Please visit my blog as I write my first book, the authorized biography of Leonard Pennario.
Friday, May 15, 2015
B.B. King, ain't that the blues?
I was sad to see that B.B. King has died. I found out on Facebook. This is why you never check Facebook after, say, 7 p.m. There is tons of bad news on Facebook! Delivered in a very impersonal way. And you do not want to get it in the evening.
Even in the morning, you do not want to hear on Facebook about B.B. King's death. You would rather a friend called you. Just the other day I was thinking about B.B. King, too. I was thinking one of these days we would be hearing that he died. Of course as I wrote to a friend on Facebook, what day goes by that we do not think of B.B. King?
You have to admit, though, old B. had a good run considering.
Considering that the night life, it ain't no good life, but it was his life.
Wow, he looks old as God there, you know, and that was in 2003.
Blues has been on my mind recently. I do not mean I have the blues. I do not! This is a happy time in my life. And one thing that feeds into that happiness is that The Buffalo News' cafeteria has turned into a restaurant called Roux, where the music is Bloux. I mean they play jazz and blues.
Not only that but the coolest old jazz and blues. Stuff I have in my personal collection and know inside out but that I have not gotten around to listening to for years. I am not making this up: The other day I was up there with a colleague and she was trying to talk to me about something and I could not concentrate because the sound system was playing Muddy Waters' "Louisiana Blues."
And after that it went into "Sugar Sweet."
I was dying. That beat. That harmonica bubbling along. That was Little Walter. Please, no one in heaven tell Leonard Pennario I love blues harmonica. He hated harmonica. I was up at 5:30 this morning and put in two hours on his book so he would probably forgive me. But you never know.
Anyway. I could not listen to a word anyone was saying. I have no idea what is going on in the office these days, ain't that the blues? Because every time I am privy to anything in the cafeteria all I can hear is this Muddy Waters they keep playing. They played his "Honey Bee" too. And "Hoochie Coochie Man." The old version, the one I love. I have no use for these British rockers, I am sorry, at least not in this context. Roux also plays a lot of Thelonious Monk, a pianist I love. They have played "I Mean You" and "Well You Needn't."
So I sit there in this cloud.
These old-school blues, there is nothing like it. These old guys have no successors. They are the end of a line. I don't care about their sons or whatever.