Saturday, May 16, 2009

Robert Johnson and the Crossroads

"What's up man?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "I've just got a feeling."

"Like what kind of feeling?"

"Crossroads," he said.

What's that mean?

"There was this blues dude -- Robert Johnson--got to the crossroads, met the devil, and they struck up a deal. Sold his soul to the devil for some guitar licks."


Jonesy stood up and tucked the Bible under his arm. "I'm just wondering if I need to strike me up a deal," he said.

From Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers, Scholastic Press, 2008, page 28.

I have been running into the folklore of Johnson and his meeting with the devil at the crossroads quite frequently lately, particularly in the research I did for Stories from Songs. Possibly the most interesting contemporary reworking of this legend can be found in the manga Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson, Volume 1 by Akira Hiramoto (Del Rey, 2005, English translation by David Ury, 2008). Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment