I’m compelled to answer the second part of the comment on Jimi Hendrix’s Murder.. “All of this makes me think of the crossroad legend. Maybe Jimi made his best deal, and the devil came to get him when his time was up”.
The Crossroads legend and Robert Johnson. Some people say Robert Johnson met the ‘Devil’ at a lonely crossroads in the Mississippi Delta one night and swapped his soul for his unearthly guitar player talents. He was a drifter and when his time came, the devil completed the deal, Johnson was said to go out on his hands and knees howling like a dog.
Is the crossroads hypothetical? Can we prove that the musicians who went to the crossroads all met the same fate? Was Jimi’s manager, Michael Jeffrey the devil himself? Only to die in a plane crash after he allegedly murdered the greatest and most prolific guitar player ever. Was that his due? It was well deserved if so…
Eric Clapton and Cream did one of the first versions of Robert Johnson’s’ Crossroads Blues. Was his suffering due to being associated with the song?
What about Led Zepplin and “The Lemon Song”? The song borrows strongly from ‘Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor”, which was a song Led Zeppelin often incorporated into their live sets during their early concert tours of the United States. Other lyrics, notably “squeeze (my lemon) ’til the juice runs down my leg,” can be traced to Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues”. Did this have anything to do with the death of ‘Zep’s” drummer, John Bonham in 1980?
After a nice, refreshing video break, lets get back to the point..
One of my favorite songs by Jimi Hendrix is “Hear My Train A Coming“. It makes reference to: ‘I’m gonna leave this town and coming back as a magic man’..He was going to the train station…This phrase suggests heavily where he is going. But Jimi was a Voodoo Child and had the guitar playing abilities and imagination no human had before. Jimi was a great bluesman, his posthumous album “Blues” is the best blues album ever. Several of the songs are direct adaptations of earlier blues guitar players compositions and songs.
Another interpretation of the crossroad hinted at by some blues songs is that point at which a particular road is taken in life.
Excerpt From Wikipedia: Originally the blues “Crossroads” was a literal right-angle crossing of two railroads - “where the Southern cross the Dog” – in Moorhead, Mississippi. The “Southern” was a line of the Southern Railway, sold to the Columbus and Greenville Railway in 1920, and the “Dog” was the “Yellow Dog”, officially the Yazoo and Delta Railroad, part of the Illinois Central Railroad system after 1897. This place is mentioned in a number of blues, including the recorded works of W. C. Handy and Bessie Smith
While Stevie Ray Vaughan comes from a different generation, is it coincidence he died in a helicopter wreck at only 36 years old. What I know is that he died young in an unusual manner for a guy who got his life straightened out..Was it his unreal and unequaled blues guitar playing abilities, or the fact that he played a variety of blues songs written by the artists who allegedly went to or had something to do with an artist who went to the crossroads? He wrote a few of his own blues song too. He made 18 albums in his short career..
I find no definitive answer to these questions. There are so many versions of what “really” happened that night, it is virtually impossible to find any consistent accounts of what really went on at the crossroads. I guess what happened is between the devil and his clients, all the way to the grave.
I wonder how these extra-ordinary, out of this world abilities became them. I don’t disagree with the notion that people with abilities so much greater than the others, at any skill, is not necessarily human/earth like. Meaning, even Michael Jordan had to be born on another planet, like Venus, no other way to explain his unique game changing skills. He did to basketball what Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix and a handful of other guitar players can do. Change the way that particular skill may be, forever. Music in this case..
In closing out this article, I wonder if Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan blues guitarist extraordinaire, went to the crossroads and sold their souls. Both died under suspicious circumstances, both lives ended in their primes. However Danny Gatton made the worse deal, he never got the recognition he deserved..
This is just the opinion of Guitar Players Center. However, it is an opinion, which makes it open for discussion. Please leave a comment or what you think may have happened on the fateful night Robert Johnson started the crossroads legend..Enjoy.
I would like to visit the crossroads. It does not scare me, I’m to old to die young anyway!!