American History

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL

When Anton Szandor LaVey decided to start a religion in San Francisco in 1966, he figured he’d better shave his noggin. Medieval executioners, carnival strongmen, and black magicians shaved their heads, he thought, so he shaved his. LaVey’s pale, naked pate combined with his jet-black goatee and all-black wardrobe to create the perfect Mephistophelian image for presiding over the devilish ritual that launched The Church of Satan.

In the unconventional city by the bay, LaVey, 37, was already a well-known eccentric. He played the organ at the Lost Weekend nightclub. He drove a hearse and walked a pet leopard. He painted his house on California Street black and delivered midnight lectures there,

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