By the middle of the decade, music in the San Francisco area was evolving as groups like the Warlocks (later the Grateful Dead) and Jefferson Airplane, whose signature psychedelic sound would embody the hippie movement, moved into Haight-Ashbury and honed their skills in local clubs, the same clubs where my father had honed his a decade before. Van listened with interest as the doo-wop sound of the fifties turned grittier, dirtier, and more instrument-oriented. Loud guitars replaced harmonies, and lyrics about sex and drugs gave teen- agers permission. On the flip side, folk groups like the Mamas and the Papas and the Youngbloods would gain the same audience through lyrics about love and peace. Even John Lennon and Yoko Ono would visit the Haight, finding inspiration in the revolution against the establishment that was occurring there.
Older, and a conservative dresser, Van did not fit in with the kids in the Haight, but he was accepted in the music scene because of his talent. He soon resumed his business dealing in antiquities, in spite of having been convicted of fraud, and on his return trips he jammed with local musicians, including LaVey.
On April 30, 1966, Anton LaVey officially declared that the Age of Satan had started. Over the years, his audience had grown, and his Magic Circle had increased to include celebrities such as underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. His followers from the Lost Weekend tavern formed much of the membership of LaVey’s new Church of Satan. The group now met in his house on California Street, which had been painted black and featured a main ritual chamber where church meetings were held. Ever the showman, LaVey regularly performed black magic for his enthralled congregation. In this room, LaVey’s teaching far surpassed the rebellion taking place against the government in the Haight.
On the streets, the rebellion was against traditional thinking. Against society’s rules.
In LaVey’s church, the rebellion was against God.