saw B.B. King last night

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by allan grossman, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Spammed this to three different forums - please forgive me if you saw it somewhere else.

    Saw him at the State Theater in Kalamazoo (yes, there is a Kalamazoo).

    We saw him last summer but he put on another phenomenal show - and redefined professionalism. This was their first show after a month-long vacation. B.B. said he hasn't taken a month off in more than 20 years. Looking at his tour schedule I think someone his age that's still playing a couple hundred shows a year is doing just fine.

    He's getting up there (76) and since he broke his leg a couple of years back he can't stand and play any more, but as he said he's been doing this long enough that he feels he's earned the right to sit down. I think he has too.

    He's backed by an 8 piece band - keyboards, rhythm g*itar, drums, bass, and a four-piece horn section. The bass player is a wild man - more on that later.

    Anyway, the backup band plays for about a half hour before B.B. shows up - and a good time was had by all. Then B.B. takes a chair center stage and after half an hour or so of pretty outstanding stuff he sends the horn section offstage and the rhythm player and bass player pull up a chair for another half hour or so. Then they bring the horn section back for a couple of numbers and B.B. closes the show by throwing handfuls of g*itar picks into the audience.

    B.B.'s bass player (Mike Doster) is a wild man for a bald white guy :) He spent the whole evening playing walking bass lines and just about every note was perfectly placed. You wouldn't have known he was a wild man if B.B. didn't let him solo for about a minute - he just blew me away. I think during the whole hour and a half or so he probably played something other than fingerstyle for about 30 seconds when he slapped the Jazz just to show off, I guess. He stayed in the pocket and every note just fit.

    Mike plays a sky blue Jazz that I think has a J-Retro in it - we had good seats and I think the Jazz had chrome knobs on it. Couldn't see his amp but the cabs were a 4x10 and 1x15" Hartke.

    His rhythm g*itarist was in the hospital and this was their first show with a new g*itarist - who had a few chops as good as anything B.B. had.

    Anyway, it was an amazing show.

    One thing I learned, though - B.B. made two jokes about "BK and BB let you have it your way", but he's been a vegetarian for more than ten years. Go figure.

  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    BB is a class act, that's for sure. He brought his show to our city (Columbus, GA) a few years back and I got to work on the production crew. Got to meet BB and his whole band....super, super nice and humble people to the last person. I wasn't surprised by the professionalism of the show..I guess I expected it, but I was floored by the fact that the quality was fully matched by lack of ego. If you didn't know any better, BB could be somebody's Grandpa straight off the farm.
  3. I was fortunate enough to be able to see him perform also. It was years ago, but I was at least old enough to know who he is and appreciate his music. B.B. King is one of my favorite blues musicians.
  4. Nice review, Allan. I saw BB in '96 I believe, at The Apollo Theatre. I saw him with Bobby Bluebland and Ruth Brown; what a show. I know what you mean about his bass player. The guy seems very quiet and reserved, but, when he solos, he just plays what needs to be played. I like guys like that.

    I didn't know that BB had busted his leg. Shame on me. :(

    Mike J.
  5. I saw BB last year when he played in the princess street Gardens bandstand, just in front of Edinburgh castle, with fireworks going off in the background and the sun retreating in the distance. It was an amazing night. The atmosphere was so relaxed. It was incredible.

    I managed to get to see him because 2 of my friends had all area passes to the show, because one of their dads owned part of the Gardens. I had nothing else to do, so I decided to sneak in pretending I had a pass as well and I had an excellent time. I didn’t pay a penny to see him and I got slightly drunk on free whisky they were handing out too.

    The show was incredible. There was so much talent on stage I was in shock. His white baldy bassist was great and his drummer was outstanding, not to mention the fact that he himself is one of the greatest guitarists to have ever lived.

    After the show, my friends realised that all areas included backstage, so again, I snuck in with them. We were then asked if we’d like to meet the big man himself. How could the offer be refused? We waited in this crappy little room for about half an hour until he decided he was finished with the press and was ready to meet us. We then proceeded to enter the room he was in and we were greeted warmly. We all chatted for about 10 minutes or so about the show, and about his life etc. We were then given BB King signature plectrums and a signed photo of him. A then departed in his Mercedes-Benz and we never saw him again.

    It’s funny. I know people who would give their lives to have met BB King. They are so jealous it’s untrue. I’d never heard any of BB Kings stuff before that night and I haven’t listened to any since. Funny how life works out like that.

    Btw... if anyone could recommend any of his songs worth downloading please do. Only give me the better ones for now though please.
  6. I saw him in 2000 with Buddy Guy....great show.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I think I've seen BB once a year for the last 5 or 6 years. That show is pure entertainment. It isn't always the type of musicianship I'm craving, but it's a fun show. These guys are real professionals. I've always liked the trumpet player.

    BB and I share a birthday.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    JazzBo, that makes you a Virgo, right?
  9. You lucky !!!!'s! I'd kill to see BB King.
  10. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    In fact it does.
  11. I'm doing a show with him on May 1. I was looking forward to it I'm really looking forward to it!
  12. Wow.

    Let us know how it turns out, okay?