What our staff has to say: “I love Kenneth Anger’s films. Having this tape edition of the soundtrack of Lucifer Rising is a joy for us all. Check out the listing to read Anger’s own words on putting the film together. A huge hero of mine.” – Alex
2023 Cassette edition
Forty years or so ago Bobby BeauSoleil conceived of the music for Lucifer Rising as a single continuous piece of music, a 45-minute rock symphony. Despite the rigors and challenges imposed by his imprisonment he delivered his psychedelic opus, fully realized, and presented it as a complete work on LP in 1979.
“Ultra rare and precious material composed almost in secret during the 70’s. “Lucifer Rising” is also the soundtrack of Kenneth Anger’s experimental, acid and metaphysical film. This CD contains Bobby Beausoleil’s classic bluesy psych based sound but turned into more spacey, gorgeously atmospheric and poetical musical textures. Keyboards are really haunted, strongly progressive and complex, delivering a perfect combination with guitar sound effects. The opening track is a wonderful freak out but also meditative composition, featuring weird “cosmic” electronic effects, long linear synth sequence, killer guitar leads, harmonics, echoes, cymbals played in an absolute grandiose, eloquent vibe. Incredibly mysterious, elegant and enigmatic at the same time.Track two starts with dark heavy guitar harmonies then goes into a mystical, ethereal , sacred universe full of synthesised / organ motifs: a really deep, “stoned” ambience including some nice proggy moments. Track 3 is a cosmic rocking composition with fuzzed out guitar leads. It ends up with cyclical electronic moves, including a very refined melody. Track 4 is only made of eternal, infernal, “hallucinatory” organ chords. Track 5 contains heavenly trumpet melodies with slowing, touching organic motifs. Track 6 contains guitar manipulations, discreet, fragile “dreamy” like melodies for organ. The two bonus tracks (white dog music edition) surf on the experimental “kosmiche musik”, almost exclusively written for electronic materials. A very divine, unearthly atmosphere for droning sitar sequences and haunted synth sounds (closed to TD first era). A wonderful album dominated by very dark, melancholic, visceral organ sections and a few spacey-rock guitars. Top class album, highly inspired, constant in term of musical quality. At the same level of the best offerings from krautrock. Actually in my top 10 of favourite prog rock albums. ”
Kenneth Anger on how he made Lucifer Rising:
This was the first really big film about black magic or white magic or whatever you want to call it. I’m a member of the OTO – Ordo Templi Orientis – an occult order founded by British genius Aleister Crowley, who was maligned by the gutter press. The Express’s rightwing jerk Lord Beaverbrook sold a lot of papers calling Crowley a satanist, with headlines like “The man we want to hang”, to provoke people to murder him. Crowley’s like a bogeyman, which was unfair. He wrote wonderful books and poetry. Lord Beaverbrook loved to call Crowley a cannibal: eating human beings makes good headlines, and Crowley couldn’t countersue.
Lucifer Rising was about Egyptian gods summoning the angel Lucifer – in order to usher in a new occult age, in accordance with the principles of OTO. I used a bit of deception to film it in Egypt. I said I was doing a documentary on ancient Egyptian beliefs and needed to film in the actual settings: in front of the Sphinx, at Karnak, along the Nile where you see beautiful ruined temples. The authorities fell for it.
I’d taken pictures of Black Saturday, the anti-British riots in Cairo in 1952. When they burned down Shepheard Hotel, I filmed people jumping from the windows and being massacred in the street – they had their legs cut off by swords and were left to bleed to death because they were British. I sold those images to Picture Post, which paid for my trip.
Marianne Faithfull [the film’s star, playing the goddess Lilith] says I hypnotised her and forced her to do things against her will. I didn’t. When I took her to Egypt, she was addicted to heroin and had the nerve to carry some in her makeup box under the face powder, so it just looked like just another form of powder. If she had been arrested or discovered, we all would have been shot – that was the penalty then. I think all drugs are crutches – you don’t need them to be creative. Lucifer Rising is not psychedelic, it’s a film by Kenneth Anger. It’s my style. I never said you should take LSD before watching it, that’s a lie – one of the papers invented it.
Bobby lied to me, and then he made a terrible mistake. He told me: “Kenneth, I need $700.” In the 1960s, that was quite a lot of money. He said it was to buy amps for his act. He and came back with a large package wrapped in black plastic, which I assumed was speakers. Then he went out, and I noticed his dog sniffing at it. So I cut open a corner, and lo and behold it was a key [kilogram] of marijuana. When he came back, I picked up his package and said: “Take your fucking marijuana and get the hell out of here.” The next time I saw him, he was on death row for murdering a musician on Charles Manson‘s orders. Manson never actually killed anyone himself, he just brainwashed these girls and Bobby, who were like his zombies, to kill. Manson was a funny little freak, a dwarf, very short. The good news about Manson in prison is that he’s terrified of dentists so one by one, one by one, all his teeth have rotted and fallen out. He deserves it, he’s evil and should have been executed. He completely ruined Bobby: Bobby would’ve been OK if he hadn’t met Manson.
But Bobby created his own situation. He didn’t have to accept the invitation to move in with the girls. His van broke down in front of the [Manson family’s] Spahn Ranch, as if predestined by Satan himself, and the girls came out and said, “Well you’re cute, why don’t you move in?”So Jimmy Page did some music instead. He’s a miser, which is a horrible thing. He wouldn’t even pay for lunch. So I said: “Isn’t it preposterous that you’re so cheap?” And that of course insulted him. He was on heroin all the time – I hate all those druggies because their eyes get glazed and what they say is meaningless because they don’t follow through. I said: “OK, Jimmy, I need exactly 40 minutes.” But he only gave me 20. I said: “What am I supposed to do, play it twice? I need 40 minutes! I need a climax! Like, [the film] is the end and the beginning of the world – you’ve gotta give me that big music!”
In the end, I took a tape recorder in to Bobby in prison. He rounded up 12 other murderers who used to be musicians – there’s a lot of musicians in prison who got mixed up with selling drugs, but I mean they still could play music. So I recorded Bobby playing with the “all-killer orchestra”. Bobby said he was going to call his band the Powerhouse of Oz. I said: “You can’t, because Oz means goat in Hebrew – though you’re not violating the L Frank Baum Oz book copyright, because Baum was a secret occultist and the Oz books are full of secret little jokes for people that understand magic.”