Learning a musical instrument takes hard work. Practice and patience and even more practice. And that can be such a resistance. The devil is believed to be very fond of music, which is not surprising. After all, he has the best melodies.
Lucifer is said to have a special affinity for stringed instruments, especially violins and guitars. In return for only one soul and any condition, the prince of darkness can teach you how to really play the guitar. He can make you a star.
You might think no one would take this offer, but we found at least 10 musicians who supposedly thought this was a great deal.
So why not treat yourself calmly and trade that soul in today? Who has time for Libra at all?
Trombonists do not have to apply.
10 Jimmy Page
Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page studied occultism for a while. He bought Aleister Crowley’s old house in Loch Ness which he believed was haunted. He often talked about the strange experiences he had had there.
He followed Crowley’s occult teachings on how to focus your intentions on what you want to get out of life. Apparently Jimmy just wanted to play a mean guitar, and he definitely got that request.
Many people claimed he sold his sale to the devil to get a quick finger, to which Page replied that if so, so did the rest of the band.
Which isn’t exactly a denial. This could be the origin of the myth that one hears demonic voices speaking when playing backwards up the stairs to heaven.
Niccolo Paganini was both a violinist and a guitarist, so he had no chance. He was born in Genoa in 1782 and began learning the violin at the age of 7. Many consider him the greatest violin virtuoso of all time.
He was so much better than his peers that a rumor circulated and persists that he must have sold his soul in exchange for his virtuosity (if not his virtue). It could have been that, of course, or it could have been the hours of practice and his extremely long fingers that allowed him to play three octaves over four strings, which was unknown.
His handspans were likely due to Marfan’s syndrome, which typically results in those with long limbs being extraordinarily tall. Paganini, like all musical geniuses, mainly used his skills to have girls. He was a great womanizer and is said to have captured the souls of young women in his violin, although no one explained how he did it.
A concert-goer in Vienna even claimed to have seen the devil wielding Paganini’s arm. Which probably led to interesting conversations during the break.
8th Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson’s is probably the most famous soul in the Devils collection.
Sometime in the 1930s he is said to have met the devil, supposedly on the Clarksdale Crossroads.
He is said to have been a decent harmonica player, but a “terrible guitarist”. Then he disappeared for a couple of weeks. He reportedly brought his guitar to the Mississippi Junction where the devil retuned his guitar and gave him a few lessons.
When he returned, his terrible guitar technique was now described as “impressive” and “masterful”.
When Robert Johnson died in 1938 at the age of 27, the rumor became a fact, and Johnson is now officially known as the Devil’s Bluesman.
7th Giuseppe Tartini
Giuseppe Tartini is said not only to have sold his soul to the devil, but also to have composed a song with him. Trillo del Diavolo or The Devil’s Trill came to Tartini in a dream. The music came to him, he said, after his dream himself had sold his soul too.
He couldn’t check the fine print of the deal, however, as the music he wrote down when he woke up wasn’t as complex as the devil’s melody.
But maybe that’s a good thing, because the Devil’s Trill is considered to be one of the most technically demanding pieces for violin that has ever been written. Although he was a very accomplished musician, he soon found that he wasn’t good enough to play his own melody, and so he had traded his soul for a melody he couldn’t play.
You are tricky, these devils.
Tartini spent the rest of his life getting his own tune right, which must have been annoying. However, he was a top notch musician, as well as a notorious womanizer, thug, and skilled swordsman.
6th John Lennon
John Lennon is famous for the Beatles being bigger than Jesus. So we already knew he was a blasphemer. However, one Beatles scholar has spent years interpreting hidden messages and symbols in John Lennon’s music, artwork, and album covers, and he believes he has “evidence” that Lennon is actually selling his soul to the devil Has.
He follows a seemingly ‘intriguing’ trail of sorcery, mysticism, numerology, and theology to explain his theory as well as the somewhat less reliable mystical science of anagrams and backward listening to songs.
OK, so there’s a good chance this Beatles scholar is a little crazy, but who should we judge? Lennon is said to have signed his pact with Lucifer sometime in December 1960 just before the first known outbreak of this known viral disease, Beatlemania. If that’s true, Lennon seems to be having an especially hard time as the other 3 band members have presumably managed to keep their souls intact while still sharing the fame.
Lennon was promised 20 years of success before the devil recaptured his own.
Lennon died on December 7, 1980.
We are convinced.
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5 Snoop Dogg
Usually these devil’s soul transactions are kept secret. Occasionally, however, an actor comes along who likes to talk about it. Or even sing about it.
Snoop Dogg admits he was in a dark place at the time when he heard a voice say, “Bring your lifestyle to me, I’ll do better.”
Mr. Dogg asked how long he would live and the voice called back, “Eternal and forever.”
Sounds like a good deal. There is evidence that the artist initially believed he was making a pact with God, but was tricked by the devil.
Or maybe it’s just a song.
4th The Rolling Stones
In 1968, The Rolling Stones released a new album that confirmed the darkest suspicions of all parents. Rock and roll was indeed the music of the devil. The opening song of Beggar’s Banquet was of course Sympathy For The Devil.
Keith Richards told Rolling Stone magazine that some people viewed them as “Lucifer’s unknown agents” while others believed we were Lucifer.
Either way, they were trouble.
However, some of their fans really went for the Satanic Majesties thing (the title of their previous album). The Hells Angels in particular did it. If any illegal biker gang was able to have an official anthem, it was Sympathy For The Devil. They gave “security” to the Stones at the free music festival in Altamont.
Problems broke out during this song and a short time later a teenager was stabbed to death.
Although the song wasn’t directly related to the stinging, the Stones stopped playing the song live for a long time. The stones have since been haunted by rumors of devil worship, possibly because of secret messages embedded in their music, or possibly because of the large horned devil head tattooed on Mick’s chest.
3 Philippe Musard
Philippe Musard was a French musician, composer and conductor known for both his colorful life and his concerts, which says something because the concerts were labeled as chaotic, seditious affairs.
Philippe Musard was the rock star of the 19th century.
He certainly had a theatrical flair and loved to shock his audience. Musard was the first conductor to stand up during his performances and the first to swirl his arms around wildly. Sometimes he even threw his staff into the audience. He is credited with inventing the galop infernal, frenetic dance melodies that were often used to accompany the can dances of that time.
He was phenomenally successful, and Parisian confectioners even sold his portrait in chocolate. While conducting, he is said to have made strange faces and look almost obsessed with his wild gestures. Perhaps this led to the lingering rumor that Musard had made a pact with the devil.
2 Tommy Johnson
A blues musician, Tommy Johnson is the man who is rumored to have been credited with saying that Robert Johnson sold his soul at a crossroads. Which is strange, because before the rumor got around, Tommy was believed to have done the exact same thing.
Tommy Johnson was one of the most influential blues men in Mississippi in the 1920s and 1930s. His older brother LeDell taught him to play the guitar when Johnson ran from home to the Mississippi Delta as a young teenager. When he came back 2 years later he was a seasoned guitarist.
LeDell Johnson claimed his brother met a “mysterious figure” at an intersection. The stranger tuned his guitar for him, after which he could play like the devil. What story exactly what Tommy said about Robert Johnson.
Could it be that Tommy Johnson was diverting attention from his own diabolical encounter? Or maybe the devil spends a lot of time hanging out at the intersection with a guitar tuner.
1 Bob Dylan
In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was pretty much a surprise to everyone. Except maybe Bob. In an interview he stated: “It’s a matter of fate. I made a devil business and I hold up my end “
Well, that seems pretty conclusive. It shouldn’t have been surprising, however. Bob Dylan apparently died on July 25, 1965. Coincidentally, that was the same day he went on stage with an electric guitar on the stage at the Newport Folk Festival.
An electric guitar. At a folk festival. To make matters worse, he was joined by a rock band and they started a decidedly un-folk rendition of his new song “Like a Rolling Stone”.
Didn’t start out well.
So it won’t surprise any of the tambourine-shaking, harmonica fans that Dylan has signed an unholy pact.
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About the author: Ward Hazell is a freelance writer and travel writer, currently doing a PhD in English literature