Did Led Zeppelin Put
Messages In Their Music?
Jeff Topp

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Jeff Topp"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001 8:51 AM

The hoax is that it's even there! It isn't there at all! The preachers put it there!

Now, one passage, the sound file of which which is linked to the letter "Led Zeppelin's Satanic Message Is No Hoax," from Lim Yong Chin, that editorial, does sound like "my sweet Satan," but the preachers took other passages in this and other songs and made them sound as if there was some vast satanic conspiracy going on. This, blended with rumors of satanic masses being performed upon record masters and the like, generated not a small amount of hysteria among the more serious fundamentalists of the 1970s and 1980s.

But no. I don't think Led Zeppelin deliberately did this. With all due respect, I don't think they're that clever. Somebody played it backwards (probably on acid) and noticed that it sounds like this. But the passage I was talking about in "The Led Zeppelin Hoax" was, I believe, deliberately contrived by the preacher.

I don't think the Beatles contrived "Turn me on, dead man" (the phrase "Number Nine" played backwards in the track "Revolution 9" on their so-called White Album). Rather, I think the Beatles were experimenting with the sounds of a tape being played backwards, or accidentally played a tape backwards, and discovered this strange occurrence quite by accident. They then placed "Number Nine" into the track forwards, and let us discover this anomalie for ourselves. The Beatles were clever enough to know about it, but I don't think they designed it; I don't think they knew, before the engineer recorded the phrase "Number Nine" (he was allegedly testing a microphone) that it would seem to say, "Turn me on, dead man" when played backwards. The Beatles denied even this, of course, because at the time they were being accused of using all sorts of underhanded and wicked means to corrupt the youth of Europe and America. People still remembered Vance Packard's 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders, which had enjoyed quite a stint on the Best Seller list. And McCarthyism was not dead by any stretch.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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