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Staff Picks: The Devil and Rock

Casablanca Records
The name of the metal band KISS was rumored to stand for "Knight's in Satan's Service."

If you play The White Album backwards, is John Lennon really saying “turn me on, dead man”? Join Doug for a conversation about the paranoia around hidden messages in rock music and what it reveals about our fears today.

RadioWest divider.

In the 60s, 70s, and 80s, there were tons of rumors about the dangers of rock music. If you played The White Album backwards, was John Lennon really saying “turn me on, dead man”? Or did Led Zeppelin leave hidden messages in “Stairway to Heaven”? Ministers preached and albums were burned to protect against communism, secret societies, and the occult. Join Doug for a conversation with folklorist Lynne McNeill and journalist Jesse Walker about the era of backmasking paranoia and what it reveals about our fears.

Here’s what KUER’s managing editor Elaine Clark has to say about the episode:

You remember the conspiracy theories about backmasking and Satanic lyrics? I have a very clear memory of being at church in the early 80s and learning that the name of the rock band AC/DC supposedly stands for “Against Christ, Devil’s Children.” Back in 2014, we had a conversation on RadioWest about this Satanic panic. Two reasons I love this show. 1) Lynne McNeill, a folklorist at Utah State University, is just a terrific guest. 2) I played our theme music backwards for our one-minute show introduction. Now, let’s not get a “Doug is dead” conspiracy started.