London beyond time and place Talks beyond time and place Episode 03: Camila Oliveira | Topic: William Blake in popular music

Episode 03: Camila Oliveira | Topic: William Blake in popular musicEpisode 03: Camila Oliveira | Topic: William Blake in popular music

“Blake is not only the mystic and visionary poet, he is also a revolutionary. This combination of the mystic and the revolutionary is very powerful. That is basically what has made him so appealing for musicians since the 1960s. Most artists try to find their own Blake” – Camila Oliveira


Camila Oliveira is a William Blake researcher from Brazil and she has specialized in “Blake and Music”. In her PhD thesis, she discusses Blake’s reception in popular music in the 20th and 21st century. She interviewed musicians inspired by Blake’s work, for example BRUCE DICKINSON (IRON MAIDEN), TIM BLAKE, GORDON GILTRAP and ED SANDERS. She is also a translator and translated the lyrics of IAN ANDERSON’S JETHRO TULL “Thick as a Brick 2” into Portuguese. Currently she is working on a Portuguese translation of Blake’s magnum opus “Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion”.


In the third episode of “Talks beyond time and place”, we discuss the influence of Blake on BOB DYLAN, JIM MORRISON, ALLEN GINSBERG, PATTI SMITH and BRUCE DICKINSON. She also shares her experience of feeling like a foreigner when living in London and we try to find out if London is female or male.




0:00:00 London beyond time and place Intro

0:01:07 Introduction

0:02:27 Why and how did you get interested in William Blake?

0:05:38 Where did the idea for the PhD come from?

0:07:25 Musicians of the 60s and 70s that have been influenced by Blake (Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jethro Tull, Genesis)

0:10:41 Hubert Parry’s “Jerusalem” – the first musical interpretation of Blake?

0:13:48 Allen Ginsberg’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience”

0:14:38 William Blake’s influence on Bob Dylan

0:15:50 Why could someone like Dylan or the whole folk-rock movement identify with Blake?

0:18:40 How important were the beat poets like Allen Ginsberg, who also sang Blake songs, for introducing him and his works and ideas to pop music?

0:20:16 William Blake’s influence on The Doors and the hippie movement of the 1960s

0:25:20 The spiritual and the radical: Would Blake have sympathized with the hippie movement?

0:28:24 William Blake’s influence on Patti Smith

0:33:14 Bruce Dickinson: “The Chemical Wedding” and social media as a modern-day enslaving system

0:45:44 Meeting Ian Anderson and becoming the Portuguese translator for “Thick as a Brick 2”

0:52:10 The project of preparing a Portuguese translation of “Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion”.

0:56:05 Blake is influenced by London and the other way round. Is the influence of London in Blake’s works important in the artists’ music?

1:00:21 Is London female or male?

1:03:25 You lived in London for brief periods and said that you felt like an intruder and also faced racism.

1:13:54 Do you have a favourite place in London?

1:15:49 Visiting “Blake locations” in London



Allen Ginsberg sings William Blake (1995)

Buy the album here: The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience*

Bob Dylan – Every Grain of Sand (Rehearsal) (Audio):

Buy Bob Dylan’s album “Tempest” here: Tempest*

The Doors – “End of the Night” from “The Doors” (1967):

Buy “The Doors” and “Strange Days” here:

The Doors (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Vinyl LP]*

The Doors: Strange Days (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Limited) [Winyl]+[4CD]*

Patti Smith | My Blakean Year | LIVE from the NYPL:

Patti Smith – The Tiger (by William Blake) (Performed at the Wadsworth Atheneum):

Buy Patti Smith’s autobiography “Just Kids” here: Just Kids*

Bruce Dickinson – Jerusalem (2001 Remaster):

Buy Bruce Dickinson’s “The Chemical Wedding” here: The Chemical Wedding (Reissue)*

Buy Bruce Dickinson’s autobiograpy here: What Does This Button Do?*

Bruce Dickinson and Ian Anderson – Jerusalem (Multicam HD):

Buy “Thick as a Brick 2” here: Taab2: Thick As A Brick 2*


Camila mentions “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis and my book, so here is the link to “Two eras of Genesis? The development of a rock band”.

Literature & Film

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius*

Blake: Prophet Against Empire (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (English Edition)*

William Blake and the Age of Revolution*

Aldous Huxley: Doors of Perception; Heaven and Hell*

Blake by Peter Ackroyd (1995-05-04)*


William Blake, Bruce Dickinson and the question if London is a female or a male place are also part of my book “London and its genius loci – A journey beyond time and place”.


Talks beyond time and place” is a series of online conversations by author Philipp Röttgers of “London beyond time and place“. Philipp and his guests chat about how London influences their lives. In every episode, they cover certain topics, depending on the individual guest. Among his guests are scholars, historians, tour guides and more and the atmosphere feels like a conversation in a pub.

Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place
Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place

*= affiliate links/advertising links

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