Song Stories

“Shout At the Devil”

Motley Crue | 1983

Heavy metal came under fire for supposed satanic messages during the Eighties, and while Mötley Crüe's title track from their 1983 album, Shout at the Devil, seemed to be about standing up to Beelzebub, it was originally titled "Shout With the Devil" -- reflecting Nikki Sixx's interest in black magic at the time. But after a spooky encounter at Sixx's apartment, A&R man Tom Zutaut set the band straight. "I swear to God I saw this with my own eyes, a knife and fork rose off the table and stuck into the ceiling just above where I was sitting," he recalled. "I looked at Nikki and freaked out. 'There is no more "Shout With the Devil." If you keep shouting with the devil, you're going to get killed.'" 

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »