It is not unusual to find hidden stories behind some “scattered” lyrics.
To create a sense of curiosity for the listeners, who, without realizing it, become a part of it.
In the case of Ulver, and their album “The Assassination Of Julius Caesar”, we have tried to trace down the story.
Although the whole album is full of stories and references, there is one particular song that caught our attention.
It does not tell you the story directly, but you feel like it is unfolding right in front of you.
We are talking about “1969”.
Not only the title of the song, “1969” but the last verse as well, are clear references to the house of LaVey.
“There used to be a house at 6114 California St.“
Anton LaVey, was the founder of “Church of Satan” and author of the book “The Satanic Bible”, which was published in 1969.
It is, therefore, logical to connect the dots and create the following story…
Which may not be just about LaVey.
The House on number 6114
The house was used by Anton LaVey as the base of the “Church of Satan” from 1966 until his death in 1997.
LaVey organized satanic seminars and mass rituals in this house.
With the bizarre satanic baptism of his daughter, Zeena Schreck in 1967, being notable.
This particular ritual did not consist of baptism, but of a marriage and a funeral as well!
It is a “triptych” that is considered very common in such rituals.
In the case of the baptism, a priestess draped herself over the altar.
While, at the same time, LaVey proudly intoned “Hail Zeena, Hail Satan”.
The “Black House” was used numerous times for this type of rituals.
The house is often referred to as a mansion, but photographs show that it was a medium-sized one-story house.
According to public records, it was only 204.9 m2 and was built in 1905.
LaVey’s house was demolished in 2001 and in its place, there is a two-and-a-half story condo with three units.
Although the house on 6114 California St. no longer exists, stories keep on haunting it!
Anton Szandor LaVey, (real name Howard Stanton Levey), was an American writer, musician, and occultist.
Two official biographies were written about him:
- The Devil’s Avenger by Burton H. Wolfe, published in 1974, and
- The Secret Life of a Satanist by Blanche Barton, published in 1990.
The academics of Satanism Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen describes him…
As “the most iconic figure in the Satanic Thousand“.
LaVey has received many nicknames from journalists, religious critics, and Satanists, including:
- The Father of Satanism,
- St. Paul of Satanism,
- Black Pope and
- The evilest man in the world.
He criticized the religions of Abraham by accusing them of suppressing the natural instincts of humanity and encouraging irrationality.
It is worth noting that he adopted the view that “Satanists are born, they are not made.”
LaVey had an affiliation towards music and he had particular favoritism towards keyboards, the pipe organ, and the calliope.
He also made some instrumental covers, such as Earle Hagen’s “Harlem Nocturne”.
His “ingenuity” on the keyboard, got him to play in various well-known bars and venues of the time.
Rumor has it that, when he was in Los Angeles, he had a brief affair with the-unknown at the time- Marilyn Monroe.
LaVey disliked Rock and Metal music, with or without “satanic” lyrics and he often expressed his disappointment.
LaVey established Atheist Catanism or Lavinist Satanism in 1966.
Scholars have characterized it as a new religious movement and form of Western esotericism.
It is one of the various movements described as forms of Satanism.
The founding of the Church of Satan on the Walpurgis Night* in 1966, was declared “Year One” and “Satan’s Era”.
It was heavily influenced by the ideas and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, H. L. Mencken, and Social Darwinism.
Its “religion” is materialistic, rejecting the existence of supernatural beings, body-soul duality, and life after death.
The followers do not believe that Satan actually exists and they do not worship him.
Instead, Satan is regarded as a positive archetype that represents pride, karma, and enlightenment.
The Walpurgis Night
The Walpurgis Night is celebrated on April 30rd, on the day of the celebration of Saint Walpurga.
During the Middle Ages, it was associated with magic and witches.
Nowadays, it has become a popular folklore event linked with May, the elves, and the coming of spring.
Regarding the lyrics of the song…
They refer to the late 1960s and about events that “shocked” the world and inspired a more sinister and darker form of art.
From the clear reference to Roman Polanski’s movie “Rosemary’s Baby” (in the chorus), to the infamous landing on the Moon…
“We all must carry
On the surface of the Moon”.
But also, referencing the notorious Charles Manson using the phrase “Helter Skelter” which can be heard in the harmonic part of the song.
A phrase that Manson took from the Beatles’ homonymous song and used it as a nickname.
His sect’s followers committed nine murders between July and August 1969.
Ulver’s parallelism between Manson and LaVey is a clear message that nothing has changed.
“Nothing has changed
Since the late sixties “
How the dark ages still “live” inside the people’s minds and the tragedies go on and on in the name of any “father”…
“A heart of darkness
Let it bleed
For your father “.
In the final verse, the mention of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco as well as the exact address of LaVey’s house make it clear.
“All the way alive
Inside Golden Gate
There used to be a house
At 6114 California St.”
Like the icing on the cake..
Note: There is no official source confirming that the song “1969” refers to Anton LaVey’s book “The Satanic Bible”.