"Cult Rock" explores the intersection of cults and music in the 1960s and 1970s

Originally published at: "Cult Rock" explores the intersection of cults and music in the 1960s and 1970s | Boing Boing

Of course, there are bands already exploring this space.

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Sounds interesting. Starting with the Maharishi, the horny old fraud who bamboozled the Beatles, is a promising sign.


Hubbard was out standing in so many fields.

Stop and Smell the Roses

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Glad to see my favorite band, Blue Öyster Cult, not mentioned here!


Sacred Bones Records have released some interesting Father Yod/The Source Family material.

With some important qualifications, I find any kind of spirituality infused into popular music to be dreadful. As the great Hank Hill succinctly put it:

You’re not making Christianity any better, you’re just making rock and roll worse.

Soul music, for example, I love, and although it comes from gospel they’re mostly not singing (directly) about God. Instrumental jazz that explores spirituality, such as Coltrane’s work, also gets a pass. George Harrison’s spirituality, when a lighter touch is used, is fine, like on the All Things Must Pass album.

But jam bands singing about their guru for an entire album, or even worse, live? Screw that noise.

I had a CD of Wulf Zendik, from the cult Zendik Farms (they said it was not a cult but, not so sure about that). I bought this disc in the late 90s from some teenagers from this group hanging out on the street in Delray, Florida. The music is dark and trippy and groovy and actually pretty good.

I later did a vocal impression of him here.

We had a few cult/music intersections in the 1980s and 90s too

This one is particularly noteworthy because it got accepted into the Church of England, who were panicking about the decline in youth attendance and didn’t do due diligence.

Tim Booth and Jim Glennie from James were also in a cult (Lifewave), possibly as a result of another ex-band member abusing drugs.


There is a thematically related weekly radio show – Music of Mind Control – on WFMU. Tuesday 7pm Eastern, with archives at the link. “An exploration into the musical output of religious cults, new religious movements, and individuals of a spiritually inspired and divine nature.” Most of the music is pretty terrible!

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I have news for you - human beings make mistakes… Even pros. Even mistakes that get through to the final product. :woman_shrugging:

But mistakes can be corrected. You could always send them an email about it…


There’s no need to be rude, new person with strong opinions.

Be Cool or begone.


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