Tag Archives: Led Zeppelin

20 – Haunted Rock & Roll: An Interview With Author Matthew Swayne

In Episode 10, when we discussed the ghosts of Rock stars, one of the biggest sources of our stories was Matthew Swayne’s book, Haunted Rock n’ Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends. There were plenty of stories that we left untold that day, so we thought a great way to kick off 2015 would be to have the author himself, Matthew Swayne, for an interview so we could go further in depth on a topic that we truly love, musicians that could never bring themselves to get off the stage… even in death.

Destined for an interest in the weird with a birthday on Halloween, his love of horror movies and interest in journalism and writing led him to write his first book on hauntings at college campuses (and interestingly enough, as well as unbeknownst to them when it was written, you can also find an article that quotes both the interviewer and interviewee of this podcast discussing Madison’s haunted campus right here.)

We start with the discussion on the ways he originally researched his book, how he found out some of the real obscure tales, and the difference between “ghost lore” and “ghost stories”. He connects the lore of the “phantom hitchhiker” story that a lot of towns in America have (the most famous being Chicago’s Resurrection Mary) and how people have made that into an Elvis ghost story as well, something that he thinks fans have created to fantasize about how they could meet their untouchable idols (that was back in the day before celebrities started responding to people’s tweets!) One of the things that makes Elvis different than other rock ghosts is that all across the country, it will be haunted by the Elvis of that age. Memphis gets the young southern gentleman Elvis, while Las Vegas gets the fat Elvis of the 70s.

They talk a little about hauntings of The Rave/Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee (the rock venue that Mike used to go to the most when he was younger) and how the ghost of Buddy Holly (who played one of his final shows at the club)  appears almost exclusively to musicians there.

The conversation turns to the hauntings at the Cincinnati Music Hall and how to him it seemed to be one of the most legitimately haunted  music venues that he studied, Then they discussed some classic Penn State ghostly folklore before starting to discuss Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin is known for the occult symbolism they used in their songs and imagery and Jimmy Page famously purchased our good friend Uncle Aleister Crowley’s home on Loch Ness, the Boleskine House where there’s a remarkable number of hauntings, something that he admits to being creeped out by.

Mike and Matt reprise Dan Aykroyd’s great story of Mama Cass’ house and Matt adds some new details to the story that make it more interesting, because they add up with similar stories from Beverly D’Angelo (Chevy Chase’s wife from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series), who also spent time in the house.

They finish up the discussion with a little more thoughts on the “27 Club” and how the number 27 itself might have more than significance. They talk a little about numerology, what the numbers could mean, and how the journey of a rock art is deeply connected with the occult from its very beginnings.


Haunted Rock & Roll on Facebook

Connect with Matthew Swayne on Twitter

Purchase Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends on Amazon

Article that features both Mike and Matthew on a possible University of Wisconsin Campus Ghost Tour, Molly Hanson

Featured Song: Forever In The Snow

We only had a moment,
but we didn’t waste the time.
I never said goodbye,
to the child we’ll never know.
I never said goodbye,
I’ll be forever in the snow.
I am Forever in the snow.
That’ll be the day,
For love a not fade away,
That’ll be the day,
When you’ll surely come my way.
I never left you,
I’m on a midnight shift without end.
Words so soft and true.
Until you’re here, I’ll just pretend.
I never said goodbye,
to the child we’ll never know.
I never said goodbye,
I’ll be forever in the snow.
I am Forever in the snow.
That’ll be the day,
For love a not fade away,
That’ll be the day,
When you’ll surely come my way.

14 – Subliminal Messages: Wait… Did You Hear Something?

Wendy returns from vacation to join Mike in a discussion about subliminal messages in television, movies, and music.

A way of delivering information to a person without the need to be persuasive or convincing, subliminal messages bypass the logical decision-making part of the brain and go directly to the subconscious mind. This can be done by playing a sub-audible recording, or through the use of a technique called back-masking where the message is played backwards.
Numerous examples of subliminal messaging in pop culture:
  • Actor Matt Frewer played Max Headroom in a sci-fi show called “Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future” (which happened to be one of Mike’s favorites!). In the story, people were exposed to “blipverts”, advertising delivered in quick bursts, and which eventually ended up killing people.
  • An urban legend that theater owners used subliminal advertising for the snack bar by flashing images of soft drinks and popcorn throughout the movies.
  • The part of the movie “Fight Club” where a ch aracter splices images of pornography into the film at a movie theater.
  • For the 2000 election, George Bush ran campaign ads wherein the word BEAUROCRATS was flashed across the screen with the RATS part of the word in emphasis.
  • Miller Lite had an ad campaign with “this message was brought to you by Dick”. The phrase was autographed by Dick, and the word actually looked like “Drink” when closely examined.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart joins a boy band that uses subliminal messages to recruit kids for the Navy.
  • Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon played “Subliminal Message Man”, a character in a Saturday Night Live skit who slipped subliminal messages into every day conversations.
  • The UK parliament banned the use of subliminal messaging in advertisements.
  • Ozzy Osborne’s song “Suicide Solution”, about alcohol, allegedly contained the phrase, “Why try? Get the gun and shoot!”. When he was sued by the parents of a teen who committed suicide, he claimed the audio was “Get the flaps out”.
  • The song, “Better By You, Better Than Me” recorded by Judas Priest, contained subliminal message “Do it!” and also resulted in a law suit. However, the judge  found that subliminal messages are not speech that’s covered by the First Amendment. This is now precedent.
  • “Love Bites” by Def Leppard has a robot voice at the end that some believe says “Jesus of Nazareth, go to hell”.
  • The Beatles also used the back masking technique in many songs, including “I buried Paul” at the end of Strawberry Fields.
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO: Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” contains a backwards “sleep with me, I’m not too young”.
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO – Decide for yourself: Queen’s song “Another One Bites the Dust” contains several backwards “Decide to smoke marijuana”
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO – Decide for yourself: Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” contains a backwards “Here’s to my sweet satan”
Scientific studies from the 1950s showed that subliminal messaging in movies did not work. However, newer studies within the past decade have shown that we can be influenced by things we cannot perceive. You can decide for yourself by listening to our song below…

Featured Song: The Long Hammer