Like many of you, I’ve admired B.B. King as far back as I can remember. As I write this, I’m six months into my 30s and B.B. has been making great music for more than twice as long as I have been alive! For me, his music was just kind of…there. Always. I can’t remember hearing him for the first time, because I can’t remember not hearing him.
You would think that his path and mine would cross given the amount he tours, right? For those that answered, “Yes”, I’m in your camp. But, Mr. King has apparent other plans.
I was super exited the day I heard he was coming to play a show in my town, Valdosta, GA. A B.B. King concert in my back yard! I’m in.
Then the phone rang:
“Hey, Dude! It’s Will!” My long-time partner in musical crime calls from Italy. “I’m gonna be moving back to the states soon so you better hop on a plane and head over here for a visit before I’m gone or you never will.”
He was right. So I did.
I never thought for a second to check my concert schedule and off I went. While living it up with in Italy with my personal tour guide, Will, it hit me: “Dude, BB is in Valdosta right now!” I was bummed.
The pain fled at some point and my awesome trip came to an end. Back to Georgia I went.
A few weeks later, I got another call from Italy. “Hey Dude, It’s Will! I’m going to see B.B. King tonight in Verona!”
When B.B. is in Georgia, I’m in Italy. When B.B. is in Italy, I’m in Georgia. And I’m not a frequent world traveler, folks. I still can’t decide if I was happy to know that Will was going. I would like to say that when I received text after text of live video from Verona, I felt like I was there. I did not.
My buddy Will now lives in Macon, GA. I am in Charleston, SC.
The phone rings: “Hey, Dude!” – I always know its Will, his “Hey, dude” is unmistakeable. Apparently, now that I’m out of Georgia, B.B. King is playing a New Year’s Eve show in Macon. This show was just two hours from my house back in GA. I would have been there, for sure. I missed him again.
Maybe one of these days Mr. King will venture my way. And hopefully, I’ll have sense enough to stay nearby.
So, Mr. King, this is to you:
Dear B.B. King,
Please come to Charleston, SC. I hate that we have been missing each other all these years. I’m sure you are just as upset about this as I am. I will try not to move around too much and maybe that way our paths will cross. By the way, you will like it in Charleston. We have plenty of great Southern food, tons of interesting venues and a vast music loving community. I wouldn’t be the only one who would love to hear you. I’m sure you know that. Thank you for the years you have given your soul to the blues.