Myth: Anton LaVey Held Parade to Honor Black Sabbath

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Anton LaVey reportedly held a parade in San Francisco during 1970 to honor the band Black Sabbath.

Anton LaVey never hosted a parade for Black Sabbath, nor for any other band, ever. His musical tastes were not attuned towards that genre. Dr. LaVey was an accomplished keyboardist who enjoyed playing Tin Pan Alley songs, often forgotten darker-themed popular songs, carnival music (he played calliope for carnivals in his youth), as well as classical music.

The concept of any LaVey connection to a Black Sabbath parade is an urban legend. It might have stemmed from people mis-remembering this other actual event.

There was a concert called the “Black Magic and Rock & Roll Festival,” produced by Mike Quatro, that was held at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit on October 31st in 1969, which had offered to have Anton LaVey begin the festivities with a “Satanic Blessing” on the attending crowd. He was planning on using passages from his soon to be published book, The Satanic Bible—which came out in December. At the last minute, negotiations fell through and LaVey did not attend, though the poster for the event had suggested “Satan (Himself)” would appear, alluding to him. While Coven, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and Bob Seger were among the performers, Black Sabbath was not.

Black Magic & Rock & Roll Poster

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore

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