley's Thelema and Page's Other "Satanic" Addictions

Aleister Crowley - English poet, occultist and black magician

At one time, Page was simply crazy about the "telic" teachings of Aleister Crowley, a person no less mysterious and legendary. Crowley was known as an interesting and versatile person: he was fond of English literature and composed his own poems, simultaneously pumping the dexterity of an athlete (at one time he became famous as one of the best climbers). His diabolical hobbies began after the inheritance of a solid property, which prompted the poet to go completely off and succumb to all sorts of temptations. By the mid-1890s, the young man was seriously interested in black magic, alchemy and other mind-boggling teachings. After the epic scandal with the poet William Yeats, Crowley created the image of a sort of hermit poet and wrote fantasy novels and mystical treatises for a year while in Mexico. All this time, his name was at the center of endless scandals. How many young people Crowley had corrupted was legendary.

In 1920, Crowley founded the so-called "Thelema Abbey" in Italy, but, in fact, it was a real commune. The black magician has always been guided by a single rule: "Do what you want, that's the whole law." In general, for Alistair, there really were no laws other than those that he himself proclaimed. In the company of his associates, aged in body but not in soul, Crowley indulged in debauchery, took drugs and performed satanic rites, which terrified the people who lived near the Immoral Abbey. In the end, after the tragic death of one of the warlock's apprentices, local policemen closed down the abode of vice, and the noisy sorcerers were expelled from Italy.

Aleister Crowley as a yogi in an Indian village

The “Beast 666” himself (under this nickname Crowley became famous in satanic circles) continued to travel and create blasphemous works, where he eloquently painted “exploits” and recruited neophytes. But, alas, the success of the poet was steadily fading away.

This is the kind of person Jimmy Page idolized. Of course, the guitarist sought to delve into his work and even master the real estate of an idol. In general, it is impossible to accurately name the period when the musician's attraction to the occult sciences awakened. It is only known for certain that it was the end of the 1960s.

Cursed Boleskin House and new creations

Page's estate, which he acquired in 1970

In 1970, Page acquired a new estate with a grim centuries-old history. Towering on the shores of the famous Loch Ness lake, the mansion was surrounded by a halo of secrets and gossip. The building was built back in the eighteenth century, literally on the ashes of a local church that burned down along with the parishioners. Once the house served as a haven for Aleister Crowley, but this is not the whole story of the old mansion.

Photo of his estate of those years

Rumor has it that one of the former owners committed suicide, and the other two went completely crazy! Crowley's diabolical rituals only added to the manor's sinister reputation. It is difficult to list how many legends about ghosts and evil spirits that live under the roof of a cursed house. All these horror stories caught the attention of Page, who saw in a gloomy scary mansion the perfect creative platform! Later, the musician left the mansion in the care of his friend Malcolm Dent, but the infamous estate still left a tangible mark on the guitarist's work.

John Bonham near the estate

The house can be seen in the concert film "The Song Remains the Same". But apart from that, the video is notable for another curious scene: Paige climbs a mountain, where she encounters a hermit whose face changes. This episode is a direct reference to the Tarot cards, which Crowley himself and his famous follower were fond of.

Musical "Lucifer Rising"

Kenneth Anger. Photo: Brian Butler

In 1972, Page met another adept of Crowley's teachings, director Kenneth Anger. By that time, the latter had already made a name for himself in the art-house world, shooting masterpieces almost alone, and since 1966 he has been working on the conceptual occult film mystery Lucifer Rising. The plot was based on the very “telem teaching” of the famous Crowley.

It is easy to guess that Anger offered Page a collaboration, which the guitarist then gladly accepted. Jimmy thoroughly approached the writing of the soundtrack. Here is what he said in one of the interviews:

“I used a lot of different tools. The sound of the tanpura also intertwined perfectly, adding the necessary magical motif. This instrument is about six feet in size, and the sounds born during the “blowing” are really amazing in depth! I am not a drummer, so I decided to dilute their sound with a Buddhist step-by-step chant. It came out really great! I wanted to create a mystical thing without a guitar, so the riffs can only be heard at the end, and then they complement the overall sound to a greater extent.

Incredible Led Zeppelin II recording at Olympic Studios, April 19, 1969

But a fruitful collaboration between Page and Anger did not work out. The first one always disappeared at the recording studio with Led Zeppelin and traveled on tour, and the second one could not wait for God knows how long until the eminent guitarist deigned to devote time to working on the soundtrack. As a result, the recording was delayed as much as two years! It is easy to guess how furious the director was. The last straw was Page's ignorance of all sorts of calls to work. The musician led a hermit life and contacted people only when he needed it, and not vice versa. In general, a war ensued between the two geniuses. An "impartial" exchange of courtesies in the press went into battle. Anger accused Page of perverting Crowley's "telem doctrine" and called him a typical adept who knew nothing about black magic. The guitarist's heroin addiction was also mentioned. All this caused a stream of abuse now from Page. The skirmishes reached the point that Anger showed up at Page's house and made a scandal there, but the musician's wife Charlotte quickly put the director out the door.

The soundtrack that was eventually recorded did not impress Anger. Moreover, the latter described the guitarist's work as "a 23-minute electronic drone", and the soundtrack was coldly dismissed. As a result, the composition for "Lucifer Rising" was written by Bobby Beausoleil, and as for Page's composition, it nevertheless came out in 1987, along with the guitarist's new record.

Opening a Bookshop and the Graduation of a Rock Magician

Equinox bookstore in London

Page had always been annoyed that there were so few valuable books on the occult to be found in London. This prompted the guitarist to open his own bookshop "Equinox" ("Equinox"). His comrade Eric Hill became a partner in this business. As a result, the assortment became a hodgepodge of Eastern philosophy, alchemy and Kabbalah, including the book "Goetia of King Solomon", translated once by Crowley and Samuel MacGregor Mathers, as well as manuals on practical magic. The interiors of the shop were made in neo-Egyptian style. On the walls hung the creations of English mystic portrait painters. However, in 1978, Page had to do with the bookstore the same way as with the Boleskine House - sell. The musician decided to stop with magical hobbies and began to devote more time to his family. Later, Page did become a philanthropist!

Yes, the occult and other mystical things occupied an important place in the life of the famous guitarist. However, it is impossible to say that he was an orthodox adept. Rather, it can be called a lover of mysticism. Of course, there were a lot of rumors around the person of Page and the Led Zeppelin group about their unclean deeds. These gossips had a particularly strong influence on the reputation of the team in the last years of its existence. It was during this period that an avalanche of misfortunes hit the group, in particular, the tragic death of John Bonham (he was found dead on the morning of September 25, 1980 in Jimmy Page's house after alcohol intoxication). It was rumored that the group made a deal with the devil, but was it true? Probably not. After all, any secret gives rise to a lot of speculation: it was, is and will be. The story of Jimmy Page is a prime example of this. The guitarist did not need the patronage of Satan, for he was talented without that. He was simply intoxicated by the possibility of access to what is usually hidden from the eyes of mere mortals.

“I breathed it,” the musician said and continues:  This is my driving fusion of life - music and magic.

Jeff and Jimmy at Les' birthday party, 1986

“I don’t know how far he went, but he definitely didn’t perform magical rites, running at midnight around the fire in the cemetery. And he hardly sacrificed a virgin, he would simply not be able to find her! jokes Page's friend, musician and photographer Bernard Fallon.

Probably, on it it is possible to finish.


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