Chapter 8- Conclusions and Culpability
We’ve gone over Led Zeppelin’s descent, which resulted in John Bonham’s death and the end of the original incarnation of the band. Also covered were the post-Zeppelin/Bonham years and the curse’s effect on what was left of the group. Could all of this bad luck just be due to general life circumstances; stuff that can happen to anyone and was just magnified by Zeppelin’s fame and Jimmy Page’s innocuous occult hobby? But then again, maybe the accidents and deaths were karma or payback related to an alleged deal the band made with nefarious, invisible forces? Or did Kenneth Anger’s Curse of King Midas seal Zeppelin’s fate? As I’ve said all along, it’s impossible to prove either way as this is all very subjective. But of course, I’m going to share my opinion…and it’s just that, an opinion.
This definitely isn’t a black or white issue and I’ll have to delve into another band’s history to make my case. Before Kenneth Anger met Jimmy Page he was involved with The Rolling Stones. Anger’s conversations with lead singer Mick Jagger allegedly inspired the song Sympathy for the Devil which was released in December of 1968. The infernal song was also inspired by the Russian novel The Master and Margarita as Jagger was into all sorts of occult literature in the late sixties.
Many have spoken of this period as being the Stones’ demonic phase which sounds appropriately labeled and was certainly fed by their association with Anger. It proved to be fertile ground for the filmmaker and occultist to work his magick on the band. In addition to Jagger, Anger was close to his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, Stones guitarists Brian Jones and Keith Richards and also their (at different times) girlfriend, German-Italian model and film star Anita Pallenberg.
The Stones’ were interested in the occult as it was hip at the time, and being rock stars, they leaned towards the dark side. Anger worked with the band wherever his occult or film interests could find common ground. Jagger recorded the score for his short movie Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and then Jagger and Faithfull got involved in Anger’s film Lucifer Rising. Of course, this is the long-term project that Jimmy Page later committed to composing the score for. Before JP got involved, Jagger was at various times to either do the score or play the lead part but it all ended when he decided to pull out.
Anger had also become quite fixated on Brian Jones and believed that he and Pallenberg were witches. Jones had allegedly shown Anger an ‘extra nipple’ he had on his thigh which the filmmaker said would have been perceived as a mark of the Devil in Medieval times. Jones was fired from the band in June of 1969 for drug problems and was soon found dead in his swimming pool under mysterious circumstances. In December of 1969 the Stones performed in a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in Northern California. This event became known as the Altamont tragedy which….