It's well documented that The Stones were greatly influenced by Johnson's life and music. And perhaps it was this influence that led them to make their own deal with the devil in 1981 when their tour to support the album Tattoo You ushered in the age of corporate sponsored Rock & Roll.
This tour marked the first time that a major rock band allowed itself to be branded by corporation. In this case, the fragrance giant Jovan paid The Stones somewhere between "one million" and "several million" dollars to sponsor their 1981 North American tour.
The rest, as they say, is history. Corporate sponsorship is now commonplace in the live music industry and to this day The Stones continue to reap the benefits to the tune of $109.7 million.
You could argue that by selling out their own souls, The Stones. the self proclaimed "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band", also sold the soul of Rock & Roll itself, robbing it of it's rebellious spirit and ultimately leading to it's demise at the hands of corporate greed.
But then again, if the Robert Johnson legend is true, then the entire history of Rock & Roll can be be traced back to a pact with The Devil. The Stones just did it the way they did everything else.
Even if you do believe that corporate sponsorship helped kill Rock & Roll, you have to admit that these Mick and Keith Halloween masks are pretty cool.
Produced by Jovan for Chicago's Classic Rock station 95½ WMET to promote the Stones 1981 US Tour, they are perfect if you're looking for a last minute costume this year.
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