Devil Music

Next, sit cross-legged and start playing your favorite song. At the stroke of midnight, you will hear approaching footsteps. Do not look up until they stop in front of you and a hand reaches down to take your guitar. Standing before you will be a tall, well-dressed black man. Do not speak to him. He will take your guitar, tune it and play a song. When he's done, your soul is no longer your own.

Just so you know, the lyrics to Robert Johnson songs like "Hellhound on My Trail" often portray him as a man haunted by demons and the recognition of self-evil; he seemed hardly able to enjoy his success. And another thing--remember that Legba is a trickster. Just because he makes you the best guitarist of your time doesn't mean you'll have a good life. Or even a long one. Johnson died in 1938 at the age of 27, done in by a jealous husband who poisoned him with passagreen, a potion extracted from mothballs that kills slowly and ugly. So be careful what you wish for, and keep in mind that Johnson may have written his own best epitaph in "Me and the Devil Blues":

Early this morning,
You knocked upon my door.
And I said, "Hello, Satan.
I believe it must be time to go."
--David Holthouse

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