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Concert: BB King in Marin

d and I got to see BB King play up at the Marin Center on Friday. It was my second time seeing him play and each time is a joy. He's five years older than when I last saw him, which means a bit more storytelling than singing -- and a lot more viagra jokes -- but his voice and Lucille still are still masters of the blues. I always regretted not hearing John Lee Hooker; at 82-years-old BB's voice still roars and I still marvel at how he can squeeze the strings. Gold doesn't rust. This quote from his San Quentin performance summarizes the night well:

Blues to me is something like whatever ails you. You make something out of whatever it is. If you want to make it bluesy, it can be fun and still be bluesy, just a type of music we call blues. Now I want you to, you know, do something, whatever you feel like doing. That's alright. You know, if you got something you want to shake, go ahead and shake it, clap your hands, stomp your feet, yell at me, anything you feel like doing.

We were there to celebrate him along with his music. The two-hour performance was more personal than I remember before: he talked about his old age; he talked about his younger days growing up in the boondocks of the segregationist south and filling his belly full of white-only water; and he shared plenty of his philandering side ("I never wanted to sleep with all the women in the world... just as many as I can").

He'll be coming to Monterey in June and I'm hoping I can get tickets.

Comments (4)


I liked your two entries about B.B. King. I'm a big fan and have been fortunate enough to see him play many times over the past twenty or so years. Fortunately, I live just a couple of hours from Memphis and have seen him at the original B.B. King Blues Club many times. He is an all-time great, no doubt about it. And he's one of the most gracious people I've ever met. Always has times for fans and photos after his shows.

Also, I'm a big USC fan--even though I live halfway across the country. Sorry they had the injuries in the mid-part of the season. I know they'd like to have the Oregon game to play again. And for sure the Stanford game. Ouch. Pete Carroll is great. He radiates enthusiastic, positive vibes and he seems to keep it fun for the players.

kwc Author Profile Page:

@Scott: I'm very jealous. I told d last night that I really want to see him in Memphis playing for a home crowd. I'm sure it would be quite an experience as you know personally. And he and Carroll both radiate that fun vibe -- before each game Carroll goes out and plays catch with the players on the field.


B.B. and Pete Carroll are great role models for everyone. Both are hard workers, but they keep things fun and enjoyable and everyone around them loves them. Hang in there on seeing B.B. I'm beginning to think he may live forever. He tours like someone in his 30s or 40s (only recently cut his schedule down from 200 dates a year). And as I remember, he has a club in Hollywood. The one in NYC is really something. It's one of the premiere live venues there.

Lamar Cole:

It Ain't Snowing In Memphis

Looking out the window.
Feeling cold inside.
It ain't snowing in Memphis.

Chilling to the bone.
Baby by my side.
It ain't snowing in Memphis.

How I wish I were in Memphis
Walking down Beale St.
Sipping on a Coke.
Hearing BB sing the Blues.

Cause it ain't snowing in Memphis.
Cause it ain't snowing in Memphis.

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