Monday, November 24, 2008

83-year-old B.B. King keeps on going

Posted on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 11:35 AM

B.B. King entertained a large crowd at the Majestic Theater on Thursday night with a well-received performance of nearly two-hours. Some may have felt the show was a bit light on actual guitar playing and a bit heavy on King's joking around while his band vamped out behind him, but at age 83 the blues legend impresses just by still being on the road at all.

King acknowledged thoughts of retirement but said thoughts of going fishing, swimming and drinking beer don't really appeal since he doesn't drink anymore and "I ain't no Johnny Weissmuller... and you can look at me and tell I ain't no Michael Phelps."

King doesn't spend as much time on his guitar as say Buddy Guy (who's still only a spry 72), but he had the crowd in the palm of his hand whether he was playing, singing or laughing. The classic "Key to the Highway" was a highlight where King's smooth tone and liquid playing stood out while the humor was a highlight on "One More Favor" as he pleaded "please see my grave is kept clean."

Some of today's rock stars could certainly still learn a thing or two from the octogenarian bluesman. After "One More Favor," a fan came right up to the front of the stage to snap a photo of King, who smiled and posed for the shot (as opposed to jumping into the crowd to assault the photo taker as Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose infamously once did at a St. Louis concert in 1991.)

King still has a way with the women too, many of whom clearly remain smitten with him despite his now grandfatherly appearance. At one point he remarked how he doesn't like "the way the rappers and hip-hoppers been talking about the ladies," before dedicating a love song to all the ladies in the house. When you compare King's longevity with the flash-in-the-pan careers of many of those rappers, it looks like he's got a point worth considering.



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