Johnson was mainly an itinerate musician, travelling place to place --Music was his "hustle."
When Johnson arrived in a new town, he would play for tips on street corners or in front of the local barbershop or a restaurant. Musical associates stated in live performances Johnson often did not focus on his dark and complex original compositions, but instead pleased audiences by performing more well-known pop standards of the day.
ROBERT JOHNSON IN THE 1930s
According to his friend, Johnny Shines: "Robert was a very friendly person, even though he was sulky at times, you know. And I hung around Robert for quite a while. One evening he disappeared. He was kind of a peculiar fellow. Robert'd be standing up playing some place, playing like nobody's business. At about that time it was a hustle with him as well as a pleasure. And money'd be coming from all directions. But Robert'd just pick up and walk off and leave you standing there playing. And you wouldn't see Robert no more maybe in two or three weeks ... So Robert and I, we began journeying off. I was just, matter of fact, tagging along."
STOP BREAKING DOWN BY ROBERT JOHNSON
Wayne Dabney I've shot some photos of Honey Boy Edwards, last living RJ band member
(Last living Robert Johnson band member--Photo by Wayne Dabney)