The Curse of Led Zeppelin

Nonsense, right? Let’s see…

Formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. The band’s heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the originators of heavy metal.

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Most of the curse talk is centered around the late 19th century magician, Aleister Crowley. Much of this work was centered in England around the Golden Dawn Society. It was a secret society based loosely on Freemasonry, and like the Masons, had access to ancient secret Egyptian knowledge.

Suffice it to say, Crowley continued on an esoteric magical path that push the boundaries of understanding of the unseen further than anyone in the last 200 years.

Bands started to get weird and fans got weirder as the sixties shifted into 1970. It was around this time that Jimmy Page began to have a large fixation with Aleister Crowley.

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In February 1970 Plant was nearly killed in a single car crash, requiring some performances in a wheelchair. Then two months later Plant’s Aston Martin fell on him while he was working under it, crushing his ribs.

This is the time when supposedly Page asked the band to perform a magical ritual with him, a ritual that would bring the band unimaginable power.

This kind of magic is nothing to fool around with. It supposedly involves forces with powers beyond any human imagination, and is not to be trifled with by anyone who is not properly trained.

Page allegedly got the band, minus one, to join in an ancient ceremony. Jon Paul Jones was either skeptical enough or learned enough to stay far away.

The first evidence of this pact showed up on Led Zeppelin III. Written into the vinyl was “So Mote it Be” on one side and “Do What Thou Wilt” on the other. These are basic stock phrases that are in the core of Crowley’s belief system.

It was on Led Zeppelin IV that the symbolism became more overt. No band name or title graced the cover or spine. Inside, a haunting painting of the hermit, a powerful tarot card symbol, was the sole image. On the inner sleeve-more esoterica. Four symbols boldly across the sleeve. From left to right, these represent Page, Jones, Bonham and Plant.

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Page has said in interviews that most of these were taken Rudolf Koch’s 1955 Book of Signs, a collection of ancient and magical symbols from across the world.

According to Pamela des Barres, main squeeze of Page during this era, Jimmy got very deep into the Crowley myth.

Then in 1970 Jimmy Page purchased Crowley’s mansion, Boleskine, located in Loch Ness Scotland. Page said that the house had a history of suicides, which was true. London magazine Disc and Music Echo featured a cover story in their April 22, 1972 issue entitled ‘Jimmy Page on Magic’ “My house used to belong to Aleister Crowley, I knew that when I moved in. Magic is very important if people can go through it. I think Crowley’s completely relevant to today. We’re still seeking for truth; the search goes on.” Said Jimmy Page.

Jimmy Page was now seriously obsessed with Crowley’s work.

Visitors to Boleskine said that at dusk, the outdoor patio was awash with shadows-phantoms and ghostly shapes, residue from decades of conjuring spirits. Maids and servants were a quick turnover in employment, as all agreed the place was haunted to the point of being uninhabitable and beyond creepy.

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Page sold it in 1992, and had been wary of actually living there, leaving a caretaker in his stead-spending only six weeks living there out of the 22 years he owned it. The place burned in 2016 with no cause ever found.

Kenneth Anger, a Crowley disciple and filmmaker the film “Lucifer Rising” moved into Boleskine with Jimmy Page. Page and Kenneth Anger had a love/hate relationship and Anger was eventually asked to leave Page’s house where he had been living as the friendship fell apart.

Anger privately mentioned that he had cursed Page and Zeppelin with one monster of a spell that he could conjure. This is when things really started to get weird.

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First Robert Plant was in yet another horrific car crash, plunging off a cliff in Greece in 1975, nearly killing himself, his wife and child Karac. This forced a cancellation of the remainder of the Physical Graffiti tour, and postponed the recording of Presence, which Plant was forced to record in a wheelchair. 

The make up tour was then plagued by a plethora of highly negative events. A sudden case of laryngitis for Plant after the band had shipped all of their equipment and instruments to the States meant zero rehearsing was possible.

Then Plant’s son Karac got sick. He passed away in 1977 and as the band arrived in New Orleans, they got the news.  The tour was immediately canceled. Robert Plant quit the band and music in response to Page and Jones not showing up to his son’s funeral. Led Zeppelin truly seemed cursed.

Page was nearly comatose on a daily basis from a crippling heroin addiction. Bonham’s alcohol abuse raged out of control, and he became increasingly violent and unpredictable. 

Finally, in September 1980, John Bonham was sent home blisteringly drunk from a band rehearsal. He drank 40 or so shots of alcohol and died in his sleep. The Led Zeppelin band also died that day. Only Jon Paul Jones, the only one not to sign the supposed pact, remained unharmed unscathed.

When all is said and done, all of the above up to circumstances might just be a coincidence.

Jimmy Page had said several times in interviews that he was ‘using a system that worked’ when asked about Crowley. Clearly occult practices were genuinely involved on some level.

Kenneth Anger does seem to be the source of the Led Zeppelin curse. Personally, I am not so sure. Things started to backfire just as the band became the worldwide legends they had tried to magically invoke.

Perhaps Page had violated the fourth pillar of O.T.O. commandments ‘To Be Silent’ by dropping some larger hints as to what he was into in his 1970’s interviews. Black magic is notorious for either backfiring or not working in the way it was supposed to.

looking back on Page’s career since 1980: his level of heroin addiction, lack of production musically, and failed Zeppelin reunions after nearly two decades of brilliance….it makes me wonder. Literally nothing has happened to him. Good or bad. Just as it was phrased. And some unusual deaths to go along with it is just enough to make you wonder. Really wonder.

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