Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $6.00 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Season of the Witch: How ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good - Standard used condition book with the text inside being clean and unmarked - Exterior of the book shows moderate signs of usage
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll Hardcover – October 16, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$21.95
$4.57 $11.09

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
Hold Still
The popular new release from Sally Mann. Learn more | See author page
$21.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll
  • +
  • Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood
Total price: $35.32
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fascinating thesis reflecting the time when everyone seemed to give rock and roll the status of, if not a religion, then certainly that of a spiritual belief system.  Peter Bebergal’s Season of the Witch brought it all back. It's an absorbing read deserving an important place in rock literature.”
--Michael Moorcock

"Rather than turning in either a fanboyish rhapsody or a scholarly dissertation, he treads the line between those approaches. The result is passionate, informed, gripping and at times wonderfully lyrical."
--NPR

“This sharply written narrative illuminates the centrality of the occult imagination at the heart of rock and roll.”
--Library Journal (starred review)

"A thoroughly researched, absorbing, entertaining ride for anyone who’s ever played the Beatles’ ‘White Album’ backwards.”
--Andrea Shea, WBUR/ NPR

“Kudos to Bebergal for taming the wily spirits of rock long enough to capture their essence in this fascinating book. Perhaps more impressive is the book’s comprehensiveness—from Delta blues to beatnik bluster to acid evangelists to metal overlords, Season of the Witch puts the hellfire in highbrow.”
--The Contrarian

"Skillfully woven...will delight any music fan and music historian in equal measure.”
--Spirituality Today (5/5 stars)

“This book is a glorious headlong rush into the dark, full of the electricity of the arcane.  I loved it.”
--Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine and Transmetropolitan

“From grimoires to topographic oceans, from heavy metal to hip-hop, Peter Bebergal tracks the Mysteries through half a century of popular music (and some underground noise as well). At once an overview of rock's mystic rebellions and a handy primer on modern esoterica, Season of the Witch suggests that we may need to round out the trinity of sex, drugs, and rock' n' roll with an additional deity: the occult, another primal portal to a re-enchanted world.”
--Erik Davis, author of Led Zeppelin IV and Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica

“Told with clear-eyed scholarship and delectable anecdotes, Peter Bebergal's mind-expanding occult history opened my third eye to Rock & Roll's awesome power over human behavior. Rock & Roll will never sound the same to me again, and I'm glad about it.”
--Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Boing Boing

"Bebergal displays an intelligent understanding of the interaction between religion and culture when he argues that the '"occult imagination is the vital force of rock-and-roll culture.' "
--Publishers Weekly

“Peter Bebergal has written of his own searching, reconciling spiritual aspirations and personal background, in The Faith Between Us and Too Much To Dream. Both are on my bookshelves. Here, in Season Of The Witch, Peter presents an overview of one “alternative influence” at work on some of those intending to change the world.


The world they hoped to change was a dangerous mess.
 
Now, half a century later…”
--Robert Fripp

 

“Unfussy but thoroughly documented…establishes the occult as a phenomenon above and beyond its debatable status of mere fad in the history of contemporary music.”--Ralph Elawani, Exclaim!

“Anyone seeking shocking tales of demonic rock’n’roll would be best served looking elsewhere, but for someone interested in the interplay between music, culture and spirituality, Season Of The Witch is a revelatory and fascinating grimoire.” --Record Collector

“A must-read for anyone who prefers their music loud, riff-driven, and loaded with lyrics about Satan, wizards, and mystical quests.” --Cheryl Eddy, io9.com

“Bebergal, a Dungeons & Dragons playing rock fanboy and graduate of Harvard Divinity School has exactly the right pedigree for this line of work, infusing what could be a dry litany of rumors, hearsay, and matter-of-facts with a genuine love for the source material.” --Cooper Berkmoyer, Flavorpill



 

About the Author

Peter Bebergal is the author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and The Faith Between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of God  (with Scott Korb). He writes widely on the speculative and slightly fringe, and his recent essays and reviews have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Boing Boing, The Believer, and The Quietus. Bebergal studied religion and culture at Harvard Divinity School, and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee (October 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399167668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399167669
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book provides a very intelligent and well researched perspective on how mysticism and ancient mythologies inspired some of the greatest rock musicians, and how that enhanced the experience for us as listeners and fans. He takes no sides and promotes no ideologies here, but clearly shows how this aspect of rock was able to tap into our curiosities, tribal tendencies, and search for greater meaning and self enlightenment. He also identifies well with how fun it was to contemplate and experience this music, even writing about the wonderment of album covers, which were often a stand-alone art expression, that could move one to far away places and deeper thought. Good work Peter!
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Sorry, but I cannot join in the big kudos you see in the other reviews. There's an AWFUL lot of padding in this book and not a lot of 'meat'. The intro and first portion of the book read "the occult affected rock and roll" over and over and over again, but reworded each time. It reminded me of how newspaper writers write their final paragraphs as a series of small summations so that if the end of their articles got chopped off, they'd still have some kind of ending to the thing once the editors finished. He drones on much longer than necessary about Africa and voodoo, and then gives something like "Cynthia Lennon got left off the train to Wales" in repeated emphasis for TWO PAGES. Things like Killing Joke get 2-3 pages that focus solely on the 'escape to the isles at the end of the earth' back in the early Eighties while their leader Jaz Coleman has been actively creating magickal statements and happenings for DECADES. The ceremonial magick movement in the 1980s gets short shrift along with every other item herein. Most of the pertinent occult information here are in buzzlines that could have been culled from news items in old Melody Makers and NMEs. You can skip whole sections of the book and not miss an 'occult item' about a rocker. Basically, this was a 40 page book padded out to be bigger than, and it doesn't seem worth all that extra verbiage. Was he paid "by the word"?????
1 Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really wanted this to be better than it was. It is a great overview, but the threads quickly disappear into other threads. Also had a hard time getting past some initial factual errors (Pat Brown was the California governor who outlawed LSD in 1966 not his son Jerry, and Art Deco is a 20th century art movement not a 19th century movement.) All in all though, if you're not in it for a deep read it's a fun read.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really impressed with this book. Rock journalism tends to be lame nerd ramblings and occult writing is usually flaky. This book tracks a solidly enjoyable line between academic rigor and pop enjoyment.

I would totally love to play D&D with the author while the first four Black Sabbath albums played in the background.

If you liked Lords of Chaos, you'll probably enjoy this one.
4 Comments 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came to this book as a curious skeptic, believing that while the occult, broadly defined, clearly played a role in the evolution and development of rock music, it was probably a minor one. I have just finished the book and Bebergal has persuaded me that indeed, "without the occult imagination there would be no rock as we know it." I had always felt that country blues were the essential root, but once Bebergal showed me the role of the occult in the birth of the blues, he had me.

The authority of this thesis for me lies mainly in his persuasive connection of the softer hippie side of the occult with its darker side. "It's in the Dionysian, intoxicating madness that the human drive for creative freedom was born and from which rock would one day derive its essential vitality."

This book also has a great sense of fact, rooted in formidable historical research, which adds considerable authority to his astute observations and judgments. I can't believe this book won't soon become definitive on this subject.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Fascinating topic and written with proper balance of levity and studiousness. The occult practices of several individual musicians has been widely known, and the individual stories are unlikely to be new to most rock history readers. However, the thesis drawing it all together is fascinating, and I'd never before considered that the reason the music of the era was so powerful, emotionally and intellectually, was because it was being written with much more than mere entertainment in mind.

Fascinating topic and written with an easy mastery.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very absorbing and enjoyable book about a still controversial topic. It's not a definitive history, but more a series of anecdotes about performers who left their own occult stamp on popular music. Some of them I'd never heard of, others I had. The best part for me is a deeper understanding of music's influence on popular culture in my own early lifetime. While I don't agree that the occult saved rock and roll, I see how it increased the allure of the music and expanded the frontiers of the culture. Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in rock music and its times.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like an ecstatic frenzy through an olive laden grove, what a journey Peter Bebergal has woven in his new book, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. Pan, Dionysus, Bacchus, and those chthonic gods of old, take on new shape and form, rising up from the underground stream known as rock and roll, to burn off the dross of conventionalism through mayhem, spectacle and revelry. For those who know the glamour, and how to howl deep into the night while gyrating to your favorite song, then shake a tailfeather and get this book. You will not be disappointed!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: rock biographies, beatles music