Ron and I met Don and Cindy, Cindy, and Leslie at the Downtown Grill & Brewery Saturday night for drinks and food prior to the B. B. King concert at the beautiful Tennessee Theater. Last night was the third annual fundraiser for the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, and B. B. was the headliner who packed the house.
Prior to the concert starting, there was an auction of guitars and other exciting prizes, and one Gibson electric resembling “Lucille” went for $25,000! I was only out bid by about $24,990!
Back at the pre-concert warm up, the Cindy’s and Leslie gulped down “Blow Job” shooters, while Don and I did a cowboy shooter (normally 3-fingers of Wild Turkey)! We were amped for blues and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
After the concert, we noticed the buses standing by a side door, which was on our way to the parking garage. However, we got tired of waiting for B. B. to come out, so after about 45 minutes, I took this shot of the license plate and we headed home.
B. B. King is 82 years old, so every time you see him you can’t help but think it might be the last time, so in a way, each concert is now part of history. He even joked on stage that he often sees banners advertising his concert as “B. B. King’s Last Concert!”
B. B.’s concert is really laid back, with stories from the past coming in between each tune. He is such a friendly personality that the stories draw you in just as much as his blues tunes. Any applause is followed by his trademark hands to heart gesture. He truly loves his fans!
He remembered living in Indianola, Mississippi, where he was born, and experiencing the prejudice of the
Deep South. As he told it, “All small towns have a train track running through them and Indianola is no exception. They put us (pointing to himself) on one side, and the put you (pointing to the majority white audience) on the other side. I used to do my other job (moving his head as if watching girls walk by), which I did very well, sitting there across the tracks. Sometimes I would have me a beer, and then maybe I’d have me another one, and then I would get kind’a mischievous and want me a drink of water. Well, one of those fountains had a sign over it with the word ‘WHITE’ on it, and the other had ‘COLORED’ on it. So, I would run across those tracks and get me a drink from that ‘white’ fountain and run back across. You know, that ‘white’ water didn’t taste one bit better than that ‘colored’ water!”
He ended up thanking everyone for making the world a “whole lot better than it was when” he was a kid! Ain’t it the truth!
The concert ended with his theme song “The Trill is Gone!” The house stood and moved with the wonderful sounds of the band and ‘Lucille’. My hands were bright red and stinging from ‘keeping time’ even after I got home. It was such a wonderful night and I hope and pray “The King of the Blues” sings the blues for many years to come!