Whether you're a rock, metal, blues, country, bluegrass, pop, or any other genre fan, somewhere the Crossroads curse has been mentioned in a song. You may or may not be familiar with what this curse is all about. The Crossroads curse is one of my favorite music legends.
The Legend of Robert Johnson
In case you are by any chance unfamiliar with the legend of Robert Johnson, here is a brief Synopsis of what happened taking pieces from different interpretations. Robert Johnson, to be blunt, absolutely sucked at guitar but wanted badly to be an awesome blues guitarist. There's a mixture of stories of why he went to the crossroads, but nonetheless, he went there and was greeted by a tall man (the devil) who took his guitar, tuned it, played a few riffs, and returned the guitar back to Johnson where he sold his soul to the devil to be an incredible guitarist. Now I am not one to believe legends and fairy tales, but it was said that when Robert Johnson returned, he became this kickass blues guitarist overnight. Johnson lived a very short life, and passed away at the age of 27.
The Crossroads Curse
Basically, the crossroads curse indicates that performing the song can cause very professional and personal tragedies, and there are several incidents that prove this may indeed be true.
Cream recorded "Crossroads" on their Wheels of Fire album. Not too terribly long after, Cream went their separate ways, and Clapton was struggling with a heroin addiction. After Clapton got it together and picked his career back up, he was faced with the tragic death of his son who fell out of a window.
The Allman Brothers
Duane Allman enjoyed performing The Crossroads live. Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident where he swerved to avoid hitting a truck. About a year later, guitarist Berry Oakley died also in a motorcycle accident near where Duane passed away. Gregg Allman wrote a song called Melissa that was written about this tragedy.
This is only two examples of the crossroads curse, but bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd have also faced tragedies after performing The Crossroads. Other artists like John Mayer, Steve Winwood, and Rush have also covered The Crossroads. Now who's to say if this is actually a curse or what, but one thing is for sure, it is one heck of a story and has a role to play in every music genre. There are many, many, MANY songs about selling your soul to the devil for a music career that are inspired by this story. It would make this article a novel to share every song, but there is one in particular that I enjoy because I am a big hard rock and metal fan and am also a big blues fan. The Ongoing Concept has a killer song about the Crossroads that I am still listening to a few years after it was released. Check out the song below!
PS: Whatever the chances are that this curse is real, let's all just be safe and not cover it.