#1
ive heard stuff about him selling his soul so he could play guitar. is there more to this story? like how did it get started?
#2
Its just an old legend that was started because he was amazing at the guitar and because his fingers were freakishly long. The story is like, he met the devil at a railroad or something. I donno. It was the same story as Paganini pretty much.
#3
As legend has it, that's what "Crossroads Blues" is about. Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul at a crossroads near highway 49 and highway 61. Though he never said he did so another bluesman named Tommy Johnson said the he too had sold his soul. (ever seen O Brother Where Art Thou?) The story goes that if a musician goes to the crossroads looking to sell his soul he will appear and grant musical talent in exchange for his soul and die at 27. The story grew more popular because Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and others all died at 27. Whether Robert Johnson was 27 is debated because his exact date of birth isn't known, but he did not live to 30.
"There's Jimmy Page, one of the biggest thieves of American black music to ever walk the Earth."
#5
Doesnt the legend say that a man will come and offer to tune your guitar ... the man being the devil and afterwards you will be able to play better.

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#7
They made a movie about it called Crossroads. I never saw the movie but I'm sure it has information about the legen, most probably made up by the producers.
"There's Jimmy Page, one of the biggest thieves of American black music to ever walk the Earth."
#8
The rumour started because Johnson was a mediochre guitarist and harmonica player who suddenly disapeared. When he turned up again a few months later, he was far better. The idea of selling your soul to a spirit in exchange for skill in a cirtain area is a very ancient tradition from africa. It is possible that it was carried over to America with black slaves, and remained part of their culture.
Robert Johnson never actually claimed to have sold his soul, although Tommy Johnson, another blues player (unrelated to Robert) did make that claim a few years earlier. In Roberts case, many beleive that the rumour was started accidentally, when Son House remarked 'He must have sold his soul to play like that'.

Yeah, I'm a blues geek.
#9
Quote by CheckOutSerafin


Yeah, I'm a blues geek.


Lol.

Yeah someone else told me that Curt Cobain was part of it too (he also sold his soul).
And Janis Joplin doesnt play guitar.
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#10
Quote by skateguitar7654
Lol.

Yeah someone else told me that Curt Cobain was part of it too (he also sold his soul).
And Janis Joplin doesnt play guitar.


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#12
Well we know about him (Robert Johnson) and he lived like 70 or so years ago , he's pretty famous in my book.
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#13
Quote by skateguitar7654
And Janis Joplin doesnt play guitar.



she did
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#14
the guy that they say is satan is elegua. elegua is a saint from the island religion santeria (and also palo monte i think, maybe voodoo/hoodoo). who is a god of the crossroads and is also mischievious, and when the african/island religions came here, christians tried to convert people and made the other religion's gods into christian figures, and elegua became satan. i think in crossroads they call satan 'legua
Muddy Waters invented electricity.
#15
Quote by AxeAbuser#2
she did


Uh Janis Joplin sang. Maybe she played guitar on one or two songs but she was certainly no Robert Johnson or Jimi Hendrix.

Or Curt Cobain! jk.
This is what you get.
This is what you get.
This what you get when you mess with us.
#16
Crossroads is a great movie, and the song Highway 61 is also based on the legend. Where are these crossroads does anyone know? or is it so obvious that i am an idiot
#17
Quote by skateguitar7654
Uh Janis Joplin sang. Maybe she played guitar on one or two songs but she was certainly no Robert Johnson or Jimi Hendrix.

Or Curt Cobain! jk.


lol, i diddnt say she was in the same league as hendrix or johnson, but i do know she played some decent acoustic stuff in her day .
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#18
...cobain's soul must not have been worth very much...
...Damn Right I Got The Blues...
#19
Quote by Rawk Awn
...cobain's soul must not have been worth very much...

Well if you can exchange your soul for fame and fortune and Cobain did so, it explains a lot.
"There's Jimmy Page, one of the biggest thieves of American black music to ever walk the Earth."
#20
I thought the idea was that you could play guitar better. I think it's being stretched to fame and fortune and such. If it was how come it's all musicians? No actors selling their soul?
Oh, wait. Tom Cruise.
John Travolta.
K, I'm leaving.
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This what you get when you mess with us.
#22
what actually happened was that robert johnson, as CheckOutSerafin says, was a mediocre player who disappeared for about a year, then returned amazingly talented. the truth is that in this time he studied with charley patton, who taught him guitar.
#23
really? where'd you read that? i've never heard that before... that would probably explain it, but i wouldn't think old bluesmen would study with other bluesmen or whatever
Muddy Waters invented electricity.
#24
this has to do with "crossroads" or "crossroad blues" and the 27 club - Robert Johnson died at 27 because he sold his soul to the devil to get amazing talent
others in the 27 club (not all of which are guitar players) are Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Pigpen from the Grateful Dead
#25
Ike Zimmerman anyone?

Damn, I really wish that guy had recorded some of his stuff.
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#26
Quote by thegreensquall
really? where'd you read that? i've never heard that before... that would probably explain it, but i wouldn't think old bluesmen would study with other bluesmen or whatever


cant remember where i heard it tbh.
#27
It's my opinion that the vast majority of this stuff is myth.
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#28
yeah the whole devil deal stuff is basically myth and the rest is just strange terrible coincidence
#29
Quote by guitarhero?
yeah the whole devil deal stuff is basically myth and the rest is just strange terrible coincidence


There is no such thing as "coincidence," just the illusion of coincidence.
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#30
^^okay
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

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I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#31
I enjoy saying it...
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