A History of Robert Johnson

robert johnsonAnyone read the Vanity Fair article by Frank DiGiacomo called Portrait of a Phantom? It begins with the story of a guy finding what he believes might be a photograph of Robert Johnson and his efforts to authenticate it.

In the seven decades since his mysterious death, bluesman Robert Johnson’s legend has grown — the tragically short life, the “crossroads” tale of supernatural talent, the genuine gift that inspired Dylan, Clapton, and other greats — but his image remains elusive: only two photos of Johnson have ever been seen by the public. In 2005, on eBay, guitar maven Zeke Schein thought he’d found a third.

In the telling of the photograph’s story, DiGiacomo paints the most comprehensive history of Johnson’s life I’ve ever read. Admittedly, I haven’t read much, but it’s still an interesting article. And it’s kind of cool to see a new photograph of someone who might be Robert Johnson.

100 “greatest” guitarists of all time

Rolling Stone magazine published their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The top 10:

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band
  3. B.B. King
  4. Eric Clapton
  5. Robert Johnson
  6. Chuck Berry
  7. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  8. Ry Cooder
  9. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin [“of Led Zeppelin”?! duh]
  10. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones [double duh]

Duane Allman?! Chuck Berry?!! If you’re a guitarist, don’t bother looking at the complete list; you’ll want to punch your monitor.