Sunday, July 03, 2011

Riding with the King

How many times are you truly presented with one and only one opportunity to do or witness something. And how many times have you passed on it only to regret it later. Well regret was not part of my plan this time.

The King was riding into London and I was determined to ride with him. At a golden age of 85, BB and Lucille waltzed into The Royal Albert and blew about 5000 fans away. And accompanying the legend were (legends in their own right) Slash, Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) along with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.

BB is old but when he sings its still sweet. He relied a lot on his supporting cast, his very excellent band. They have stood by him through his best years and continue to do so. BB also had a lot of stories to tell. Some funny and some strange and quite honestly I could not hear a lot of it as I was in the choir section. However, his voice is still as glorious as it used to be especially when in harmony with Lucille. BB enthralled the audience with his voice and his guitar for over an hour. He then invited the husband and wife duo of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi who entertained at par with BB.

This is when he unwrapped the big surprise he had promised. Out walked Slash with Ronnie and Mick. What followed was an hour long jam session over some of BB's best hits including Sweet 16 and The thrill is gone. Watching these greats all on one stage was watching greatness unfold minute by minute on stage.

As BB walked off stage, i could only remind myself that this is probably my only change to see the king in flesh and blood. He is frail and needed to be wheeled out and as he waved at us as he walked out, I could only feel an emotion never felt before. That said, the king and I had walked together for over 3 hours.

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