I’m the author of several books, as well as numerous articles which have appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and online. My titles include Silence Descends: The End of the Information Age, 2000-2500 (1997), Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man (2007), Arcadia Borealis: Childhood and Youth In Northern Ontario (2008), Out of Our Heads: Rock ‘n’ Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off (2010), Led Zeppelin FAQ (2011), Dumbing Down Dissent: Fads and Fallacies in Political Discourse (2011), Calling Dr. Strangelove: The Anatomy and Influence of the Kubrick Masterpiece (2014), Here’s To My Sweet Satan: How the Occult Haunted Music, Movies and Pop Culture, 1966-1980 (2016), and Takin’ Care of Business: A History of Working People’s Rock ‘n’ Roll (2021).
The essays here cover a wide range of cultural criticism and political observation, suitable for all readers (if not, I’ll warn you ahead of time). Feel free to (politely) comment on or (fairly) quote from what you read here.
Silence Descends: The End of the Information Age, 2000-2500
Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man: An Unauthorized Biography
Arcadia Borealis: Childhood and Youth in Northern Ontario
Out Of Our Heads: Rock ‘n’ Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off
Dumbing Down Dissent: Fads and Fallacies in Political Discourse
Led Zeppelin FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Greatest Hard Rock Band of All Time
Calling Dr. Strangelove: The Anatomy and Influence of the Kubrick Masterpiece
Here’s To My Sweet Satan: How the Occult Haunted Music, Movies, and Pop Culture, 1966-1980
Takin’ Care of Business: A History of Working People’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
Are you on Twitter… wanted to mention you when I posted: https://twitter.com/aupward/status/342007336187080706
Hi, sorry, I’m not on Twitter. I can barely believe I’m on Facebook and that I’m blogging at all. Even CDs are still pretty exciting to me. Thanks for reading, though.
A friend of mine said she read in one of your books that Jimmy Page had stated his either grandmother or great grandmother was Chinese. I hope you don’t mind answering a couple questions. First, to your knowledge is Mr. Page of Chinese ancestry? Second, if you wrote that, which of your books was it in because I seemed to have missed it. (I just now reread chapter 1 of your excellent biography, Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man and it’s not in that chapter at least!) Thanks!
Thanks for your query. I’ve heard the rumors of Page’s Asian ancestry floating around for some time, but I’ve never confirmed it and I had never mentioned it in either Magus or LZFAQ. I think the legend, such as it is, derives from Page’s own appearance (dark hair, small eyes), but I’m pretty sure there is no factual basis for this. I also recall some Zep fans referring to a Japanese interview with Page where he mentioned being teased as a kid for his “Japanese” looks; however, the teasing had nothing to do with his actual family heritage. Page’s mother’s maiden name was Gaffikin (of Irish background, I believe), and in any case a mixed marriage would have been pretty unusual in England in the early Twentieth Century. As you probably know, I had no personal access to Page when researching my books, so mine isn’t the last word on the matter, but as I say I’ve never found any documentary evidence suggesting any Asian ancestry on Page’s part. If any Zeppelin / Page buff is really dying to know the truth on this, genealogical websites like ancestry.com offer access to birth certificates and other data from Britain and elsewhere, but there’s a fee and they’d have to do some digging. Sorry I can’t be of more help – thanks for reading.
You’re more of an unbiased authority than most anyone, so I’ll go with your take on it all. Of course, Asian ancestry or not, it doesn’t really matter if what a person cares about is the man’s music. Thank you, George.
PS – Are you writing another book and if so when does it come out and what’s it about?
Hi – I am currently working on another book, not music-related, for the US firm McFarland. It may not be out until 2015. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s an analysis of a classic movie of the 1960s. I’ll be giving more details closer to the publication date.
Peace On Earth.
I look forward to it!
I’m Tokoni, a student and poet. Its nice to meet you. I’d like to invite you to my blog at http://www.insanitybeautiful.wordpress.com if you’re interested. Thanks.
Hi George. Just finished the Magus. Very good read! THANK YOU!!!
Being a huge Zeppelin fan since I was 10, the first song I heard was In the Evening when In Through the Out Door came out, from then I was hooked. Have read all the bios and even started collecting memorabilia ( programmes, the Object,etc.) but me being from North Van just made the read even more interesting seeing as though you lived or still do live, in Burnaby. I was at the same Page and Plant show with you.
Job well written!!!
Hi Ian – thanks for reading. I don’t live in Burnaby any more but I have fond memories of my time in the GVRD. And yeah, the Page-Plant show in ’95 was pretty cool; I still remember Plant’s showstopping wail on “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” Glad you enjoyed the book, and Rock and Roll!
I would love to welcome you to my podcast to discuss your book on Dr. Strangelove for our ongoing Kubrick Series. I can’t seem to locate an email to send you an official invite, however. My email is email@example.com, and you can read more about our series at http://moviegeeksunited.net/kubrick.htm. Thank you so much for your consideration! Jamey
Hi Jamey – I’ve replied to your personal e-mail. Hope to chat about SK and DS soon.
It disturbs me that in the book Out of Our heads, there’s an implication that Jimmy McCulloch was a user of morphine. In the body, morphine remains as is. Heroin metabolizes into morphine and 6-AM, a metabolite. The verdict was left open for a few good reasons, and Jimmy was not a user of hard drugs.
Hello, and thanks for your message. It’s been a while since I wrote and researched Out of Our Heads, but I think I drew on Gary Herman’s book “Rock Babylon” for my very brief mention of Jimmy McCulloch. I did write “an inquest concluded with an ‘open verdict.'” I did feel he rated a mention as a rock musician who died young and in drug-related circumstances. I also seem to remember an interview with Paul McCartney who explained something to the effect that Jimmy “liked to party a little too hard.” Apologies if I gave offense; thanks for reading and commenting. GC
Congrats, George, on the inclusion of your comments in the mail section of ‘The New Yorker’, September 28, 2015. Astute observations on American affairs, lucidly made. Perhaps a longer piece one day!
Thanks, Braden – nice to hear from you. Long way from the Coquitlam mall and the Book Co.! Best, GC
I remember a conversation about ‘hegemony’. And you recommended HP Lovecraft, who has since received the his own LOA edition I believe. Nice to see you still shining light in dark places. Best wishes! BK
Mr. Case: Loved your book on Jimmy Page. THANKS! I was looking at the “synopsis” for your Out Of Our Heads, and think you might have been over-reaching, and I read this one too. Skip down to the synopsis and what follows from “The original goal that ultimately lead to this volume…” WTF? Are you sure you know who your audience is? (j/k: some bizarre computer glitch?):
I plan to read all of your books. The one on the end of the Information Age looks really enticing.
-Michael, AKA “OverweeningGeneralist”
Petaluma, CA, USA (soon to be renamed “Trumplandia”)
Hi Michael aka Robert – that’s indeed a bizarre glitch, although it might have made a more interesting book, or at least a more original one! Thanks for reading, and I’ll look forward to checking out more of your writing (good luck down there in Trumplandia). Best, GC
Greetings George, As a Long Time (40+years) Student in the University of the Two Jim/i/mys..I have Drawn Deeply from the Inspirational Well of Jimmy Page.
I found your book to be Insightful and Informative. It flows well in the Eye and the Mind. I’ve found it to be Balanced in considering the Light and Dark of the Magus Musician Man!!! It’s been great reading of his story with the references reverting to his experiences.
Thank You Greatly,
Cheers Paul AAA
Thanks for reading, Paul…Glad you enjoyed MMM. Whole Lotta Love, GC PS (Slight Return) Good luck in your position as Speaker of the US Congress 😉
Hey Old Friend. Been awhile. Maybe we can chat sometime.
Holy shit dude! Drop me a line here and we can connect. Hope you’re well – Best, GC
Are you the George Case whose good letter is in the current Atlantic? I especially liked your comment about getting rid of stereotyping. It happens that my column on a similar point just came out on NewsMax.com, where I write a weekly op-ed. https://www.newsmax.com/PaulFdeLespinasse/bell-heisenberg-iq/2017/11/21/id/827510/
Hello – yes, that’s my letter (somewhat abridged from the original) in the current Atlantic. While I admire Ta-Nehisi Coates’ writing, I thought his latest Atlantic piece was not very constructive in regards to America’s current racial controversies and the Trump presidency. I’ve occasionally tackled similar issues in my blog posts (e.g. https://georgecaseblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/race-against-time/). Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughtful article.
I just read your earlier blog post, and I think we are in pretty close agreement. And congratulations for getting a letter into Atlantic. I have yet to do so though I have gotten maybe 10 letters into the Wall Street Journal in the last 8 or 9 years. I think they print them to show how broad minded they are, since I hardly ever agree with WSJ positions.
Thank you. Composing letters to magazines and newspapers is a good exercise for a writer – a way to distill your thoughts down to their most succinct form. Kind of like blogging! Best, GC
I had not thought about letters to magazines and newsletters as good writer exercise. I like that idea! Let off steam + practice writing skills!
You are cordially invited to attend our event on Thursday 18th October at the Flamingo Room, O’Neill’s, Wardour Street in London as we continue to celebrate 50 years of Led Zeppelin with a very special concert to commemorate Led Zeppelin’s debut in London exactly 50 years to the day. The venue is just down from the site of the Marquee Club where Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham played on 18th October 1968, and just over the road from the site of their first rehearsal.
As a band, we are very excited to be celebrating this fantastic anniversary and to be sharing our love for the music that Led Zeppelin created during the 12 years that they were a powerful driving force, pushing back boundaries and forever moving forwards and exploring new creative opportunities.
Recently, we were very honoured and privileged to play the very first venue that Led Zeppelin performed live, Egegaard School (now Gladsaxe School) exactly 50 years to the day. We were joined by hundreds of Led Zeppelin fans, and also Jorgen Angel, Jerry Ritz and Lars Abel. It was wonderful to be able to talk to those people who were there at the very beginning and to hear their stories.
We hope you can attend this show, and would be very grateful if you could reply and let us know your intentions. We, of course, will keep your reply under strictest confidence and will be happy to extend this invitation to any guests that you may wish to bring.
Should you not be able to attend, we would be happy for a representative of yours to attend in your place. Please do let us know who will be coming so that we can put them on the guest list.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Simon Wicker, manager of CODA – a Tribute to Led Zeppelin.
Tel. 07837 564743
George – I do hope you’re going to be in London on 18 October!
Hi Lif- I told the guy I’m in Canada and couldn’t make it but I could send a London-based relative in my proxy. Now, if it was an invitation to see the real Led Zeppelin, with John Bonham on drums, that’d be a different story…
I’s like to invite you to be a guest on Beyond Reality Radio, a syndicated live radio show broadcast on 60+ stations. http://www.beyondrealityradio.com
We’d like you to discuss the occult in pop music and culture.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
George — I just found your work on the occult influence on American culture in “Here’s to My Sweet Satan.” I wonder if you would grant me an interview? I am the creator of a podcast called “Know Thyself History” and am doing an episode on the “Satanic Panic” — you know more about this by far than I. Would you be interested? Sorry to write you here but I could find no other way to contact you.
Would you be interested in receiving an advance review copy of the following book forthcoming from Zarahemla Books?
ACID TEST: LSD VS. LDS
A memoir by Christopher Kimball Bigelow
Kirkus Reviews: “A roaming, rambunctious account about rejecting society—and then embracing it…. The author’s prose is conversational but steeped in its own cleverly outlined philosophy…. While the author is an able storyteller with plenty of colorful anecdotes, his interest in morality provides a unique ballast in what would otherwise be a typical but entertaining tale of adolescent mischief. His evocative depiction of the time and its subcultures helps make this a memorable and ultimately quite surprising autobiography.”
Growing up Mormon during America’s early-1980s satanic panic, Bigelow escapes the religion’s bland conformity by playing Dungeons & Dragons. After graduating from high school in 1984, he dives into sex, drugs, and the counterculture via Salt Lake City’s punk and new-wave scenes, as echoed from London, New York, and especially Los Angeles.
As Bigelow explores the underground, he rejects myths of supernatural good vs. evil, living instead by the D&D concept of chaotic neutrality. During LSD trips, however, he starts sensing an unseen dimension. Then Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic novel The Stand gets him reconsidering good vs. evil. After an alarming otherworldly attack, can Bigelow find spiritual protection in Mormonism’s processed, regimented, corporate culture?
Publication date: January 14, 2020
Paperback: 298 pages • ISBN 978-0-9993472-3-2
Hardcover: 298 pages • ISBN 978-0-9993472-4-9
eBook: $6.99 • ISBN 978-0-9993472-5-6
Audiobook coming soon
About the author:
Christopher Kimball Bigelow is the author of several books on Mormonism, including coauthoring Mormonism For Dummies (Wiley). He served an LDS mission in Melbourne, Australia, and worked as an editor at the LDS church’s Ensign magazine. His degrees include a BFA in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, Boston, and an MA in creative writing from Brigham Young University. Bigelow cofounded and edited Irreantum, a Mormon literary magazine, and The Sugar Beet, a satirical Mormon news source.
Hello Mr Case – I am reading your book on Jimmy Page and in the 1970 material. You have gotten a number of facts wrong. You write that Scarlet Page was conceived at Bron-Yr-Aur. Impossible. Page, et al, were there in April of ‘70. Scarlet was born 24 March of ‘71. You also continually reference the Martin D-28. Page did not use that guitar until ‘72 or ‘73. In fact, for the ‘72 tours he was still using the Harmony. All of Zep III was the Harmony. You had a few things wrong earlier but I can’t recall exactly what.
Thanks for reading and commenting. I researched and wrote the Page bio over ten years ago, and new facts have come to light since (interviews, other books, etc.). However, I note that Robert Plant, at a Page-Plant show in 1994, commented from the stage before playing “That’s The Way”: “This was written on the side of Welsh mountain in a cottage about half an hour before the young lady furiously taking pictures in front of me [Scarlet Page] was conceived.” I had P&P in Wales in May 1970, about 9 months before her birth in late March 1971. And see this link re the Martin: https://www.led-zeppelin.org/studio-and-live-gear/1876
Thanks again for your comments. There is always a lot to learn about LZ.
So did racist neo-Nazi Bo Winegard, an editor at Quillette, tell you that the official race pseudoscience platform, used by Quillette, states that “systemic racism” ended in the United States in the 1960s? Or did you theorize on your own that any claim of post-1960s systemic racism is “a convenient excuse,” and that’s why racist shitrag Quillette hired you?
Is it the belief among members of your racistocracy that the only possible systems that can exist are official government-sanctioned ones?
But I did enjoy your loving reference to George Orwell, the only socialist you reactionary racist goons ever liked.
Sorry you didn’t like the Quillette piece, but thanks for reading.