I have always loved him and, yet, I’ve never seen him live. I had the chance a couple times, but something always happened to prevent me from actually getting to the show. Well, not last night.
Yes, after years and years and years of waiting, I finally saw B.B. King live and in person. Not only that, but I got to meet him. I’ve been home for a few hours and I’m still trying to come down from the high of that experience. While B.B. doesn’t play guitar nearly as much as he used to, he still sings beautifully and his stories…those have to be heard to understand just how special they are. When he did play, it was as if the years fell away and he was a young man again. A young man with a passion for the blues.
I was quite surprised after the show that he invited people up to “come say hello”. Everyone was patient as they waited to have their chance to shake his hand, thank him, and/or have him sign something. Sadly, my B.B. King Treasures book is sitting in storage in San Diego or I’d have had that autographed. (Yep, I’m a fan girl through and through!) However, I did manage to get him to sign my ticket voucher. It was either that or offer up a body part and that hardly seemed appropriate for the King of the Blues.
One of the most magical moments of the entire night, though, came when Stoney Curtis (Stoney Curtis Band) told B.B. that seeing him perform at the Chicago Blues Festival back in 1980 or 81 changed his life and his musical aspirations. Right before my eyes, I saw them go from fan and idol to kindred spirits having this amazing moment together. Sadly, the one photo I got of that moment didn’t turn out so well, but the experience of watching it happen will stick with me forever.
I will not soon forget last night.
What time is it? Time for “3 O’Clock Blues”.
(jemf999 – B.B. King, “3 O’Clock Blues”)
(jemf999 – B.B. King, “Key to the Highway”)
I joke with my son that this next tune is his. My own little Blues Boy knows the blues and he likes this one.
(MuddyBoy61 – B.B. King, “Nobody Loves Me But My Mother”)
And here is a video I’ve loved for years. “Thrill is Gone” was my daughter’s favorite song for several years when she was a little girl. I called her last night as I was on my way to the concert and we talked about the tune. It brought back many memories of a time that seems all too far away these days.
(BBKingVevo – B.B. King ft. Tracy Chapman, “Thrill is Gone”)
The few photos we took after the show are posted on Flickr.