Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Robert Johnson&Johnny Shines1935RAW

Today's blog entry will be a quote from my discussion on this with some Facebook friends:

Hey Kicha, thanks. You might be interested in this response to a post on my Facebook page:

Noe Gold
Here is a link to the 2008 Vanity Fair article about the image, and yes there the pic is on that page. It is a 5-page article, detailing not just Robert's life and times, but the lawsuits over the past 40 years over who controls the rights to Robert's estate:


Searching for Robert Johnson
In the seven decades since his mysterious death, bluesman Robert Johnson’s legend has grown—the tragically short life, the “crossroads” tale of supernatural talent, the genuine gift that inspired Dylan, Clapton, and other greats—but his image remains elusive: only two photos of Johnson have ever been found - until now.

Ed Supple, Heather Harris, Carolyne Mas and 3 others like this.
Heather Harris thanks for posting this, definitely of interest

Shelley Mitchell The whole Robert Johnson 'deal-with-the-devil' legend is right up my alley.. LOVE this stuff--THANKS!!!!

Simon Nisbet If it wasn't for Robert J Zeppelin would have to of written their own lyrics. ;-)

Heather Harris ‎@Shelley, you would enjoy his site doctornoemedia.blogspot.com/ as Noe has quite the unusual takes on rock and classic rock. I've only caught up with it recently and it's great fun to read our most outre rock musings written by a pro with such panache.

Shelley Mitchell Thanks Heather! I just took a quick preliminary glance, and you're right--this is something I will enjoy reading. I know you know music HISTORY is my real forte.. just love the OLD stuff, and the older I get, the more I like it!!!

Heather Harris the good stuff wears well, which is why I'm always interested in NEW good stuff happening, to replenish future supplies...

Noe Gold Thank you Heather. Now if only some more enthusiasts would buy my Roy Buchanan DVD I might be able to put up some more brilliant commentary.

Heather Harris This will cheer you up: cuttin' heads!

Noe Gold Yes! and even more amusing is the YouTube comments by theguitar dweebs over who is the "best guitar player." Funny thing is, inthisclip, STeve VAi was hired to playboth guitar parts – theDevils MusicMAn that he plays in the movie and the Fender-sporting Ralph Macchio kid who represents the down home-inspired licksters.

Heather Harris I thought Ry Cooder did the Ralph M slide parts: I learn something every day. I love the fact that this scene uses music solely as the narrative.

Noe Gold Here is the skinny, with some fascinating trivia about the movie here:
Trivia for
Crossroads (1986) More at IMDbPro »

Steve Vai played both sides of the guitar duel, while acting as Jack Butler, the devil's guitarist. Ry Cooder recorded the slide parts and produced the soundtrack.

Noe Gold This is a gem:
"Eugene's Trick Bag", the updated classical piece at the climax of the film, is largely based on Niccolo Paganini's Caprice #5. Paganini, as the pervading myth has it, sold his soul to the devil for his musical skills. Steve Vai, as 'Jack Butler', replicates Paganini's legendary rolling eyes, long unkempt hair and gaunt stature.
And Paganini is Yngwie Malmsteen's hero, but that is another story :)


Hey Kicha, here's more. Think it is worthy of a blog post?

Shelley Mitchell I loved that 'cuttin' heads' part of the article, it really appeals to my macabre sensibilities. Never heard of that before--I learn something new every day, too! Always been a rock n' roller, with a whole lotta (old) pop and soul thrown in as well--but here lately, I've been starting to cultivate a greater interest in blues stuff than ever before. Known for years that Robert Johnson was probably THE single most influential old master of all, but just now beginning to really explore that whole realm. Rock's most prominent ancestor!

John Lynch: Cutting heads if speaking of competitive jamming or stealing a gig from the people on the stand, etc. is pretty old. I don't know if the article has the latest update on the litigation, Rupert Murdoch one after establishing that Johnson had sold his soul and everything else to him.

Noe Gold
OK, now I'll fill you in on something the Guitar World and Vanity Fair articles only touched on. Jimi was a self-acknowledged heir to Robt. Johnson's legacy as well:

Jimi Hendrix: The Complete January 1967 Interview With Steve Barker


" ... I turned up to see Jimi at his flat on Montague Square, cassette recorder and one cassette in hand. He was friendly and relaxed through the chat. His girlfriend – I assume Kathy Etchingham – drifted in and out. There was a huge stack of vinyl records. On top was Robert Johnson’s King of the Delta Blues Singers and under that a Lenny Bruce album. ..."

Steve Barker: What are the main influences in your music?

Jimi Hendrix: Well, I don’t have any right now. I used to like Elmore James and early Muddy Waters and stuff like that – Robert Johnson and all those old cats.

Do you feel any heritage from the old bluesmen?

No, ’cause I can’t even sing! When I first started playing guitar is was way up in the Northwest, in Seattle, Washington. They don’t have too many of the real blues singers up there. When I really learned to play was down South. Then I went into the Army for about nine months, but I found a way to get out of that. When I came out I went down South and all the cats down there were playing blues, and this is when I really began to get interested in the scene.
John Lynch also points out that ...

John Lynch: Well and King appears on the cover of Dylan's Bringin It All Back Home along with Lotte Lenya, the Impressions, Eric von Schmidt

Noe Gold: You are a gent and a blues scholar, John!

John Lynch: Just loved the stiuff a long time . . . I wish I had a copy of a letter I wrote a friend after discovering Robert Johnson.