Mister Satan's Apprentice: A Blues Memoir Adam Gussow
A raw, heartfelt memoir of an unlikely collaboration between an earnest young harmonica player and a charismatic, streetwise Harlem musician.
Adam Gussow, shattered by failed love at twenty-seven, dedicated himself to blues music in an act of creative desperation. When he met Nat Riddles ("harmonica-man for all occasions"), he got what he was longing for: initiation into the New York "harp"-playing demimonde and a headlong plunge into a Dionysian lifestyle that ended when Riddles' near-murder and flight compelled Adam to find a different mentor. Mister Satan was that man. Born Sterling Magee in Mississippi, Satan played guitar and various percussion instruments simultaneously, ferociously. He was also a soapbox preacher and environmental philosopher, an African-American genius of Shakespearean immensity. Defying cultural and generational divides, Adam and Mister Satan become fellow street musicians, would-be racial redeemers, and, eventually, an acclaimed performing duo.
This is their remarkable story: at once the author's own coming of age and his account of the vicissitudes and tenacity of a friendship realized through a shared love of the blues.