Since its inception, rock and roll has been the subject of rumors, misinformation, and propaganda ranging from the plausible (Stevie Nicks practices Wicca!) to the bizarre (Ozzy Osbourne is the actual Devil). With Halloween almost upon us, what better time to shine a flashlight under your chin and talk about some of the urban legends of rock? This is part one of a two part series about urban legends in the world of rock. And, like all good ghostbusters, we’ll be looking to see if there’s any truth to them at all.
One of the lasting stories about music is selling your soul to the devil to play well. Whether "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" or up to Boston, the pact remains the same: you'll be a famous, talented musician, and the devil will take you after so many years' time. This legend got started before rock and roll was even dreamt of, trickling down from the story of Faust, to virtuoso violinist Niccoló Paganini, and to Robert Johnson, one of the earliest cautionary tales of rock.
Robert Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi in 1911, and started picking up instruments at an early age, although according to musicians who knew him, he was hopeless at the guitar. Desperate for greatness, he either summoned the Devil at the crossroads to give his soul in exchange for talent, or conjured him up in a graveyard. Either way, the stories differ about what happened next, but the result is the same.
Click Here to read more about Robert Johnson and his deal with the Devil.
Written by Ashton
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