The magician and Occultist Aleister Crowley appears on the cover of The Beatles’ 1967 masterpiece Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, situated on the back row of a crowd of people that the band admired. Crowley famously put forward in his book Magick, the practice of reverse speech, something that the Beatles experimented with in their recordings at this time. This short paper will explore how Crowley and other writers of the Victorian era inspired members of the band, and how spirituality and elements of the counter-culture of the late 1960s assisted to create an interest in the esoteric, which in turn inspired the music of the band.
This paper was presented at Mersey College No.12, Societas Rosicrucian in Anglia, on the 18th of November, 2022, and can be downloaded for free in pdf format from my academia profile by clicking here.
My academia profile includes a collection of published papers, mainly on the subject of Freemasonry, Fraternal Societies and the Occult.