What would happen if  William Burroughs and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page sat down for a cup of tea? Would the Devil pop out of the teapot? Would the crumpets rise up and start singing the “Misty Mountain Hop“?

The good folks at Arthur Magazine have unearthed a 1975 Crawdaddy article  in which Burroughs attends a Led Zeppelin concert and has a nice  little chat with Jimmy Page.

These two dark mages actually have a quaint and easy going conversation. Burroughs gives a thoughtful  and astutely written description of the whole experience:

We started talking over a cup of tea and found we have friends in common: the real estate agent who negotiated Jimmy Page’s purchase of the Aleister Crowley house on Loch Ness; John Michel, the flying saucer and pyramid expert; Donald Camel, who worked on ‘Performance’; Kenneth Anger, and the Jaggers, Mick and Chris. The subject of magic came up in connection with Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Anger’s film ‘Lucifer Rising’, for which Jimmy Page did the sound track.

Since the word “magic” tends to cause confused thinking, I would like to say exactly what I mean by “magic” and the magical interpretation of so-called reality. The underlying assumption of magic is the assertion of ‘will’ as the primary moving force in this universe–the deep conviction that nothing happens unless somebody or some being wills it to happen. To me this has always seemed self-evident. A chair does not move unless someone moves it. Neither does your physical body, which is composed of much the same materials, move unless you will it to move. Walking across the rooom is a magical operation. From the viewpoint of magic, no death, no illness, no misfortune, accident, war or riot is accidental. There are no accidents in the world of magic. And will is another word for animate energy. Rock stars are juggling fissionable material that could blow up at any time… “The soccer scores are coming in from the Capital…one must pretend an interest,” drawled the dandified Commandante, safe in the pages of my book; and as another rock star said to me, “YOU sit on your ass writing–I could be torn to pieces by my fans, like Orpheus.”

To read a transcript of the entire article click here

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Fascinating article. I was a freshman undergrad at NYU when this article came out. I, too, had tea with Wm. Burroughs! In The Bunker. We talked about the Dance of the Wu Ling Masters. He was hungover and cranky, but I was still in awe. Seeing this is a reminder that I should write about that encounter someday soon.

Brant Lyon added these pithy words on Sep 18 10 at 9:59 pm

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