MAY 8, 1911 - AUG 16, 1938
"The blues ain't nothing but a lowdown shaking chill
If you ain't had 'em I hope you never will"
Lord, babe, I’m sinkin' down…
Shrouded in mystery, the legend of Robert Johnson has captured the imagination of musicians as well as historians for the last century. A few things are acknowledged as fact… Robert was born into poverty in post Civil War Dixie. He played the length of the Chitlin’ Circuit, and was a stable artist of the juke joints and roadhouses up and down the Mississippi. He died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 27. Not before recording a collection of work that would change the course of music as it was known, and lay the groundwork for what we in modern times recognize as Rock & Roll.
Another thing that is acknowledged as fact...the man could play. Every contemporary artist in the rock genre, acknowledges that Robert was one of the most influential artists of all time. Eric Clapton was most notable, for finding these recordings, and releasing his own versions of Robert Johnson’s music. The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Dylan, and the Faces were all students of the blues, and found his work to be of great significance. He recorded his albums in one take, in a room while facing the corner. He actually used the right angle of the walls to create extra reverb and made it an added element to the already complex plucking, hammering and drumlike percussion of his hands on the wood. Keith Richards was in disbelief when Charlie Watts explained that there was no other musicians in the room, just a man and a guitar.
Although nothing is in fact well documented or known for sure about his last days, his music paints a vivid picture of torment, and life on the move. He was intent on staying ahead of whatever demons were on the road to get him. This Faustian saga is repeated again and again in the world of rock. Although the price of fortune and fame was simply to sell your soul to the devil, the underhanded deity would always find a way to turn the hero's dreams into a curse, and leave them with nothing more than regret and an eternity of fire and brimstone.
Robert would be no exception, as he was believed to have been poisoned by a jealous spouse, and died torturously on the floor screaming about hellhounds. He was 27 years old.
“Lord I'm standin' at the crossroad, babe, I believe I'm sinkin' down . . .”
Cut from a discarded drum cymbal, the pendent depicts a crossroads composed of two acoustic guitars which tie in the two major components of Robert Johnson’s legacy. The horns, a mischievous element, reflect the connection of the netherworld and the legend of the musician’s ill fated pact with the devil. At the time, these themes were far from light. Society punished and outcast people who referred so blatantly to sacrilegious endeavors. Although, maybe there is something to the myth, and in fact this piece will carry part of the curse of Mr. Johnson along to the wearer? Or maybe it’s just part of the legend…
CHIME Jewelry accepts no responsibility for potential mayhem or mishaps associated with this pendent.