The Beach Boys and Charles Manson, the Rolling Stones and the Occult, Black Widow and the founding of Satanic Rock…

Charles Manson: Murder, Mayhem, The Beach Boys, Neil Young and the Mamas and the Papas

Perhaps the most notorious bogeyman in modern American history is Charles Manson. The serial killer, who was said to have the ability to control minds, had ties to some of the most famous rockers of the 60’s: The Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas and Neil Young.  Both Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and Neil Young supported Manson before his murder spree—Wilson and his band even recorded a Manson song—while Young promoted him to an executive at Reprise, his label.  John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was the first to be approached to record Manson, a gig he refused. Phillips was connected to Manson again, as an early suspect in the infamous Tate murders carried out by the Manson Family.

“With so many L.A. musicians tripping the light fantastic and rock music going psychedelic it was not always easy to tell if the bearded guy next to you was an ‘eccentric’ struggling musician or a dangerously insane psychopath with a God complex,” observed Nick Dedina, senior producer/editor and head of radio programming, Rhapsody. “The Manson murders changed the L.A. music scene forever; things would never be as free or easy again.”

The Rolling Stones Serve Their Satanic Majesties’ Request

The Rolling Stones’ dabbling in the dark arts did not stop with releases such as “Their Satanic Majesties Request” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”  Frontman Mick Jagger scored a film called “Invocation of My Demon Brother,” starring Bobby Beausoleil–one of the Manson Family killers. Meanwhile, bandmates Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Jagger were all involved with Anita Pallenberg, an occultist model/actress/scenester who was known to cast spells and perform animal sacrifices. The band was also connected to the Process Church of the Final Liberation, a cult that originated on Haight Street and was devoted to worshiping Jesus and Satan equally.

Black Widow’s On-Stage Sacrifices and Satanic Doctrine Take Rock to the Dark Side

The Stones may have paved the road for Black Widow, the first Satanic Rock band.  With on-stage sacrifices, incantations to Hell’s crown prince and performances of songs such as “Conjuration” and “Come to the Demon,” Black Widow, a prog rock group from Leicester, England, compelled priests to wave Bibles and crucifixes at shows.  Known to consult Wiccan high priests on doctrine and ceremony, Black Widow choreographed demonic stage rituals and penned lyrics laced with black magic. While these efforts only produced one minor hit in the UK, the dark influence of Black Widow continues to be felt throughout the decades.

“Rock and roll’s flirtations with black magic, the Occult and Satanism didn’t die when the 1970s gave way to the ’80s,” observed Justin Farrar, rock editor, Rhapsody. “In the modern age bands and artists of various stripes, from Venom and Cradle of Filth to Salem and SUNN 0))), continue to explore the dark arts.”

Rhapsody editors have programmed an extensive bag of musical Halloween tricks and treats on, including playlists such as: Classic Halloween Jams, Rock’s Scariest Tunes, Modern Vampire Anthems, a Witchhouse playlist and Halloween Radio; alongside editorial offerings including two Shock Rock Album Guides and even more of Rock’s Scariest Stories. It’s all available at Rhapsody’s Halloween Hub at