> Skip to content
  • Published: 18 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780399174964
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

Season of the Witch

How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll



This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll – from the Beatles to Black Sabbath – and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our world.

This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll -- from the Beatles to Black Sabbath -- and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our world.

From the hoodoo-inspired sounds of Elvis Presley to the Eastern odysseys of George Harrison, from the dark dalliances of Led Zeppelin to the Masonic imagery of today’s hip-hop scene, the occult has long breathed life into rock and hip-hop—and, indeed, esoteric and supernatural traditions are a key ingredient behind the emergence and development of rock and roll. 

With vivid storytelling and laser-sharp analysis, writer and critic Peter Bebergal illuminates this web of influences to produce the definitive work on how the occult shaped -- and saved -- popular music.

As Bebergal explains, occult and mystical ideals gave rock and roll its heart and purpose, making rock into more than just backbeat music, but into a cultural revolution of political, spiritual, sexual, and social liberation.

  • Published: 18 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780399174964
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Peter Bebergal

Peter Bebergal is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His writing on speculative and fringe cultures have been published by the Believer, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Yorker, Boing Boing, and the Paris Review. He is the author Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, and Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood.

Also by Peter Bebergal

See all

Related titles