1904 – Aleister Crowley begins writing “Liber Al vel Legis”

Crowley began writing the Liber Al vel Legis – literally, “The Book of the Law” in 1904 and wrote one chapter for three days, finishing the book on the tenth. Crowley claimed that the book was dictated to him by an angelic entity named Aiwass.

For the rest of his life, Crowley insisted that Aiwass was a separate entity from himself, claiming that the spirit was his Holy Guardian Angel. Others have suggested that Aiwass was in fact a part of Crowley’s own mind, citing the stylistic similarities between this book and his other works.

Crowley published the book later in 1904, and the world was treated to his proclamation of the new Aeon of Horus. The book has never been out of print for more than a century now, which is surely evidence of some magickal power on Crowley’s part.

Referenced in:

Do What Thou Wilt — Lords of the New Church

1904 — Mississippi Fred McDowell born

Born Fred McDowell – because few people are cruel enough to name a child Mississippi – he was one of the truly great bluesmen, and one of the very first of North Mississippi bluesmen. He played in what is sometimes called the North Hill Country Blues style, which was low on chord changes, but high on the use of slide guitar. This latter art McDowell cheerfully taught for many years – Bonnie Raitt was one of his students.

That said, and despite his occasional use of an electric guitar, McDowell refused to play rock – in fact, his 1969 album was famously entitled: I Do Not Play No Rock ‘N’ Roll/. He didn’t seem to mind anyone else doing so, though – when the Rolling Stones covered his song “You Gotta Move” in 1971, he was flattered and told folks he quite liked their take on it.

Referenced in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers

1904 — Glenn Miller born

Born in Clarinda, Iowa, Glenn Miller grew up wanting to be a musician. When he was 11, he finally saved enough money to buy himself a trombone, and joined the town orchestra of Grant City, Missouri (to which his parents had moved that year). Miller became interested in a then-new style of music – the style he would later become famous for – and in 1918, formed his first band.

He played in many bands over the next two decades, slowly rising to become one of the best known bandleaders, musicians and composers of his time. Among his best known songs were such classics as “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Moonlight Serenade” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. To this day, he remains one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century.

Referenced in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers

1904 – The first ever Bloomsday. Sort of.

Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin, Ireland and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, and 16 June was the date of Joyce’s first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

At least, that’s the official version.

There are those who say that in truth, the date Joyce chose to set Ulysses on was not to commemorate his first date with Nora, but rather, the first time the two had any sort of sex (in this case, consisting of her masturbating him to orgasm).

But feel free to continue to believe that the author of Ulysses was a chaste man if it makes you happy – I merely suggest that if you wish to maintain this belief, you never read the book itself.

Referenced in:
Bloomsday – The Kingdom of Idiot Rock