Add your thoughts in the comments — especially if you’re a Led Zeppelin fan:
Season of the Witch is, admittedly, an entertaining if slightly overwrought read — a fine primer on Baby Boomer music if you still need one after all this time.
But Bebergal’s thesis is shaky.
For one thing, his definition of “occult” — the concept around which the book revolves — isn’t entirely clear.
Rounding up pretty much every popular musician who was influenced by occult guru Aleister Crowley — including such surprising acolytes as Sting and Daryl Hall — is one thing.
The trouble is that, in Bebergal’s book as in the music in question, the word “occult” came to comprise pretty much anything “weird”: Dungeons & Dragons, space travel, Universal monster movies, LSD, ESP and on and on.
And Bebergal’s choice of musicians to focus on is equally arbitrary.
A book about the occult and rock that doesn’t even mention Screaming Jay Hawkins, and waves off The Doors in one paragraph?