Beck says that his 1996 hit, "Devil's Haircut" was a rewrite of the Stagger Lee myth. "I don't know if I ever HAD any youthful purity, but I can understand that you might be tempted to make commercial shit and compromise to do it. I try not to compromise on anything. I think we associate becoming an adult with compromise. Maybe that's what the devil is. In 'Devils Haircut' that was the scenario. I imagined Stagger Lee... I thought, what if this guy showed up now in 1996. The song had this Sixties grooviness, and I thought of using him as a Rumplestiltskin figure, this Lazarus figure to comment on where we've ended up as people. What would he make of materialism and greed and ideals of beauty and perfection? His reaction would be, 'Whoa, this is disturbing shit.'"
Beck recorded "Stagolee" in March 1994 at Sun Studios.
Avalon Blues - Tribute to Mississippi John Hurt