What Is The Crawling Chaos?

Winifred V Jjackson

Lovecraft-ian Comparisons

On the myths page the derivation of the band’s name is described thus:

The name was chosen around then because it sounded good, it was a partial homage to H P Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos he’d created and also Strangely had not managed to read it all the way through even after several attempts because he was usually too drunk to finish it. It also stood out from band names of the time and sounded dangerous and gloomy. This was the start of THE CRAWLING CHAOS although the definite article was usually dropped. The Crawling Chaos was supposed to be an actual creature of nightmares.

And Now?

Yet I’ve just been reading an explorative discussion of the actual story that I (sp) first read back in 1974.  It’s called: Just Say No (To Drug-Induced Time Travel): “The Crawling Chaos” by H.P. Lovecraft & Winifred Jackson and the similarities and simultaneity to me are interesting c.f. our own Crawling Chaos.  From our self-destructive tendencies to the recent choice of page header image that mysteriously arrived on my PC screen, all, almost in a dream.  Maybe that’s just me, Strangely, by hey, whatever, a commenter (DemetriosX – ‘I found this one to be a real slog.’) on the original post had the same reading difficulties as me, (sp)…

Take the labyrinthine authoring of the tale – most anthologies I read had it as HP Lovecraft being the main author sometimes with Elizabeth Berkeley;  but earlier editions said it was Elizabeth Berkeley and Lewis Theobald, Jr. as joint authors – who were actually HP Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson.  Lovecraft is the creator & main protagonist of his Cthulhu Mythos and The Crawling Chaos was supposed to have been created from a dream – except it wasn’t even Lovecraft’s dream – it was Jackson’s (really called Berkeley , remember?).

Winifred V Jjackson
Winifred V Jjackson

To cap it all, The Crawling Chaos wasn’t an imaginary creature; it was just this dreamy tale of destruction and realisation of one’s place in the universe.  In another tale written almost concurrently, he invented Nyarlathotep, which had the same alternate name.  Why have just one name, eh?

At the end of the day though, to answer the question “What is the crawling chaos?” – it is simply this woman’s dream!

Examining both our creative works and some of our own personal naming schemes reveals similar modus operandi and a fair bit of our own personal traits methinks in the conventions that we used.


The tale

…is well out of copyright so can be read for nowt. Essentially:

  • the narrator gets blitzed on an opium overdose from his doctor,
  • wakes in a dream to see a strange high house on a cliff  on a peninsular that has paradoxically opposed views on each side.
  • He gets rescued by angels who take him to safety who tell him not to look back.
  • Of course he looks back to see the Earth split and oceans rush into the crack, turning to explosive steam .  (think about the LA destruction scene in 2012
  • Fall Of Numenor
    Fall Of Numenor

    This is also like the current CC website image in use….  This is a depiction of the Fall Of Numenor, a Tolkien creation well after The Crawling Chaos was dreamt up by the duo.  These tales of cataclysmic destruction are nothing new of course; in the West alone we have the biblical deluge, the apocalypse and Atlantean myths melanged with similarly fraught Norse sagas.  But I do like this image.

  • In the end, quoting the tale, a single poetic sentence finishes it, like a death sentence:

And when the smoke cleared away, and I sought to look upon the earth, I beheld against the background of cold, humorous stars only the dying sun and the pale mournful planets searching for their sister.

In a way, the creation and passage of our own Crawling Chaos through time mirrors all of this.  The impermanence of it all is majestic, is it not?

‘Though you may set out at dawn on the journey of life with pride in the beauty of your rosy cheeks, by evening you will be no more than a pile of white bones rotting on the moor.’ – from a poem by Fujiwara no Yoshitaka, appearing in A Collection of Japanese and Chinese Poems for Singing, compiled around 1013.

‘when you are happy, you should remember that your happiness in this life is nothing but a dream within a dream’ – Nichiren,1276


Very Early Gygno

Tribute to Paul Shields

This is a very early (probably the first version & take) of Gygno.  The guts of the final track are there but reveals it’s an experiment in progress.

Paul created quite a few of the wacky original lyrics to Crawling Chaos after he arrived and contributed to much of the frivolity.  His early death is still shrouded in confusion for me. (sp)

These are his first lyrics and it’s him singing.


Zyklon B Zombies: Death

Zyklon B Zombies: Death (Part Two)

Here’s another near three quarter of an hour’s worth of Dionysian Heights that Jeff and I did for Curly Jhon and Mackie for their Zyklon B Zombies performance project.  The first part is here and the initial posting and extra information is here on my website


Zyklon B Zombies: Life   (Part One)

Zyklon Zombies B, Life and Death Work

Zyklon B

Disappearing Bees? Re-appearing Karma

Facebook Chat

Further Chat
Further Chat
Initial Facebook Posting
Initial Facebook Posting

As I said, Curly Jhon found his old snaps and whacked them on Facebook.  Naturally, the “offal” jokes had to follow.  These two screenshots give more background to the Dionysian Heights events.

Zyklon B Zombies: Life

Zyklon B Zombies: Life (Part One)

CJ with Dionysian Heights Props
CJ with Dionysian Heights Props

I’ve spent a bit of time cleaning up a tape I’ve come across.

As I described here on my personal website siteLigger John and Mackie had a Zyklon B Zombie project for which Jeff and I made some custom backing music for them.  The actual performances involved blood, guts and offal plus a variety of standard props like the bull and ivy on the right…  The recording was far cleaner.

The video playing is the culmination of my clean-up and shows a cassette, the one I’ve sourced.  For the young-uns reading this, this was how we made music portable, 40 years ago.  This also explains why the track is 3/4 hours long since the cassette was 45 mins per side.

The initial track (~ 15 mins long) is yet another version of “Zombie Dance”, another is here, say.  Other pieces then follow on. (SP)


Zyklon B Zombies: Death    (Part One)

Zyklon Zombies B, Life and Death Work

Zyklon B

Disappearing Bees? Re-appearing Karma