‘Here’s to My Sweet Satan’

The Butcher and I were watching the religious channel this weekend and caught a segment from 1981 about backmasking in Led Zeppelin songs, especially ‘Stairway to Heaven.’

It’s funny because I would have been seven and the Butcher one, but we both have vivid memories of being told how dangerous Led Zeppelin was, for that very reason.

Surely, that couldn’t have happened until we were older.  I want to say that it’s when I was in high school, about the same time as the whole “D&D will turn you Satanic” scare, so almost ten years after that dude on the religious channel went on Merv Griffith and warned America about Led Zeppelin’s love of Satan.

Can you think of any band or artist  from ten years ago that we’re still blaming for leading young people astray?  Maybe Biggie and no one is accusing Biggie of being in league with the Devil.

Those were weird times.

You know what it reminded me of?  Watching this dude with his tape recorder saying, “Now, first you’re going to hear something that sounds like ‘Here’s to My Sweet Satan’ and then you’re going to hear ‘six, six’ and possibly another ‘six.'”

Sadly, it reminded me of my beloved ‘Ghost Hunters’ on the Sci Fi network sitting there with their eager clients and their computers and their EVPs saying, “Now first you’re going to hear a pipe banging and then you’ll hear a voice.”

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s not sad.

But it is funny how we don’t move very far away from some things, isn’t it?

Here I am, still intrigued by men straining to hear the faint words of occult conspiracy and otherworldly powers.

13 thoughts on “‘Here’s to My Sweet Satan’

  1. Wow! I thought I was the only person I know who was subjected to lectures and demonstrations on the evils of backmasking. Only in ours, they used The Eagles.

  2. Well, come on! Clearly, The Eagles are evil.No, I kid. We got that one, too. "Hotel California," and all.The funny thing is that my dad thought this was all nonsense, but we went to this stuff as a way to find common ground with the Assembly of God kids.

  3. I sat through precisely three of these. And I had a BOOK! With illustrations from evil album covers. It was kind of a hobby of mine, to read and debunk these guys. The last speaker we had was in chapel when I was a Sophomore in High School, so 1985 or 86. The guy rambled on and on about My Sweet Satan and Turn Me On, Dead Man. His hook, though, was to play a tape of his comely wife singing hymns, run that backward and then declare that the angels had posessed HER to say "Jesus is Lord" in the backmasking. I actually stood up and said a few things in response, for which I got applause from everyone in the room. The applause is why I remember it so clearly. ;-p

  4. The thing that strikes me as funniest in retrospect was that until that point, I thought that, if Satan was real and not just some metaphor for evil, that he was, though not to be flirted with, pretty ineffectual in the face of Jesus. You know, Satan might have been trying to separate you from Jesus, but Jesus was working to bring you closer to Him and, of course, Jesus was going to win in the end.But sitting through those lectures? That was my first introduction to a worldview that saw the Devil as this all pervasive influence on life whereas Jesus was remarkably impotent in the face of rock music.I would have loved to hear you taking on guys like that. That would have been awesome.

  5. My goodness, you kids are spoiled. When I was that age we had to figure out that Paul was dead all by ourselves. No classes to help us, no national TV coverage until we had already known all about it for months. We even had to turn the turntables backwards…. Sigh. No wonder the country is falling apart. The American can-do spirit is just gone.I do wonder what you’d hear if you played Landry’s Christian death metal stuff backwards, though.

  6. I went to some Baptist summer camp where we got this lecture! Although I remember a lot of analysis of album covers. In particular, Ronnie James Deo’s "Holy Diver," which featured a priest drowning in an ocean while some giant demon-figure smacked him with a cat o’nine tails or something. Have you listened to DEO lately? How could anyone ever have been scared of that stuff?

  7. Oh, Veronica! Brilliant. Poor Manson. I’d forgotten about him. I still wonder why rock is the devil’s music and rap isn’t. I’ve never heard of any kind of Satanic scare when it comes to rap music and yet, it’s pretty villianized as a form. I wonder why anti-rap folks have never taken that tact.

  8. Oh, Honey. You mean you missed EX-Ministries?http://www.exministries.com(Man, is that ever slow to load. I wouldn’t bother if I was on dial-up.)The devil is definitely in hip-hop, according to dude, and he’s hucking a DVD to prove it. (Because Jesus don’t want dudes to be giving the Good Word away for free.) It appears that Satan wasn’t satisfied with ensnaring heavy metal audiences because, well, frankly, only stoned-out pimply white boys were listening to his Evil Message ™. So the Big Bad took over rap…remember when Tupac swore he sold his soul to the Devil? My Islamic neighbors won’t let their kids listen to hiphop because it’s demeaning to women and offers a deranged set of acquisitive values that is at odds with their interpretation of the teachings of the Koran. My Christian neighbors won’t let their kids listen to hiphop because it’s got too many swear words. Who says that music doesn’t unite people?

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