I was sad to learn from my wife when I awoke this morning that B.B. King had passed in the night. It was his wish that when he went he would die in his sleep.
We love B.B. King. We had seen him perform nine times in concert since 1997. No one epitomizes the blues as B. does. He was truly the King of the Blues.
The most special memory I have of B.B. King took place at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Uncasville, CT. B.B. King’s management had struck a multi-year partnership with Foxwoods. The agreement included annual appearances by B.B. King at the Fox Theatre, a B.B. Southern Cuisine Restaurant (great food by the way) and a B.B. King night club.
I purchased general admission tickets for B.B. King’s concert at the Fox Theatre, January 9th, 2004. While my wife and our friends gambled I stood first on line to get us the best seats. As it turned out I secured us front row seats. Our vantage point to B.B. King was incredible. He couldn’t have been more than 30 feet away.
I loved watching him play Lucille. His fingers flew along the neck of his guitar. About two-thirds of the way through the set I felt a connection with B.B. King.
What happened next I could never have predicted. I watched as B.B. King smiled at me. He finished “The Thrill Is Gone” and the next thing I see is that he flings his guitar pick directly at me. It sails through the air perfectly, no waffling. I try to catch it. But B.B. King is too quick for me.
The pick goes under my seat. I try to find it. I can’t. I start to get privately upset. I tell myself calm down when the show ends and the house lights come on you’ll find it.
Well the show ends and several people in the venue come by my chair to find that pick. I still can’t find it. I start to think maybe another patron scoffed it. I stop looking as do others. We get ready to leave the theatre and I pull my souvenir bag from under the seat. I decided to look in the bag at the merchandise I had purchased before the show. Don’t you know the pick B.B. King had sailed to me had hit the souvenir bag as it was open at the top. I was amazed at B.B. King’s aim. I thought what are the chances of that happening?
So as I sit here today and reflect on all the good times that rolled with B.B. King in concert, I am grateful for that special connection. B.B. King we love and miss you. Please make a place for us on the other side.
God Bless You B.B. King, the gift of the blues burns brightly in the music of our heart.