How The Devil Influenced Rock and Metal

  • Sammy Garcia III


If folktales are to be believed, the Devil seems to have quite the interest in music. From the satanic imagery in metal, the legendary fiddle duel in “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” to the legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil at a crossroads. It would appear that the Prince of Darkness likes a good tune as much as you and I. He has been present every step of the way in popular music throughout the last century. The relationship between the Devil and music goes back centuries, but this paper begins in the Delta with Tommy Johnson and Robert Johnson (no relation) and how they both made deals with the Devil, continues with an analysis of how the Devil influenced rock and metal as we know today, and concludes with an examination of how Satan remains as the most powerful symbol of absolute rebellion in music today.