So, I was reading an old interview with Joe Strummer and this little anecdote caught my eye:
There was a group called Eddie and the Hotrods right? And on their album, for some reason they chose to put a picture of Aleister Crowley wearing a Mickey Mouse hat...Well, this EP had this picture of Crowley with this Mickey Mouse hat on. I couldn't think of why. Jimmy Page saw this, right, and he rang the band up and said, "I'm putting a curse on you all." And after that, their album went away, just like that.I thought I'd look into the matter a little more deeply and found this interview with a member of the band:
"Do Anything You Wanna Do" was the summer hit. And you could barely turn a radio on without it blasting out ...whilst the single reached the top 5, it wasn't long afterwards that what was to be known as the Curse of the Hotrods struck. In retrospect it wasn't the best of ideas to mess about with Aleister Crowley. The single cover featured the image above featuring Crowley's face with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, a play on Crowley's mantra - "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law."
It wasn't long before the letters started coming from his followers, saying we were playing with fire and threatening dire retributions on us all. At the time it was unnetrving and we tried to laugh it off, but uncannily enough we suffered more than our fair share of tragedies soon after. In no particular order one of the guys responsible for the cover commited suicide, our manager died of a drugs overdose and all sorts of other troubles befell band members that I won't go into here.Now, rock n' roll is a rough business and the kinds of problems to Rods ran into are by no means uncommon. But by the same token this all ties into something I've believed very strongly for quite some time now- you have to be very careful what kinds of symbols you choose to play around with. A suicide and an overdose are both self-inflicted tragedies, which speaks to the power of suggestion sociologists have described with voodoo; manifesting the 'curse' in one's own subconscious.
But another strange notion occurred to me- would the same thing happen today? Belief itself is a poorly understood phenomenon, and may very well have a power in and of itself we can't quantify. Back in the 70s there was a small but motivated group of individuals who were fascinated by the Crowley mystique. People took these sorts of things much more seriously than they do today- would that kind of focused intensity of belief create its own manifestations, such as what the band member describes? Does the power of suggestion explain it away, or are there more subtle forces at work?
To answer that in the context of this story, I'd have to hear what other problems the band experienced. But a lot of us have had personal experience with a variety of anomalous weirdness that seems to operate above and beyond any possible type of suggestion.