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Is the song Sympathy for the Devil about Aleister Crowley?  

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elitemachinery
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19/07/2020 7:14 am  

Is the song Sympathy for the Devil about Aleister Crowley?

Here are some opinions from the forum:

Posted by: @elitemachinery

I always felt the track was about the Satan Devil archetype but with a somewhat veiled nod to Crowley. The Stones were working with Kenneth Anger and influenced by the occult in the late 60s but have never admitted to any Crowley connection as far as I know.

Posted by: @shiva

It doesn't matter. Association with Anger is enough to convict anyone of Passive Crowley-Interest, which is only a minor infraction, and nobody really cares, so they got away with it. Success is your proof, right there, plain as day.

Posted by: @dom

No.nothing to do with AC, that's just someone's misinformed wet dream  It's clearly about christianity's 'The devil' who does nasty things like drives tanks for the Kaiser, kills JFK, makes war.

 Firstly, is there any evidence of a Crowley connection to Jagger or the Stones?

from:

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-07-12-1993193119-story.html

"Barry Miles, Mick's friend and owner of the Indica bookshop, noticed a distinct change in Jagger's reading habits....he started ordering lots of occult stuff during this time."

"Jagger was encouraged in this by Kenneth Anger, a former Hollywood child actor turned master of the occult. Anger was a disciple of the notorious Edwardian black magician Aleister Crowley and, like Crowley, claimed to be a magus, a kind of satanic wizard of the highest degree."

"Whether he actually possessed satanic powers, Anger did his best to keep Jagger and his friends off-balance. He would often appear without warning and then vanish just as suddenly."

"Foremost among Anger's admirers was Keith Richard's girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg. A willing student, she hung on his every spell and incantation. Over the next several years she would herself become a polished practitioner of the black arts."

from:

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/symphony-for-the-devil-546050.html

"Kenneth Anger's synopsis of his 10-minute "attack on the sensorium", the 1969 movie Invocation of My Demon Brother, is probably the best way of describing the indescribable, odd though it is: "The shadowing forth of Our Lord, as the Powers of Darkness gather at a midnight Mass."

"Simple, really. In essence, it is a homage to the occultist Aleister Crowley and illustrates - with fast-moving editing, droning soundtrack and saturated colour."

"The soundtrack was provided by Mick Jagger (who also featured in the movie via shots of The Rolling Stones' Hyde Park concert in July 1969, two days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones); while Lucifer was played by the Bobby Beausoleil, who shortly afterwards got tangled up with the Manson family and was later jailed for life."

"I showed it to Mick Jagger and he added a soundtrack from a new Moog synthesiser he was experimenting with - he just gave it to me. I think that's rather unusual."

"The film that remains seems more a tribute to Crowley than a documentary of the period's counter-culture. But, still describing himself as a "follower" of Crowley, Anger is entirely content with that. "The reason I like Crowley so much is because he had such a mordant sense of humour," he says. "He predicted the explosion of the Sixties, and the return to a sort of Paganism, a nature worship. In the film I'm invoking a kid of pantheistic freedom. Lucifer is not Satan - under my artistic licence the name actually means 'bringer of light'. I think he should climb back up and reclaim heaven - that's my conceit."

My personal opinion is that the song is an invocation and a tribal act of Magick. We can analyze and pick apart the lyrics but the song needs to be experienced to truly take it in.
 
I don't think the song is about Crowley per se but like I said above:
 
"I always felt the track was about the Satan Devil archetype but with a somewhat veiled nod to Crowley." - elitemachinery
 
I also think you could make the case that the song is a riddle. The lyrics give you clues and the narrator repeatedly says "What's my name? Hope you guessed my name?"
 
Why keep asking "What's My Name?" if the name (Devil, Lucifer) is in the title and lyrics?
 
Like a game of charades the answer to the riddle could be: Aleister Crowley/The BEAST
 
Of course this is all subjective. And songwriters are known to have multiple meanings in their lyrics which are often unintentional.
 
Songwriters can also be coy when asked so as to let fans and philosophers derive meanings of their own from the lyrics.
 
I think @shiva said it best (from above):
 
"It doesn't matter...Success is your proof, right there, plain as day."
 
So I will ask the question again:
 
Do you think Sympathy for the Devil is a song about Aleister Crowley?
 

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djedi
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19/07/2020 7:42 am  
Posted by: @elitemachinery

My personal opinion is that the song is an invocation and a tribal act of Magick.

Making music is always a magical act, the same as using language. It was a magician that invented music.

Posted by: @elitemachinery

Do you think Sympathy for the Devil is a song about Aleister Crowley?

Not really, but I don't think it could have been made without his influence on the world, and especially the anglophone world. Satan as a sympathetic character has existed probably as long as any other interpretation, and is seen most famously in Paradise Lost but also in the work of Jorge Luis Borges, which I enjoy. Forgive me, but I'm tired and I can't quite recall which of his works exhibits this; I thought it was Three Versions of Judas. However, these and prior sympathies for the devil ask that he be understood and forgiven his transgressions in rebelling against God.

It wasn't until later, starting around this Aeon unless I'm mistaken, that the myth of Satan's rebellion began to be appreciated more roundly for its ethical and philosophical implications. It was Aleister Crowley who did more than anyone else to engender this vision of Satan, at least among English speakers. Compare Otto Rahn and his 'Lucifer the Lightbringer.'


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dom
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19/07/2020 8:38 am  

@elitemachinery

No, Anger,who is he or was he? A Z-lister bigging himself up by claiming  that The Stones wrote a song about him.  The thing is mate you like to look for patterns and are pretty much preoccupied with Crowley's place in rock n roll, I just feel that you're embroiled in confirmation bias with this. 

Like I said this was Jagger's youthful leftist rebellious phase e.g. Street Fighting Man etc.  Jagger in this song demonstrates his interest in history by documenting all of the bad things that christianity's The Devil has done throughout the centuries.  Why would Crowley have started 'the 100 years war' ie Jagger references this series of European conflict in his song.  It isn't about Crowley it's just Jagger's moral anti-war statement aimed at a war-mongering establishment during the hippie revolution.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Shiva
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19/07/2020 8:42 am  
Posted by: @djedi

Making music is always a magical act

The musician is found on the 7th ray, along with architects and the ceremonial nut-jobs who play dress-up and are known as Arcania, the ancient secret societies. The formal name of this ray is "Ceremonial Order and Magic." Your statement (quoted above) and this data I have dumped (from outside the circles and the usual subjects of Thelema) are too coincidental to be a mere coincidence, and must be dubbed as a "maningful coincidence."

Coincidentally (to make the coincidence even more meaningful), that Elite fellow over in Siam or Burma or Ceylon, tends to favor violet, the color of the 7th ray. I think he also favors music, but [gossip] his main interests are in hidden bitcoins and revealing movies (all of this on, or in, the dark side of the corresponding realms).

Posted by: @djedi

Compare Otto Rahn and his 'Lucifer the Lightbringer.'

I haven't read Otto, but I agree with your view and hope everyone knows that Lucifer, the Lightbringer, is portrayed as a fallen angel. There is a concept that each of us is Lucifer himself, or at least that the Solar Angel is the lightbringer. If this is so, and I subscribe to this policy, then Lucifer isn't really the devil as portrayed commonly in the mind-control network.

I think we are all Lucifer, fallen due to separation into a separate, individual, burning tip of consciousness. The Devil him/her self is well-known as the Id (the "thing").

These associations and terms about the ultimate "bad" side are just as complex and screwed up as the associations and terms related to samadhi. Things become unclear, and manipulators spin the tale (of booth the devil and samadhi) in order to gain power or loot. Probably sex, too. Those are the three points on the tip of the pitchfork-wand of hell.

There was a thread and/or a news article, or both, here on LAShTAL recently (or was it BBC?) about the magical/mystical muse who appeared to be the occult informer for The Stones, and is presented today as the person we are looking for. I thought Crowley was mentioned, but, like you, it's too late. That level of the memory dungeon closed a couple hours ago.

STOP

Note: If I type STOP at the end of a post, it has the same meaning as in a telegram. Do they still have Telegrams? Does anybody use them? It substitutes for a period, which somehow they can't put in a telegram message. It is not an externally-directed command. It is not a technique for enlightenment, although they are spelled the same and require the same thing. It is only used when I am about to fall out of my chair. Like now.

STOP

 


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elitemachinery
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19/07/2020 4:05 pm  
Posted by: @shiva

There was a thread and/or a news article, or both, here on LAShTAL recently (or was it BBC?) about the magical/mystical muse who appeared to be the occult informer for The Stones, and is presented today as the person we are looking for. I thought Crowley was mentioned, but, like you, it's too late. That level of the memory dungeon closed a couple hours ago.

I believe you are talking about Anita Pallenberg. She had affairs with the Stone's Mick Jagger and Brian Jones before having three kids with the Stone's guitarist Keith Richards.

She died in 2017 and all of her obituaries call her the "muse" of the Rolling Stones.

Rolling Stone magazine:

"Why Anita Pallenberg, Rolling Stones Muse, Was Queen of the Underground"

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/why-anita-pallenberg-rolling-stones-muse-was-queen-of-the-underground-204744/

Daily Mail UK:

"Jagger's black witch: She famously slept with Mick and had three children with Keith Richards. But a new book reveals Anita Pallenberg's love life wasn't half as crazy as her obsession with black magic, vampires and spells"

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8033225/Anita-Pallenbergs-love-life-wasnt-half-crazy-obsession-black-magic.html

Quotes:

'I had an interest in witchcraft,' she recalled later, 'in Buddhism, in the black magicians that my friend, Kenneth Anger, introduced me to. The world of the occult fascinated me.'

Anger, an American-born film-maker, was notorious for his books about the sordid scandals of Hollywood – and for his experimental films' references to paganism and Nazism.

With the Sixties culture of 'peace, love and understanding', to many, he'd assumed priestly status.

Significantly, he was intrigued with the British occultist Aleister Crowley, the self-styled 'Great Beast 666'.

Crowley, who died in 1947, revelled in his infamy as 'the wickedest man in the world'. His worship involved sadomasochistic sex rituals with men and women, spells which he claimed could raise evil gods, and the use of drugs including opium, cocaine and heroin.

Keith Richards's gofer, Tony Sanchez, recalled Pallenberg's first meeting with Anger as she, with Jagger, Richards and Faithfull, 'listened spellbound as Anger turned them on to Crowley's powers and ideas'.

While Jagger simply fed off Anger's musings, the film-maker struck a deeper accord with Pallenberg. 'I believe that Anita is, for want of a better word, a 'witch',' Anger commented years later. The occult unit within the Stones was Keith and Anita and Brian.'

Posted by: @dom

No, Anger,who is he or was he?

Anger is a legend in rock and roll and occult circles. He is still alive and making abstract films. He has always been an ardent follower/preacher/practitioner of all things Crowley.

Posted by: @dom

The thing is mate you like to look for patterns and are pretty much preoccupied with Crowley's place in rock n roll, I just feel that you're embroiled in confirmation bias with this. 

Admittedly so. Maybe a bit of a stretch yes. But Crowley's influence on Rock n Roll is already well established. I'm just looking for more connections. Not everyone would like to be associated with AC. So to veil a connection would be forgivable.

Jagger/Stones were already called Beatles copycats for the album "Satanic Majesties" in 1967 so they may have been shy of admitting a Crowley connection lyrically or otherwise in 1968.

The Beatles were the first to put Crowley on the cover of "Sgt Peppers" in 1966.

The resulted song of "Sympathy" is arguably far more clever than a direct mention would be, IF it is in any way a song about Crowley.

Rather than use his name anywhere in the lyrics the narrator asks "What's my name?" "Hope you guessed my name" repeatedly.

The lyrics are obviously more mythical and span a great deal of years. Crowley didn't kill the Kennedys either. But I still think the track was influenced somewhat by Crowley and is a veiled nod to Crowley.

Posted by: @djedi

Making music is always a magical act, the same as using language. It was a magician that invented music.

The track occurs for me as tribal act of invocation much like an African tribe might engage in. Kenneth Anger may have had some influence on the Stones achieving this. The song for me is an invocation of the Devil archetype. I think it achieves this end well.

An article about Anger's film "Invocation of my Demon Brother" released in 1969 states:

http://sensesofcinema.com/2005/feature-articles/invocation_demon_brother/

"Each of Anger’s films is framed as a ritual. They depict rituals and, if one accepts Anger’s stated intentions, they also perform rituals; the various elements within each film are calculated to have specific effects upon the viewer. As Carel Rowe has succinctly explained:

All his films have been evocations or invocations, attempting to conjure primal forces which, once visually released, are designed to have the effect of ‘casting a spell’ on the audience. The Magick in the film is related to the magickal effects of the film on the audience.

Re "Invocation of my Demon Brother" 1969:

Posted by: @elitemachinery

The soundtrack was provided by Mick Jagger

Posted by: @elitemachinery

The film that remains seems more a tribute to Crowley than a documentary of the period's counter-culture. But, still describing himself as a "follower" of Crowley, Anger is entirely content with that.

According to the wiki page about the song:

In the 2012 documentary Crossfire Hurricane, Jagger stated that his influence for the song came from Baudelaire and from the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita (which had just appeared in English translation in 1967). The book was given to Jagger by Marianne Faithfull and she confirmed the inspiration in an interview with Sylvie Simmons from the magazine Mojo in 2005.

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, "I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire's, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can't see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it.

According to Pallenberg, Miller was half talking to himself as Jagger sang, saying stuff like "Come on Mick, give it your all, who are you singing about? - Who, who?" He then repeated "Who who" several times after that as Jagger sang on, and Pallenberg realized how wonderful that all sounded. After the take, she told Jagger what transpired in the booth and suggested that "who who" be used in the song as a backing vocal chant. The Stones then gave it a go and after the first take, 'Who who" became "woo-woo", with most of this caught on film by director Jean-Luc Godard for his One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil) movie.

If the Stones were asking and singing in the studio "Who who who" is this song about maybe it makes sense that 52 years later we are still asking "who who who" this song is about?


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Shiva
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19/07/2020 7:03 pm  
Posted by: @elitemachinery

I believe you are talking about Anita Pallenberg. She had affairs with the Stone's Mick Jagger and Brian Jones before having three kids with the Stone's guitarist Keith Richards.

Yes. That's her.

rs anita pallenberg 7d698c5a 72ee 4ad8 885f 6d2a7481b06b
Posted by: @elitemachinery

The Stones then gave it a go and after the first take, 'Who who" became "woo-woo"

Aha!  The genesis of woo-woo, the antithesis of "Skeptical" Thelema, and woo-woo is a close relative of wu-wei.

Posted by: @elitemachinery

52 years later we are still asking "who who who" this song is about?

All questions of the who-who are to be decided each for himself, and any efforts to unmask the woo-woo are doomed to failure, for there is a factor (infinite and unknown) that pervades even the largest of forums and the tiniest of threads.

 


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dom
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19/07/2020 11:30 pm  

@elitemachinery

 

Yes I know who Pallenberg was, she was in Barbarella, alright movie but probably not worth a second viewing.   The Stones thought she was 'a witch' generally because she was moody.  Occultist and 'witch'?   Whether she performed the 8 Sabbath rituals and took it higher than a dilletante level I doubt otherwise we probably would've heard about it. . 

I knew who Anger was/is, he's made some good movies, some are free to watch on Youtube still I think.  Not sure about the stories in his Hollywood Babalon book though but everyone loves a good celeb rumour.

 

Only Jagger knows what this is about but I doubt very much it's about AC, like i said it's about christianity's The Devil doing bad things behind the scenes as he moves from century to century, it's pretty much explicit ;

 

 

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

 

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Shiva
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20/07/2020 1:19 am  
Posted by: @dom

I doubt very much it's about AC

We would need only one sigil, one catch-phrase, one confession or overt act (like buying Boleskine), and it could be confirmed. But no. It seems only a rumor. The Anger?Anita associations indicate a general common interest, but point to no star.

Posted by: @dom

Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate

This is the crossover point at Da'ath, the blackout point I mentioned "may" occur, but on some other thread, I think..

 


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Steven Mancuzzi
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20/07/2020 4:12 am  

 

Posted by: @elitemachinery

If the Stones were asking and singing in the studio "Who who who" is this song about maybe it makes sense that 52 years later we are still asking "who who who" this song is about?

Are we? My take is that it's always been a commentary on the cultural conflicts and shifts occurring in America at the time. As sung by a rich, aristocratic English rock star.

There's a much more "demonic" (for lack of a better term) side to Jagger that comes out in the film Performance, if you haven't seen it. That doesn't excuse his cover of "Dancin' in the Streets" 15 years later. Hell, not even Bowie could save that train wreck (and why exactly WAS he screaming "South America?")

There's always been a certain inclination to, if not delve too deeply, read Crowley in more than a few pop stars. The Beatles the Stones, Jimmy Page and Bowie come to mind. Daryll Hall. Jim Morrison probably. Keep in mind that there wasn't exactly a huge campaign to salvage the reputation of Crowley as "the Wickedest Man in the World." And what's more appealing than the lure of wickedness for a pop star? Well, probably a lot of things, but there's always been a Faustian enigma for performers. But I'm not certain how widely distributed many of Crowley's works were in the 60s and 70s. 


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Steven Mancuzzi
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20/07/2020 4:22 am  

And if you haven't heard it, there's an.... interesting reconstruction of the song by the Slovenian artists (and probably NOT actual fascists; they just feel Kim Jong Un is deeply misunderstood) Laibach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7muCRio2nQ


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djedi
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20/07/2020 4:41 am  
Posted by: @alayin

interesting reconstruction

Sympathy for Bela Lugosi


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Steven Mancuzzi
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20/07/2020 4:48 am  

"It was a natural decision for us to perform in North Korea. They are the Amy Winehouse of global politics."

- Laibach on being the first Western band invited to perform in North Korea


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elitemachinery
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20/07/2020 5:54 am  
Posted by: @alayin

Are we? My take is that it's always been a commentary on the cultural conflicts and shifts occurring in America at the time. As sung by a rich, aristocratic English rock star.

I am. Perhaps Shiva also. Others may come. I am aware of the general consensus about the song and also aware of the official story. I started this thread because I don't think it's ever been properly researched. A quote from an old article or book may surface that lends credence to my theory. Or not.

Like I said before I don't think the song is about Crowley per se. I think the song forms a clever riddle that asks the listener to decide who it's about by asking:

"What's my name?" "Hope you guessed my name" repeatedly while background singers sing "Who who?, Woo woo?"

The title of the track, "Sympathy for the Devil" gives the listener the obvious answer to the question. But as artists and songwriters are often quite clever i'm suggesting that there may be another answer to that question.

The riddle I'm suggesting could have been intentional or not. It could also be my feigning fanboy imagination. But others on this forum have said in the past that the song was "obviously about Crowley."

The timing of Jagger's work with Kenneth Anger and the first hand stories of people witnessing Anger teaching the Stones all about Crowley suggest that Crowley was an influence. But as @Shiva says there is nothing conclusive. It's circumstantial.

Posted by: @alayin

But I'm not certain how widely distributed many of Crowley's works were in the 60s and 70s. 

The late 60's is when Crowley's works starting re-appearing. Some for the first time (Confessions.) Look at the publication dates. Crowley was very popular. The links to Page, Beatles, and Bowie are well established. But a link to the Stones (arguably the wickedest of the artists) are more circumstantial.

 


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elitemachinery
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20/07/2020 10:04 am  

I found an interview with Mick Jagger from Rolling Stone magazine from December 14, 1995 where he talks about the song, Satanic Majesties, African rhythms, and he even mentions Aleister Crowley.

Jagger appears to be forthcoming and frank. And admits to avoiding the Crowley association that Page got stuck with.

Here is the quote:

The satanic-imagery stuff was very overplayed [by journalists]. We didn’t want to really go down that road. And I felt that song was enough. You didn’t want to make a career out of it. But bands did that – Jimmy Page, for instance.

I knew lots of people that were into Aleister Crowley. What I’m saying is, it wasn’t what I meant by the song “Sympathy for the Devil.” If you read it, it’s not about black magic, per se.

-Mick Jagger

Below is the entire section of the interview which talks about Sympathy.

-begin

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/mick-jagger-remembers-92946/

Let’s start with Beggars Banquet, a record that you could not have predicted from your earlier work. It had extraordinary power and sophistication, with songs like “Street Fighting Man,” “Salt of the Earth,” “Stray Cat Blues” and “Jig-Saw Puzzle.” What was going on in your life at this time?

What were you listening to and reading?
God, what was I doing? Who was I living with? It was all recorded in London, and I was living in this rented house in Chester Square. I was living with Marianne Faithfull. Was I still? Yeah. And I was just writing a lot, reading a lot. I was educating myself. I was reading a lot of poetry, I was reading a lot of philosophy. I was out and about. I was very social, always hanging out with [art-gallery owner] Robert Fraser’s group of people.

And I wasn’t taking so many drugs that it was messing up my creative processes. It was a very good period, 1968 – there was a good feeling in the air. It was a very creative period for everyone. There was a lot going on in the theater. Marianne was kind of involved with it, so I would go to the theater upstairs, hang out with the young directors of the time and the young filmmakers.

Let’s start with “Sympathy for the Devil.
I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire’s, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can’t see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song. And you can see it in this movie Godard shot called Sympathy for the Devil [originally titled One Plus One,] which is very fortuitous, because Godard wanted to do a film of us in the studio. I mean, it would never happen now, to get someone as interesting as Godard. And stuffy.

We just happened to be recording that song. We could have been recording “My Obsession.” But it was “Sympathy for the Devil,” and it became the track that we used.

You wrote that song.
Uh-huh.

So that’s a wholly Mick Jagger song.
Uh-huh. I mean, Keith suggested that we do it in another rhythm, so that’s how bands help you.

Were you trying to put out a specific philosophical message here? You know, you’re singing, “Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints”…
Yeah, there’s all these attractions of opposites and turning things upside down.

When you were writing it, did you conceive of it as this grand work?
I knew it was something good, ’cause I would just keep banging away at it until the fucking band recorded it.

There was resistance to it?
No, there wasn’t any resistance. It was just that I knew that I wanted to do it and get it down. And I hadn’t written a lot of songs on my own, so you have to teach it. When you write songs, you have to like them yourself first, but then you have to make everyone else like them, because you can force them to play it, but you can’t force them to like it. And if they like it, they’ll do a much better job than if they’re just playing ’cause they feel they’re obligated.

They get inspired.
And then you get inspired, and that’s what being in a band’s about rather than hiring people. But I knew it was a good song. You just have this feeling. It had its poetic beginning, and then it had historic references and then philosophical jottings and so on. It’s all very well to write that in verse, but to make it into a pop song is something different. Especially in England – you’re skewered on the altar of pop culture if you become pretentious.

The song has a very strong opening: “Please allow me to introduce myself.” And then it’s this Everyman figure in history who keeps appearing from the beginning of civilization.
Yeah, it’s a very long historical figure – the figures of evil and figures of good – so it is a tremendously long trail he’s made as personified in this piece.

What else makes this song so powerful?
It has a very hypnotic groove, a samba, which has a tremendous hypnotic power, rather like good dance music. It doesn’t speed up or slow down. It keeps this constant groove. Plus, the actual samba rhythm is a great one to sing on, but it’s also got some other suggestions in it, an undercurrent of being primitive – because it is a primitive African, South American, Afro-whatever-you-call-that rhythm. So to white people, it has a very sinister thing about it.

But forgetting the cultural colors, it is a very good vehicle for producing a powerful piece. It becomes less pretentious because it’s a very unpretentious groove. If it had been done as a ballad, it wouldn’t have been as good.

Obviously, Altamont gave it a whole other resonance.
Yeah, Altamont is much later than the song, isn’t it? I know what you’re saying, but I’m just stuck in my periods, because you were asking me what I was doing, and I was in my study in Chester Square.

After Altamont, did you shy away from performing that song?
Yeah, probably, for a bit.

It stigmatized the song in a way?
Yeah. Because it became so involved with [Altamont] – sort of journalistically and so on. There were other things going on with it apart from Altamont.

Was it the black-magic thing?
Yeah. And that’s not really what I meant. My whole thing of this song was not black magic and all this silly nonsense – like Megadeth or whatever else came afterward. It was different than that. We had played around with that imagery before – which is Satanic Majesties – but it wasn’t really put into words.

After the concert itself, when it became apparent that somebody got killed, how did you feel?
Well, awful. I mean, just awful. You feel a responsibility. How could it all have been so silly and wrong? But I didn’t think of these things that you guys thought of, you in the press: this great loss of innocence, this cathartic end of the era…. I didn’t think of any of that. That particular burden didn’t weigh on my mind. It was more how awful it was to have had this experience and how awful it was for someone to get killed and how sad it was for his family and how dreadfully the Hell’s Angels behaved.

Did it cause you to back off that kind of satanic imagery?
The satanic-imagery stuff was very overplayed [by journalists]. We didn’t want to really go down that road. And I felt that song was enough. You didn’t want to make a career out of it. But bands did that – Jimmy Page, for instance.

Big Aleister Crowley…
I knew lots of people that were into Aleister Crowley. What I’m saying is, it wasn’t what I meant by the song “Sympathy for the Devil.” If you read it, it’s not about black magic, per se.

-end

That's the best I can do at this time. Straight from the horses mouth. Draw your own conclusions.


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Steven Mancuzzi
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20/07/2020 1:05 pm  

@elitemachinery It's interesting - but still not conclusive. If Crowley exerted any influence, it doesn't seem lasting. You'd expect with the Stones outlaw image, they'd be only far too happy to be associated with "The Great Wild Beast" by mentioning him constantly in interviews. And having heard horror stories about Anger's behavior over the years, it's easy to imagine him overemphasizing his own particular influence on the life of pop stars.

Anita Pallenberg is an interesting example. I've known several people who personally knew her and the one trait they recognized in her was that of being extremely fragile and emotionally broken. That could have been the result of her lifestyle. That could have been any number of other things not necessarily pertaining to her interest in magick and Crowley. Muses can sometimes be like that if they don't have a certain backbone.

That's my take at least.


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dom
 dom
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20/07/2020 1:31 pm  

Conclusion yes just what I thought,  he's not knowledgeable about Crowley.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Jamie J Barter
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20/07/2020 8:49 pm  

Thanks for the transcript, @elitemachinery.

Posted by: @elitemachinery

I knew lots of people that were into Aleister Crowley. What I’m saying is, it wasn’t what I meant by the song “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Well that seems to conclude the matter, doesn't it: one might as well say it was written about Kenneth Anger, for all the accuracy involved?

Posted by: @elitemachinery

The satanic-imagery stuff was very overplayed [by journalists]. We didn’t want to really go down that road. And I felt that song was enough. You didn’t want to make a career out of it. But bands did that – Jimmy Page, for instance.

Hush, now!  Did I just hear the faintest sound of a meow there?!

Norma B Joy Con quest


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dom
 dom
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22/07/2020 12:31 am  

I never understood the line about Bombay and troubadours.  I just googled it;  

 

17. The “troubadours who got killed before they reach Bombay” line has caused much debate amongst fans trying to work out who it could refer to, the best conclusion being hippies travelling the 'Hippy Trail' to India by road, many of whom would be killed or robbed by drug smugglers in Afghanistan and Pakistan

 

or 

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/2yy435/and_i_laid_traps_for_troubadours_who_get_killed/

 

That line is a reference to these guys. The Thuggees were a religious cult that supposedly operated on the roads of India assassinating people in order to rob them, specifically by deceiving them and integrating into groups by posing as other travelers, and then killing them with a garrote. It was also alleged that these were all part of a an organized network.

I know it is thought that the word "Thug" in English comes from this group but unfortunately I don't know much more. I know I read an article months ago talking about the book the wiki mentions The Strangled Traveler: Colonial Imaginings and the Thugs of India (2002), but can't find it anywhere. The theory of that book from what I understand is that the Thuggees were basically a folk tale that the British Colonial Government took to be a real thing and tried to crack down on. Although there were highwaymen types on the roads the organized, religious part of it is just a story. Looking at the wiki now it seems that book's accuracy is being called into question.

I looked through the list of flaired users hoping to find someone who would be qualified to answer follow ups and maybe /u/JJatt could do it, but this is definitely what the line in the song refers too.

 

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Shiva
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22/07/2020 1:09 am  
Posted by: @dom

The Thuggees ... alleged that these were all part of a an organized network.

Yes. The origin our word "thug."

Yes. The Black Lodge is everywhere (omnipresent) below Binah. But above that, there's this concern about "cosmic evil," which is (I think) the duality that arises within the pure mind, or is emitted from any blach hole.

Posted by: @dom

it seems that book's accuracy is being called into question.

Everything is being called into question these days. I believe Perdurabo applied this concept toward religion in the first Chapter of Book 4. It has expanded to politics, history, racism, authority, etc, even as we watch.

 


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Jamie J Barter
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22/07/2020 1:48 am  
Posted by: @shiva

Everything is being called into question these days.

As if it wasn't always, though?!

N Joy


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dom
 dom
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28/07/2020 11:47 pm  

https://www.chancetoshine.org/news/chance-to-shine-can-get-satisfaction-thanks-to-support-from-mick-jagger

 

Jagger wants more and more young people to play cricket..............

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Jamie J Barter
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28/07/2020 11:58 pm  
Posted by: @dom

Jagger wants more and more young people to play cricket..............

How's that?

Z Joy


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dom
 dom
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29/07/2020 12:06 am  
Posted by: @jamiejbarter
Posted by: @dom

Jagger wants more and more young people to play cricket..............

How's that?

Z Joy

Haha.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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dom
 dom
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31/07/2020 4:36 pm  

I see that Queen Liz was said to have snubbed Jagger and refused to knight him herself.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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