With the Reverend dabbling once more in Musical Matters,

Sunday Sermons feels beholden to reveal the Dark Forces at play behind the Music Industrys’ glittering facade.


And How He Cheated Me Out of My Soul!

(A Cautionary Tale)


I guess it’s all my fault sort of and if so I sincerely apologise,

but I never thought the Devil would sink so low as to involve you all in our private bet.

You’ve all heard the story hey? The one about the Musician that went to the cross roads at Midnight

and sold his soul to the Devil?

for fame and the ability to play music better

than anyone else.

They told that story about Robert Johnson of course and hell, way back before that a hundred years or so

they told it about Paganini and his unearthly violin.

The story is generally told as a cautionary tale. Generally fame and fortune is written into the contract as a sub clause, but it always ends up going horribly wrong. The Fame eats them up. Bandmates betray them, ex-Wives sue them, Lawyers fill their waking hours, the Drugs & alcohol get out of control. Their work/art lost it’s magic/inspiration, they enjoy not a moment of their Celebrity Lifestyle

and they end in a nameless grave, their music forgot

and the Devil forecloses on their Soul while the hapless Musician comes out of the Deal with nothing to show for it. Well, that’s the Music Industry.

But I had a different deal in mind!

I would swap ephemeral Fame

for an Immortal Name!

Contrarian that I am, I had decided long ago that excessive Fame in an Artist’s Lifetime has a negative effect on both their General Happiness & Creativity. No, my goal was to be Immortal Fame! I would be content to plow along in quiet obscurity during my Life, getting by and getting on with my work, content in the knowledge that

every New Generation would sing my songs and celebrate my Genius to the end of time.

Ah Vanity! Thy name is Hellfire!

The Evil One wasn’t keen at first..

It’s a Buyers Market! He scoffed.

Do you know how many Musicians I have to deal with every single Midnight since little Brian Jones broke the Non-Disclosure Clause in his Contract? How many dusty Cross-Roads in shitty neighbourhoods

I have to appear at?

Ugh! The number of Death Metal Bands alone is overwhelming..and don’t even mention Rap! I hate fucking Rap! Why don’t more musicians working in Adult Contemporary want to sell their Soul?

the Devil whined distractedly.

I thought he was just foot-dragging coz he didn’t like the Deal I’d cooked up, but really he was just playing hard-to-get to reel me in a little more. So we signed the Deal; in exchange for my Soul and a Lifetime of relative obscurity,

my Name would be celebrated, my Genius recognised and my Works treasured by every New Generation thereafter.

Children would learn my words at school. My Face would appear on twenty dollar notes and stamps!

What could go wrong?

I didn’t realise what the Devil was doing at first. Didn’t see the connection as events unravelled all around me. I was so busy building up the material for my artistic legacy, that I didn’t see that it was his claw on the wheel, steering us all to Disaster.

No. It wasn’t until I was watching the whole country burn on television that I suddenly realised what was happening,

and that it was all my fault.

Oh I said.

Yup, said the Devil, suddenly manifesting beside me, as I sat on the couch, watching the news-feed bleed Visions of a Poisoned Planet into the living room..

You bastard.


This is going to be the last generation isn’t it. There will be no more generations to come to sing my name. There will be no long centuries of Fame for me will there?


I can’t get over the fact, I said, shaking my head

in disgust & disbelief, that you are prepared to drag the whole World into an Apocalypse scenario, manipulate whole cultures & countries, engineer suicidal schools of Economics and stuff up the whole Human Timeline

just over one tiny contract!

Just to screw me out of my soul? It’s a bit petty isn’t it?

He gave me a long stare..

Son, you know that story about the old lady and the snake?

Yeah I snapped, so what?!

HISSSSSSsss.. he said, and smirked.

The Devil left me then to brood over how things had worked out, and I haven’t seen him since. I pretty much gave up playing music after that too. Sort of lost heart after that meeting with Old Horny, I guess. Mostly these days I just sit at home in front of the TV with the blinds drawn, watching the World fall apart in flaming hunks. Sometimes I’ll strum a few chords.

So, yeah.. sorry Everyone.

My bad.




The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism,

Secretary of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and Faustian Deal Maker.

His Word is his Bond.


~ by reverendhellfire on March 15, 2020.

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