“Mr. Crowley” is a song from Ozzy Osbourne’s maiden solo album, “Blizzard of Ozz“.
And he has one of the best guitar solos in Rock history, played by Randy Rhoads.
Created and produced by Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley, who played bass on the band and Lee Kerslake on drums.
The church organ is played by Don Airey, occasional collaborator of Deep Purple.
Apart from the musical value of the song, the lyrical part is of particular interest mainly because of the person to whom it refers.
Specifically refers to the person of Edward Alexander Crowley.
Ozzy was inspired when some of the gentleman’s books fell into his hands.
In fact, he had characteristically stated: “I read various books about Crowley. He was a very strange guy and I always wanted to write a song about him. ”
The final call to incarnate in song came when a tarot card was found in the studio recording his album.
Before you start creeping out and making scary connections, let’s explain who this Crowley was.
Edward Alexander Crowley
Edward Alexander Crowley was born on October 12, 1875 at Leamington Spa.
He was an English occultist, magician, poet, writer, painter and alpinist and is considered the creator of the movement and philosophy of Thelema.
He inherited the name Edward from his father and changed it to Aleister when he left college.
He was a powerful Wizard, reaching the rank of Ipsissimus, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn*.
Founder of the Order Astron Argyron (or Argentium Astrum or Arcanum Arcanorum or Angel and Abyss), climber, chess player, lyricist and playwright, author of numerous books and Equinox magazine.
He worked closely with François-Auguste-René Rodin, a French sculptor who greatly influenced 20th century sculpture with his works.
Crowley was a natural erudite and was actively involved in many different activities.
People knew him as:
- chess player,
- lover of women,
- freedom and human rights activist,
- philosopher and
He was the “awesome kid” of the avant-garde of London and Paris.
Witty and ostentatious, he was at the same time a pioneer and a defender of the aesthetic pleasures of love, music and dance.
However, it seems that those who crossed paths with him had intense experiences and this is the reason why he is in countless memoirs or became the basis for fictional characters.
Characters ranging from Somerset Maugham the Magician to Ian Fleming the villain of Casino Royale.
The Sunday Times listed him as one of the 1000 figures who shaped the 20th century.
Crowley’s timeless fame
He summed up the philosophy in: “Do what you want, this Thelema be the whole law” with the thousand words:
“Love is the law, love under the Thelema” – both quotations from the Book of the Law.
This book is the founding text of the Thelema movement and was dictated to Crowley in Egypt in 1904,
Essentially what he was describing was a pre-human intellect (praeterhuman intelligence).
When an Oxford undergraduate student and his student died while drinking local water ignoring Crowley’s advice, the British press attacked him mercilessly, demonizing him.
In fact, he called him “the worst person in the world” and “the man we would like to hang.”
It was the press campaign against him that ensured a timeless reputation for Crowley, as well as the constant misinterpretation of his life and work.
The Crowley Legend
Despite the fact that several biographies, reviews, essays and analyses of his work and his life have been written, his myth is the one that prevails.
His personality and his constant experimentation, but also his opinions were what made him … A Legend.
His first public experiment was in August 1910 with a ritual for invoking the Moon which was presented to the public with music and poetry.
He called himself “Beast 666” and defended a “new law” for the liberation and empowerment of human existence (Thelema).
What he demanded was the liberation from most social and moral conventions of a puritanically organized society.
Crowley was severely criticized for a paradoxical and contradictory physiognomy, while at the same time a large part of his writing remained in obscurity.
Although accused of witchcraft, Crowley refused to describe it as metaphysical and considered it a product of the human intellect.
For him, magic was a combination of the absolute will of the inner self and the voluntary exit from self-restraint.
Aleister Crowley died of pulmonary edema at a Hastings inn on December 1, 1947 at the age of 72.
His funeral procession included the reading of his book “The Hymn to Pan“, a fact that was described by the newspapers of the time as a black service.
Surely all this was very epigrammatic, though enough….