The myth of the outlaw has informed many of the great songs in music. From folk and blues, to country and rock, to reggae and rap, bad men and bandits have endured. A Friend of the Devil tracks the true story of these legendary bandits behind the songs that deify them, while looking at society's role in both creating outlaws, and our perpetual need for a new hero.

John Kruth talks us about why we have continued to romanticize criminals in song, raising them to heroic figures. We’ll go behind such legendary songs — and characters — by Townes Van Zandt, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Warren Zevon and many others, whose hits idolized the outlaw and its myth.

This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices