Desperately Seeking Satan

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6M20121031

Danny Robins explores the occult in music and asks why the devil has all the best tunes.

They say the Devil has the best tunes.... This Hallowe'en, Danny explores the influence of the occult on music from early blues musicians like Robert Johnson, who was supposed to have actually sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his guitar skills, via Black Sabbath, Led Zep and the Rolling Stones to church- burning Norwegian Black Metallers, Marilyn Manson and a new wave of Occult Indie Rock.

Danny speaks to former Creation Records boss Alan McGee about his interest in Aleister Crowley, risks life and limb going on a Black Metal sightseeing bus tour in Oslo and takes part in a witches sabbat to test the theory that sabbats were the medieval equivalent of a music festival like Glastonbury.

He also talks ritual magick with Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV singer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and discusses the relationship between heavy metal and the devil with controversial Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth.

Though bands invoking the Devil has less power to shock these days, Danny looks at the uproar caused by The Rolling Stones song Sympathy for the Devil and the horror of the Manson murders and their links to the music industry, speaking to former Blondie bassist turned occult author Gary Lachman who has written on the period.

Going further back, Danny learns about the Devil's Chord, a musical technique apparently banned in the Middle Ages for fear it invoked the devil but now much beloved by metal bands and Hollywood composers who want to imply evil - it even features in The Simpsons theme tune. And, in the spirit of fairness, he also hears from pop star turned clergyman Rev Richard Coles, asking him why most musicians look downwards rather than up for inspiration.