Not just music, but the world lost a true king on Thursday night. B.B. King passed away at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, after reportedly spending a few weeks in hospice. The legendary blues player influenced so many in the game. His talent, style, his demeanor were…legendary; it’s difficult to find any other word.
I’ll never forget seeing him take the stage at Bonnaroo in 2009. How lucky, I thought.
On a hot, dusty, sun-scorching summer afternoon, hundreds were gathered in front of the big stage. Many were waiting in line for the pit for Jack Johnson, who was the following act. Others were strewn across the great lawn catching some z’s. Some were oblivious that this wasn’t a recorded intermission. More than a few were grooving…feverishly. And there he was: sitting in the middle of the stage, like a king in this throne. How he moved his hands that fast, how he did made that sound sound so cool, it was like he aged, but never got old.
I’ll never forget seeing him take the stage at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2013 at MSG. Among all of those noteworthy, talented acts on the bill, there was the king in his throne. He was respected by everyone in attendance, audience and fellow musicians alike. Again, I wondered how he moved his hands that fast, how he did made that sound sound so cool, it was like he aged, but never got old. My goodness, did he play.
Seeing B.B. King live was a bucketlist-er. How lucky, I am to have seen him live twice. How lucky, we all were to have been influenced by a legend.