Cult heroes: Five cult bands involved in actual cults!
5. Radio Werewolf – Church Of Satan
Radio Werewolf formed in LA in 1984. Originally part of Hollywood’s ‘death rock’ scene, they set themselves apart by their insistence on calling their music ‘Sonic Magic’ and prescribing occult powers to the frequencies they would play.
Instead of rock shows, they would conduct ‘Radio Werewolf Youth Parties’ that were heavy on ritual and secrecy. They wrote songs about serial killers, Nazis and vampires, and garnered a fearsome reputation as ‘The Most Dangerous Band in the World’. That’s right, before Guns N’ Roses claimed that title, Radio Werewolf held it. Their cover was blown, slightly, when they appeared in the goofy black comedy Mortuary Academy (1988), performing a couple of songs and looking, basically, like they just stumbled in from a drunken Halloween party. Anyone who’s seen it can tell you, they did not look dangerous at all.
And then, Geraldo Rivera stepped in. One of the world’s least-honest journalists, Rivera loved whipping his audience into a frenzy with phony outrage, and Radio Werewolf, with all their sinister Satanic trappings, made perfect fodder for his rants and raves. Suddenly, the band became the leaders of a worldwide Satanic movement. Cool! Also, singer Nicolas Shreck married Zeena Levay, Anton’s daughter and the High Priestess of the Church Of Satan. You can’t get any more demonic than that, brother. She joined the band and wrote Bring Me The Head Of Geraldo Rivera, among other hits. Now, they were officially Satan’s house band.
Things looked good for Radio Werewolf – with any luck, they might have been able to actually do some of the stuff Geraldo was accusing them of – but then Zeena denounced her Satanic past. And then everybody kind of got over Satan anyway. The band broke up in the early 90s. Anton Levay died in 1997. The Church Of Satan is still around, but instead of cool celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr and Jayne Mansfield, now it’s mostly lameos like Marilyn Manson and Charlie Sheen (probably). And the new most dangerous band in the world? Dunno. Cro-Mags, maybe.