Musicians and their pact with the devil!

Musicians and their pact with the devil!

As the epitome of evil, the devil steals souls, supposedly gives people supernatural powers and demands a price for it, which he then collects with relentless harshness and cruelty like the loan shark of hell. Legendary musicians are also said to have made a pact with the devil. Fun Halloween horror story or the creepy truth? We went on a devilish search for clues while writing this blog article!

If you still feel like getting creeped out after reading this, feel free to drop by the Thomann Escape Room with this link! ? Happy Halloween, folks.

Becoming insanely talented overnight: Devil stuff?

When the dark power proposes a pact with evil to a musician, it can’t end well. What many musicians wish for is clear: Virtuoso talent and gigantic success. The saying that no virtuoso has yet fallen from the sky is not new. But have some of them possibly received their extraordinary skills directly from the blazes of Hell? ? We don’t know, but myths about these unholy alliances have surfaced over the years!

Niccolo Paganini – the ingenious and unconventional devilish violinist

For example the violinist Niccolo Paganini, who put his audiences into a veritable trance with his virtuoso playing between 1820 and 1840, triggered hysteria with his concerts and made women faint in rows. Who else than Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s older sister, described him as a most wonderful, incomprehensible talent with the appearance of a mad murderer and the movements of a monkey.

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Paganini shook up the music world with his incredible skills all over Europe, was not at all conformist and was even accused of murder at times. He performed in a disturbing outfit with twitching movements and gave the impression that a dead man had risen from the tomb. He secured a dubious reputation, was addicted to gambling and women alike.

He was called a vampire on the violin because of his brilliant playing technique that actually launched his meteoric career almost overnight. Could a human develop such musical genius on his own? People of that time were convinced that he must have made a pact with the devil. ?

Robert Johnson and the story of the pact with Satan

The story of Robert Leroy Johnson, the legendary blues musician who is said to have been in league with the devil, comes from a completely different musical corner. Time and again, the question of the circumstances of his death is raised. After he broke off a performance in 1938, his trail was lost. And even today, there are persistent claims that dark forces were at play. In fact, Johnson, born in 1911, was considered one of the most famous guitarists, singers and songwriters in the history of the blues.

It was pure genius with which the King of the Delta Blues captivated his audience. Especially among the superstitious, he fueled abstruse theories with his lyrics and song themes. For example, he often sang the song “Hellhound on My Trail” or “Me and the Devil Blues”. With the notes he played on his guitar, he could supposedly drive people mad. According to serious myths, he turned himself into a hell-beast and died barking like a dog on all fours. Robert Johnson lived to be only 27 years old, making him a member of Club 27. Was that his price for making a pact with evil? Had he traded his soul for his amazing genius?

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Tommy Johnson – a self-professed soul seller

Even before Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson left his mark on the Delta Blues. He was a guitarist and singer who stood out not only for his skill and special interpretations. Instead, he also had an uncomfortable ego, impressed audiences with enchanting performances and distinguished himself by heavy and degenerate alcohol consumption, which went so far that he diluted cheap methylated spirits with water as a substitute for liquor. Don’t try this at home, kids!

Tommy Johnson bathed himself in the myth that he had sold his soul to the devil. He knitted a legend and also fanned it with full fervor again and again. Tommy claimed to have made the pact in order to be able to play the blues properly. Obviously, it was a made-up story. But if Satan had been looking for a soul to match, he probably wouldn’t have had to knock on Tommy Johnson’s door for too long. ?

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Legends for eternity

Both Paganini and the Johnsons have left unforgettable traces. Paganini’s compositions are reinterpreted again and again by classical musicians. Even virtuoso violinists easily reach their devilish limits. Tommy Johnson was the only namesake forerunner of Robert Johnson and had extreme influence on Canned Heat, for example, who named themselves after a hellish song of his.

Robert Johnson’s songs were and are covered by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters and numerous other musicians. Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan and many others were inspired by him. In 1980, Johnson was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Whether all this happened after such a short time with right things or with sold souls, one will never know.

? Contest – win a Thomann voucher! ?

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More devilish content…

? Want more spookiness?

Click here for the blog article “Play It Backwards! Are diabolical messages hidden in songs?”

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Author’s gravatar
Full time songwriter and performing artist from Finland. Finlands biggest Yanni- fan.


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