Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 15 May 2015

BB. King, RIP.

"The thrill is gone" indeed. Glowing notices just now for the late B.B. King (1925-2015) who has died aged 89. The blues legend and ace guitarist is probably the last of that dying breed, those Delta bluesmen (like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker) who burst into the mainstream in the 1960s, as the young English rhythm'n'blues admirers like Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, The Rolling Stones etc. covered their songs and wanted to play with them. B.B. played to the hippies at the Filimore in San Francisco and toured endlessly - I saw a concert of his in London in 1971 - he was also a regular at The White House. 
That journey from share-cropping to being feted as the best blues musician of his era, with those plaintive songs and soaring guitar, can really never happen again. Like "Howlin' Wolf's London Sessions" album with Clapton and the others, B.B. also recorded with the likes of Clapton and U2. Aretha covered B.B.'s "The Thrill Is Gone" and terrific though it is, it can't match B.B. RIP indeed. 
B.B. shows that playing the blues is a lifelong gig - he was doing over 100 concerts a year well into his 80s. 

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