The classic song, “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones is as far as I know open to interpretation when it comes to a specific meaning. I’ll let you do your own research.
However, off the top of my head I can pinpoint two moments in rock n’ roll history in which this song helped symbolically destroy the fabric of the genre and “movement.”
In 1969, The Stones gave a free outdoor concert up near the Bay Area in Northern California (Altamont). Due to awful planning, the biker gang known as the The Hell’s Angels ended up working security for the concert. Of course violence between them and crowd developed, and culminated in a fatal stabbing. You guessed it. This was during the performance of “Sympathy for the Devil.” Whether this was the unofficial real ending of “The 60′s,” I have no idea.
Fast forward to 1994 — I was 12, and was not as much of a rock music enthusiast back then. Since then though, I became a huge Guns N’ Roses fan, and about a year ago I read Slash’s bio.
By ’94 “GN’R” was burned out. With too much drugs and too much egos, the band would soon implode. For the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, the band recorded a version of “Sympathy.” Slash was under the impression he had contributed his part to the song, but then frontman Axl Rose went ahead and brought in another guitar player to lay down a part. Slash was unaware at the time, but once he found out, it one of the last straws. The band soon broke up.
While in my opinion they achieved greatness, we the fans are still left with lingering thoughts of what could have been if the band continued to record music. Where does this leave us now?
I guess by my math, the devil shall return in 2019.