25 April 2008
We Sold Our Souls For Rock and Roll
I posted this you tube video of 'The Guitar Duel' from the movie 'Crossroads' (not the lame Britney Spears movie, it's the lame Ralph Macchio movie) on a blog I share with my fellow bus riders. Its a movie about a kid that is looking for a lost Robert Johnson song and runs into an old blues man that sold his soul to the devil at the crossroad in exchange for fame, which didn't turn out the way he had planned.
Anyway it got me thinking about some of the deals the devil has made and how he has sort of gotten cheap these days.
1. The Rolling Stones
I think the best deal ever brokered with the devil was the Rolling Stones. They have had lots of hits even after they lost Brian Jones in a swimming pool accident. I suspect that Keith Richards may have already died and is a zombie now. But for the most part they are still making money.
I think Elvis got too good of a deal. Most rock stars die before they get old and fat. It may actually have been by the mercy of God that Elvis was taken when he was.
3. The Doors
The Doors got a pretty fair deal. Jim Morrison stayed alive long enough to finish up his good music. He was just starting into the fat bearded days. His last album L.A. Woman had some great songs on it. I think if he would have done one more album it wouldn't have been as good.
4. The Who
They had a pretty good career they recorded 8 studio albums before losing Keith Moon in his sleep after an overdose of Heminevrin (a medication prescribed to him to combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms)
5. Led Zeppelin
Zeppelin were very successful from 1969 until 1980 when John Bonham died. The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit. 11 years, I'd say they got a pretty good deal.
6. Jimi Hendrix
From 1967-1970 Jimi Hedrix created some of them most incredible guitar music ever made. In 1970 he drowned on his own vomit which contained mostly red wine. Not a long career, but he definitely got his souls worth out of the deal.
7. Bad Finger
They had a good amount of success from 1969 until 1975 when Pete Ham hanged himself in his garage studio and in 1983 Tom Evans hanged himself in the garden - both were over issues of money they were owed but never got. I think this was the begining of the devils bad deals.
They reigned in the grunge movement and ruled the airwaves from 1989 until 1994 when Kurt Cobain shot himself with a Shotgun. 5 years is a pretty short run. I think Cobain got the bad end of that deal. On the bright side Dave Grohl has had a great career with the Foo Fighters.
9. Blind Melon
Formed in 1991 and recorded 2 albums before Shannon Hoon died in 1995 after an all-night cocaine binge. He was found dead on the tour bus by his roadies. I'd say not a very good deal with the devil.
This is the worst deal ever. The band recorded 3 albums between 1992 and 1996. Lead singer Bradley Nowell died of heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 in a hotel room, just two months before the release of their self-titled third record, which became hugely successful. He didn't get to enjoy and fame or fortune.
So while making deals with the devil was all the rage in the 60's and 70's, it's not the lucrative business it once was. If you are even considering making such a deal I would suggest you get a real good attorney. Also you may want to add an extra guy to that band that is expendable. Like they do in landing parties on Star Trek.
Most of the information found here came from Wikipedia and a little hard work.
One thing I meant to mention, Robert Johnson (the original soul seller) was poisoned in a Juke Joint by the husband of a woman he was flirting with there.