Anton LaVey plays his keyboard

In this terrific video, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey talks about how his interests in the arcane, magic, and showmanship were inspired by the mentalists at old time carnival midways. He also recalls his experiences as a professional calliope player in the 1940s-1960s and plays a few delightful tunes. (Thanks, Jenny Hart!)

UPDATE: BB pal COOP says, "This footage is from a documentary by Nick Bougas. These keyboards were set up in the kitchen of the Black House. I spent many nights in that kitchen listening to Dr. LaVey play. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, and could play almost any song that came up in discussion."


  1. Having been a keyboard player in the 80s, I can confirm that yes, the Yamaha DX7 was designed by Satan himself.

  2. I’ll never forget picking up a copy of The Satanist Bible with a very spooky looking picture of LaVey on it, and opening it to the first page to find the dedication: “For Diane”.

    It gave me the impression that LaVey was really just a regular guy with a quirky sense of humor.

    1. Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet him, but several of my friends who knew him well have told me he had a wonderful sense of humor about the world and himself!

    1. Nah…

      “Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates.

      The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things.

      Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will. Thus any concept of sacrifice is rejected as a Christian aberration—in Satanism there’s no deity to which one can sacrifice.”

      – Anton LaVey

      1. Most people that worship at the altar of self interest (your typical middle manager) are quite the fans of human sacrifice, except they worship a spreadsheet and not an idol. 

  3. I really need to learn more about him. The more I read, the more it would appear that we had a lot in common.

  4. The beginning of that video kind of felt like a “Lost episode of Twin Peaks” or something

  5. Basically he took some basic bits of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and put a mystical veneer on it, along with adding a vitally needed sense of humor and self-awareness. I think that his philosophical Satanism became much more functional as a worldview than Objectivism because while LaVey certainly was every bit the misanthrope, he had a family and children he loved, which kept him from the somewhat solipsistic stance Rand seemed to have.

  6. I was quite excited when someone told me that LaVey had recorded ‘Gloomy Sunday’. I have since heard it, though, and it’s bad. Really excruciatingly bad, and not in a good way. 

    The devil may have the best tunes, but he really should employ some more capable musicians.

  7. what is up with BoingBoing today? Its like gone full classic ‘directory of wonderful things’ 

  8. The organs shown here were  down in the basement – the Den of Iniquity. Unless they were moved upstairs in Anton’s last few years, COOP is mistaken.

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