Tuesday, November 23, 2010

King Of The Blues

"I'm 85 years old, and I'm still singin' the blues." That's how B.B. King introduced his show at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene on Tuesday, November 3.

Rebecca, Jory and I picked up some last minute tickets in the front row of the upper balcony section at the Silva Concert Hall.

I had considered going for awhile, but at the last minute, I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity to see B.B. King once again considering his age and his status as a longtime diabetic. I've seen him maybe a half dozen times over the years: the first time was at Springer's Ballroom in the hinterlands of southeast Portland in 1969.

It was a great show. His band, which included keyboard, drum, lead guitar, bass, baritone sax, tenor sax and flugelhorn, was tight. B.B. was good for about 90 minutes, then he signed off. I only hope I can do that well at his age.

Noting that he was 85, I realized he would have been 44 when I first saw him in concert as a 17-year-old blues neophyte. At left is a portrait of the artist as a young man. B.B. was named #3 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.