This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Lady Gaga Will Be Playing in Hell -- Wanna Go?

Early this mornin', ooh, when you knocked upon my door
And I said, 'Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go.'
-- Robert Johnson, "Me and the Devil Blues"

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Satan seems to have a real issue with musicians.

From Paganini to Robert Johnson to Dr. Dre, the Devil keeps popping up in popular mythology, hovering around some of the most successful musicians ever, eating up their souls like candy. He can't keep his hands off them.

Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840) was the best violinist of his time, possibly of any time. Schubert, Berlioz, Liszt -- the greatest musicians of the day -- idolized him. His playing forever changed violin music and our expectations of virtuosity. Some people actually believed he was the Devil incarnate.

But the more popular story, and the one that has been handed down over the generations since his death, is that Paganini's mother made a deal with the Devil when the boy was all of six years old -- the Devil gets the boy's soul for eternity, Mrs. Paganini gets to see her son become the greatest violinist who ever lived.

By his last international tour, Paganini was the leading celebrity of the day and making more money than any performer before him.

Robert Johnson, similarly, had a way with the blues guitar that still makes guitarists 75 years after his death drool with envy, somehow simultaneously creating melodies, bass lines and bell-like harmonics on the guitar while moaning soulful blues lyrics -- a one-man orchestra. Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards both regard Johnson as the greatest blues guitarist who ever lived.

Many of his fans believed the story, first told by his fellow blues musicians in the 1930s, that Johnson had met the Devil at midnight at a crossroads (U.S. Highway 61 and U.S. Highway 49 in Clarksdale, Miss., according to one source). The Devil silently took his guitar from him, tuned it and handed it back.

The deal was done. Johnson was instantly the greatest guitarist around and his soul was condemned.

Similar rumors have swirled around Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and other pop musicians. Most recently, an editor here at TheStreet pointed out to me that Dr. Dre -- listed by Forbes as the highest-paid entertainer of 2012 and the subject of my column a few weeks ago -- is said to be in the Devil's pocket. If rumors are to be believed, so is Lady Gaga.

The legend about Dre is fueled by a quote from record producer Dick Griffey regarding a lucrative contract between Dre and Sony (SNE - Get Report). Griffey told Dre biographers John Borgmeyer and Holly Lang, "I was there when Dre said he sold his soul to the Devil for a million bucks. And I swear the Devil has got have a receipt for his ass." That funny observation is taken out of context on dozens of Web sites and folded into a conspiracy that has Dre as a member of the Illuminati, re-imagined for the 21st century.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
SNE $25.96 -2.00%
AAPL $118.53 0.61%
FB $104.02 -1.40%
GOOG $742.67 -1.00%
TSLA $231.14 -0.20%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,764.59 -33.90 -0.19%
S&P 500 2,083.74 -6.37 -0.30%
NASDAQ 5,103.0950 -24.43 -0.48%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs