Sunday, 6 July 2008

Talisman of the One World Religion (continued)

We've had our eye on the evolution of rock and roll as a secular religion for quite some time now. In addition to outbreaks of irrational, deeply superstitious behaviour- locks of John Lennon's hair being sold for thousands of pounds at Southebys, etc- we have noted the rising number of places on the musical tourist trail being promoted as secular pilgrimage sites. One of the most obvious examples is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland; which Matthew Delooze has also written about in his latest article- see here. Others we have identified are Graceland; Yasgur's Farm near Woodstock, New York; the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury; and, more obscurely, the place where Marc Bolan had his fatal car crash in 1970 (in Barnes, West London- see here.)

Liverpool, which we are soon to visit on our ongoing 'Goddess Trail', is awash with them. Chris Knowles has done some excellent research making a tentative (if unproven) connection between the famous Cavern Club in Mathew Street, with the subterranean Mithras religion of the Knight's Templar, etc. (See here.)

I stumbled across another example in today's Mail on Sunday, in Harlem, NY. (A neighbourhood I passed through during my recent visit to the city.) Writes journalist Philip Norman:

'When I first visited Harlem in the Sixties to write about the Apollo Theatre, it was regarded as a no-go area for whites, even though everyone from blues diva 'Big Mama' Thornton to the theatre's stage manager, ex-Broadway 'hoofer' Honi Coles, treated me with the utmost friendliness. Now Harlem is becoming increasingly gentrified and the Apollo, on 125th St, has an almost sacred status as New York's greatest live music venue. Indeed, when James Brown's heart finally did give out in December 2006, he lay in state on its stage as thousands filed past to pay their respects.'

More on these subjects anon.


CLK said...

Cheers for the shoutout, Ben.

Rock and Roll is nothing new. It's been around forever and enjoyed its first wave of international notoriety when it was the ceremonial soundtrack to the mystery cults.

Ben Fairhall said...

I don't disagree in principal, Chris; but can I ask you to elaborate on that?

Also, if you don't mind me asking, is the connection between Liverpool, the Cavern and the Templars actually historically accurate... or merely speculation on your part? As an idea it makes poetic sense, but I wonder whether it can actually be verified...?


CLK said...

No, it's absolutely true. I've done a lot of research on it. I believe there are links to some online sources. That area of Liverpool was own by the Templars as a market. The interesting thing is that the Cavern Club is an obvious Roman cellar- and most probably a Mithraeum- in a Templar neighborhood. Too many people fail to realize just how Roman so much of England is.

The Mysteries/link is very complex and too much to really go into here. But you can find some bit about that here and there on the web too.