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Author: Subject: BB King ... Apologizes

True Peach





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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 09:08 AM
I saw a very similar BB King show about 3 years ago. It was painful to watch. This is not how a living legend who has given so much to the world - who has enriched so many lives should be treated. Or remembered. Just sayin' stuff.



B.B. King Apologizes For St. Louis Concert Gone Bad
AP

ST. LOUIS (AP) Blues guitarist B.B. King wants his St. Louis fans to give him another chance after an erratic performance led to a stream of audience catcalls and early departures.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer issued a public apology on Tuesday for what his publicists called "a bad night for one of America's living blues legends."

The written statement says King, 88, and his band had returned from a four-week break before the April 4 show at the Peabody Opera House. The band drove straight to eastern Missouri from Las Vegas, a 24-hour, 1,600-mile trip each way. And King missed his daily dosage of diabetes medicine, which elevated his blood sugar.

"The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King's usual standard of excellence," reads the statement, which was issued on behalf of King by the St. Louis venue. "Mr. King apologizes and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans."

Concertgoers said King's rambling set featured just a handful of complete songs amid meandering musical snippets, long-winded soliloquies, an 8-piece backup band that missed its cues and a 15-minute sing-along of "You Are My Sunshine."

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 09:42 AM
B.B. King at the Peabody St. Louis, MO April 4, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y65BBK2QoXg

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 10:06 AM
I can't speak to BB's situation, and what he wants to do, but someone needs to step in here, imo, and have a talk with BB.

I can't believe a musician that's 88 years old still wants to be out on the road like this, and travelling like that.

Not for nothing, but a 1,600 mile trip from Vegas and nobody in BB's entourage, including the person taking care of him, gives him his diabetes medication? I'd like to think that's a lie, and not the entourage ignoring him.

Like I said, its up entirely to BB, but at this point, you'd like to think they'd (management) settle BB into some residencies, playing a month or two in places like Vegas, Branson, or in one of Mississippi's casinos, or a less stressful casino circuit.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:01 AM

heads up for anyone interested he is in Bridgeport CT tomorrow nite.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:27 AM
BB Is scheduled for the Syracuse Jazz Festival in June.

I'm thinking Trombone Shorty headlining the night before will be the better show.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:30 AM
Not sure why he needs to apologize; that was very similar to what I saw last summer when he was part of Frampton's Guitar Circus (except the band was good). The best part of the set unfortunately was the audience's hearty ovation to greet BB, then it was lots of meandering.

When Peter joined him, I thought finally here will be something good. Still very little playing and more talking to Peter. After the set, my friend said, "well that was a waste of an hour," and I had to agree.

What is funny is that I saw BB open for TTB in the summer of '12, and I had heard the stories about how chit-chatty he was, but he was pretty great. Susan and Derek joined him and looked very happy to be playing w/ him, and vice versa.

I recall that BB has family in the band (nephew?), so maybe he feels some obligation to continue for his and the band's sake. Can't fault him for that.

I am honored to have also seen BB twice in the 70's and once in the late 80's.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:43 AM
It can be kind of brutal.

At Crossroads 2010, he was doing this and it got awkward and eventually clapton, and everyone else just started coming out... they had been waiting for BB to finish so they could join for the all-on encore and BB was just rambling.

Interestingly, at the last Crossroads BB was much better... but he didn;t try to do a whole set. he came out with Cray and EC and Jimmie Vaughan and he really played.

I think at this point if he doesn't want to retire, this kind of arrangement might be perfect for him.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:56 AM
The situation for Hubert Summlin was similar... the last few times I saw him, he came on stage with an oxygen tank. The difference in his situation, as I learned, was that he was broke and the Jazz Federation of America arranged for gigs for him just to cover his basic living expenses, rather than giving him a handout. It let him go on with his life with some dignity.

I don't know about BB's circumstances, but it was very common for musicians, especially black ones, to get screwed out of royalty payments.

In Hail hail Rock and Roll, Chuck Berry talks about the release of Maybeline... he wrote the song, but it was attributed to him, Allen Freed(?) and a third party that he did not even know, so he got only 1/3 of the royalties for the song.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 12:10 PM
I told myself ten years ago that I was done going to B.B. King shows after he talked more than he played. And I have to wonder WHY, at the age of 88, he is putting himself through the rigors of touring at all. Isn't it time for an armchair and a cold iced tea (and diabetes meds right there in the home?)

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 01:25 PM
Brock, I don't see where BB should apologize, either. Frankly, I'm not sure he realizes an apology was made. Just the same, this is kind of a sad situation.

When it comes to BB King these days, fans should KNOW what they might be in store for. Like you, I've seen 3 shows in recent years. "Hit or miss" is certainly a term that comes to mind - with the latter being the surer bet. The last time I saw him was also with TTB. I won't say that this was BB at his best (we'll never see those days again), but he was certainly as good on that night as one could hope for.

The two other shows were more similar to the one described in the article. Just the same, BB King should not be booed. Ever. I keep comparing attending his shows to visiting with a senior relative. You just have to appreciate the visit for whatever it turns out to be.

I believe BB's nephew plays trombone in his band. Whether BB is doing these shows out of the love of playing (he can't be doing it for the love of touring) or for the need of cash - for himself, relatives or band members, I don't know. But when you go to one of these shows pay close attention to the side of the stage after the band has warmed up the audience. You'll see BB rolled up in a wheelchair. The only steps he takes are to and from the chair that he sits in all night. And once on stage ... it's just hard to watch.

As someone suggested, maybe it's time for a residency gig at one of the Mississippi casinos or at one of his blues clubs. Let's bring the mountain to Mohammad. Even then, I'm not sure the level of the performance will change.

And for God's sake - do not boo BB King! To paraphrase what mama used to say, "if you ain't got nothing good to say ... either stay home or clap politely - then thank God you got to see BB King!"

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 01:42 PM
Daniel Durcholz, who wrote the review for St. Louis paper that caused all the stir, is a friend of mine... You can find the link to his original article, which NEVER said he was booed. It said people got restless and it was awkward and uncomfortable. People writing about it elsewhere started saying BB was booed. An untrue extrapolation.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 01:59 PM
quote:
Daniel Durcholz, who wrote the review for St. Louis paper that caused all the stir, is a friend of mine... You can find the link to his original article, which NEVER said he was booed. It said people got restless and it was awkward and uncomfortable. People writing about it elsewhere started saying BB was booed. An untrue extrapolation.


The "booing" part comes in a report from a friend who was there. Second hand (now third) info - regard with as much salt as you decide.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 03:03 PM
Rusty, as you know I reviewed the BB King Nashville show on this site just a few says after the St Louis gig. It was brutal, if anyone wants to track it down...

I've been fortunate enough to see BB about 5 times, beginning in about 1990, the last (before Nashville) in 2005 or so at the Alabama. Took all three of my kids to that one, oldest was 12.

And I had a pretty good idea of what to expect last month. But I doubt most people there had any idea that BB, more than just rarely, is almost incapable of performing anything that resembles a normal concert.

I'd never boo BB, and am grateful for the opportunities to have seen him when he was in much better shape, or had much better nights. But people ain't paying to "spend time with an older relative" you know? If he can't hit some minimum standard he shouldn't be doing it. IMHO.


 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 03:24 PM
quote:
I am honored to have also seen BB twice in the 70's and once in the late 80's.


Right on. I caught him twice in the mid/late 80s......wonderful.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 09:54 PM
My son Derek & I saw BB at CMAC a few years ago.

Buddy Guy (with Quin Sullivan) opened and was so much better.

BB played one song twice, he didn't seem to even realize it.

It was awkward.

 

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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 10:38 PM
i wish i could see him about 20 years ago. i skipped him last year when he was 10 minutes from my house because i don't want to see him like this.

honestly if he is touring because he NEEDS money but wants to retire i would bet clapton, slash, keith richards, steve winwood, ron wood, mick jagger and a few others would just give him the money

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/17/2014 at 11:02 PM
"I can't believe a musician that's 88 years old still wants to be out on the road like this, and travelling like that."

Just to play Devil's advocate for a second, is that really that hard to believe? It's the only life BB has ever really known.

Don't get me wrong, 4 out of 5 doctors do NOT recommend life as a touring musician for 88-year-old diabetics. It can't be good for his health. But at this point, if that is how BB wants to go out, who is to say that he is wrong?

Which would be better? BB dying in some nursing home? Or passing away onstage after playing "The Thrill Is Gone" for the 4,983rd time?

If BB would prefer the latter, I can totally understand.

 
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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 04:01 AM
quote:

Don't get me wrong, 4 out of 5 doctors do NOT recommend life as a touring musician for 88-year-old diabetics. It can't be good for his health. But at this point, if that is how BB wants to go out, who is to say that he is wrong?


I have a feeling a few fans who paid $75 per chair to sit up front might say it is wrong.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 06:39 AM
So BB needs to retire in order to save his fans from wasting their money? Seems like that is on the fan, not BB.

I hate to sound so harsh, but I feel like anybody who pays $75 to see BB nowadays deserves whatever they get. I turned down good seats to see BB with the Tedeschi Trucks Band here in Atlanta for this exact reason.

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 07:09 AM
quote:
So BB needs to retire in order to save his fans from wasting their money? Seems like that is on the fan, not BB.

I hate to sound so harsh, but I feel like anybody who pays $75 to see BB nowadays deserves whatever they get. I turned down good seats to see BB with the Tedeschi Trucks Band here in Atlanta for this exact reason.


Exactly.

BB has the right to play as long as he chooses. The public has the right to either buy a ticket or not.

Fans in the know should know what to expect. The casual concert goer who may not know what they're getting may be surprised.

I've seen BB at the top of his game, and it was off the charts...wonderful. At this stage of his career, I'll pass on seeing him again.

 

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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 07:10 AM
Exactly. BB should not have to apologize. If you bought a BB ticket, you should know what you are buying. However, this is a sad story. Best wishes to him. I saw BB about 15 years ago with Buddy Guy and he was fantastic. And then again at the Salute to the Blues show at Radio City in 2003, and he was great then too. It sounds like he may be reaching the end.
 

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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 07:13 AM
Forget the rambling set of just a handful of complete songs amid meandering musical snippets, forget the long-winded soliloquies, forget the 8-piece backup band that missed its cues...


A 15-minute sing-along of "You Are My Sunshine???!!!"
Now that's harsh!!!

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 07:23 AM
LOL! So true. That was a head-scratcher for sure.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 08:37 AM
I thought about writing another thread titled, "Rusty Apologizes".

I DO get it. For some performers, their entire life is based on performing. It's what they do - it's what they know. Many would be happy to just fall down dead on a stage somewhere - die doing what they love. I get it. I understand it.

I don't remember a lot about high school. In a class called Economics, there was a principle called the law of diminishing returns, or something like that. A slight variation on this theory is the longer something stays on the market - the staler in becomes.

In practical terms we have things like used cars - or even the unsold models from the previous year. We have day-old bakery goods - marked down for quick sale. In short, fresher/newer is typically better.

"Marked down for quick sale" Think about that phrase for a moment.

Yes, I understand BB King and ... other acts wanting to keep doing what they do - seemingly, forever. Diminishing returns. "Staler" product. There comes a time to discount the price of the product. How long will these acts seek upwards of $75.00 for a ticket? How long will fans (true or fickle) keep ponying up?

Going out in a blaze of glory. Upon second thought, this is a very romanticized notion. As I mentioned in one of my posts in the "Gregg/ABB not breaking up" thread, as a fan - I SELFISHLY want my musical heroes to leave the stage with grace and be remembered for their unforgetable fire.

But like I also said, it's their call. It's not up to me.

At one of those hard to witness BB King shows I attended, I sat next to a man a little older than me. He'd brought his young son (a budding guitar player) to hear the living legend. After the show, the kid had a puzzled look on his face. When I asked him what he thought, he said, "he never really played the guitar - he just gabbed!"

In a game of word association, where I say a name or phrase and you say the first words that come to your mind, I could say the name Roberto Duran. Quite likely your response would be, "no mas". You probably would forget that he is considered by many as one of the top 5 boxers of all time - winning titles in 4 different weight classes. "No mas". That will likely be his legacy.

As a fan - as a very selfish, yet DEDICATED fan, I worry that BB King will be remembered as an old, senile man sitting on a chair with a guitar around his neck chatting away while the audience slowly got up and exited during his performance.

As for my favorite band of all time - I'd love to see them wrap an incredible career up by performing to 250,000 people at Piedmont Park. After three or four encores, I'd love to see them stand at center stage holding hands raised high and taking a long, slow bow before walking off the stage for a final time.

What I fear will happen instead is that they will find themselves playing the 10:30 AM Sunday morning slot at a cheese festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin or at a beer-reeking club in some third rate town to an audience of less than 50.

But in the end, it is their call.

"Rusty" apologizes.


 

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People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 4/18/2014 at 10:16 AM
quote:
Forget the rambling set of just a handful of complete songs amid meandering musical snippets, forget the long-winded soliloquies, forget the 8-piece backup band that missed its cues...


A 15-minute sing-along of "You Are My Sunshine???!!!"
Now that's harsh!!!


Holy crap, I was gonna say pretty much the same thing but you said it better. 15 minutes! You know it was especially brutal because from about the two-minute mark I would have been thinking, "Let me go get a beer or take a leak -- but I don't wanna leave now. Surely this song is JUST ABOUT TO END!" As the minutes dragged...

 
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