Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Crowley

By enquirewithin · Jun 30, 2012 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    Back when Ministry were an interesting band, presumably because of Al Jougensen's contact with Tim Leary, they used samples of Crowley and others in the track Golden Dawn.

    [imgl=red] [/imgl]

    Wikipedia gives a list of the samples:

    Psalm 69 from the same album refers to the Book of Lies-- "the way to succeed and the way to suck eggs." It hardly adds anything to Crowley's puns but I don't think Ozzie Osbourne ever got that far into reading Crowley.

    The Land of Rape and Honey is tilted ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ in Greek from Crowley's book.

    In a recent interview Al said:

    Share This Article


  1. Routemaster Flash
    Interesting stuff! I've been a big Ministry (and RevCo etc.) fan for years, although I'm much more into their more industrial from the '80s. I guess you're of a similar opinion when you say "Back when they were interesting". Their last album I own, apart from Greatest Fits, is Psalm 69 (BTW, it's this album, not TLoR&H, that's properly titled ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, meaning "chapter [literally "head"] "69". And 'Golden Dawn' is on TLoR&H. Sorry, I'll stop being pedantic and abusing brackets now!)

    Ministry must have pretty much the best drug-nerd caché of any band, because in addition to the Crowley and Leary samples you mentioned, they also had William Burroughs - himself hugely influenced by Crowley - in the video to 'Just One Fix'. It seems kind of de rigueur for bands of a certain sort to have at least one member who's obsessed with Crowley and/or Burroughs - OG industrial band Throbbing Gristle, or at least Genesis and Sleazy, were pretty keen on both of them. Jimmy Page has the world's biggest collection of Crowleyana and once owned Boleskine House in Scotland, which Crowley bought as a venue for magic rituals. And I've got a copy of Burroughs's recording of his story 'The "Priest', They Called Him', with Kurt Cobain playing guitar in the background.

    OK, so Throbbing Gristle, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Ministry are not exactly "the same sort of band", but you know what I mean.
  2. enquirewithin
    Please DO be pedantic. Actually I was just to lazy to look up that Greek--obviously I can't read Greek. Head 69 makes perfect sense in this context.

    Yeah-- I love RevCo and Ministry during that period too. Chris Connelly, who started his career as a Revolting Cock is still going strong IMHO. His last album Artificial Madness and the one with the High Confessions--Turning Lead Into Gold -- are both excellent.

    Leary's vocals (him rambling really) appear on Gila Copter by RevCo and he is in the Cracking Up video.

    Burroughs was hugely influenced by Crowley-- Robert Anton Wilson claims that it was after he sent him a copy of Illuminatus!that he started referring to Crowley, but who knows? Burroughs got mixed up with punk and new wave somehow-- and more avant garde music. I guess he needed a fix.

    There is direct musical lineage between TG and Ministry. TG are usually are said to have invented the term "industrial music" and Coil, who partly came from TG are cited as an influence by Al Jourgensen-- it is even more obvious with NIN, the most famous industrial band. Industrial Rock is nothing like the weirdness of TG or Coil now, unfortunately. Most of it is nondescript heavy metal.

    There is another blog post about GPO, Burroughs and Crowley. GPO does put out ever weirder music now and again still, although his ideas about being a pandrogyne are just too bizarre for me!

    Shame about Ministry. Al gave up illegal drugs and seems to be an alcoholic-- and hasn't done much of interest since! Three albums about George Bush-- who needs even one? I download all his albums, like the latest Relapse but can barely get through them.

    Somebody could write a book about Crowley's influence on rock music, starting with being on Sgt Pepper through Jimmy Page and especially David Bowie, most of whose best music comes a period when he was obsessed with cocaine and Crowley. Then there are all the heavy metal bands who just think he's cool because he was a "Satanist", descending from Black Sabbath's Mr Crowley (pronounced wrongly of course-- pedantic but shows a lack depth of knowledge about Perdurabo!).

    Damon Albarn (of Gorillaz/ Blur) samples Crowley in his soundtrack Dr Dee and a track is called the Golden Dawn. i don't know much about those artists.

    I don't really listen to Nirvana-- have they ever cited Crowley as an influence?

    There is at least one other group of musicians-- avant garde and jazz-- such as Bill Laswell and John Zorn, the first of whom quotes Crowley as an influence-- the second has makes lots of occult/ Thelemic influenced music, even having a Crowley Quartet. They both have played at an American OTO meeting.

    I could go on....;)
  3. Routemaster Flash
    That's all really cool stuff! I don't think Nirvana were at all into Crowley, just Burroughs AFAIK. Crowley would probably have been too explicitly 'metal' for them, I guess - though it was Burroughs himself who coined the term "heavy metal", or is popularly credited with it (think he has a short story called 'The Heavy Metal Kid', though I've not read it).

    BTW, what is the correct pronunciation of 'Crowley'? I've always said the first syllable like 'crow', but does it actually rhyme with 'cow'?

    I'd be interested to read that other blog post about GPO etc., would love to read it if you have a link.

    I saw TG live not quite a couple of years ago, they were absolutely fucking mental in the best possible way. Probably the most aurally confrontational thing I've ever heard. Then they broke up a couple of weeks later and Sleazy died not long afterwards. :(
  4. enquirewithin
    I would like to have seen TG. It must have been an experience! I don't think they will ever tour again. Coil have all gone now....

    I thought I had a post about GPO-- I should have but I don't seem to have got around to it. He is in the picture here but it is just about Jiimmy Page and WSB:

    Crowley does rhyme with 'crow' not 'cow'-- or so he insisted:

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!