Religion: Arthur Brown


You were one of the first artists to bring the occult into mainstream rock.

After the war, a lot of beliefs were shot by the savagery of what had gone on, so there was an opening waiting to be filled. What was around was the occult.

How did you go about bringing that into your stage persona?

We wanted to shock people out of the everyday hypnosis of TV and the media. Plus it was a time when people were beginning to explore and expand their consciousness. Performing was always quite magical for me. What I did on stage was shamanic because it would always attract occult things and different kinds of energies.

Did you face much hostility?

Oh yeah. I got attacked at one concert in the very early days. I was doing Fire! and some guy suddenly arrived from the side of the stage. The next thing I knew my head was on the keyboard and there was blood pouring everywhere.

Any other strange incidents?

We got death threats from the Manson people. And the head of a witch coven wrote me a letter on black paper in black ink.