BB King has quite rightly received numerous obituaries detailing his life as a great musician and a kind man. Here is mine. I first met him as queued for his autograph in 1985 he was touring and also playing for Live Aid. As I waited I noted how he gave everyone time and was interested in all they said. He asked me where my friend and I were going. “To the Grapes I said, “Why don’t you join us” I added mischievously. I never expected him to turn up so I was totally blown away when the DJ asked the girl who was at the BB King concert to take a call. BB rang to say they had an early departure for Live Aid and could not come along. He asked for my address. That Christmas and for every year afterwards he sent me a card and small BB King token. Much I expect like most of his fans. I became a regular at his concerts. Often gathering afterwards with him and one or two of his band for a drink. He was kind, and generous. On one return performance at the Apollo his tour manager said there were fans waiting outside in the rain. BB Asked “Do you think they would mind coming in and waiting while I just sort some stuff out”.
I am not claiming that he and I were great friends. But he always remembered my name, signed his cards personally with the note “Keep on living poetically.” And always his music made me cry tears of sadness and laughter.
Acclaimed International Artist – Writer, Performance Poet, Lecturer
Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance
Honorary Degree Lancaster University, UK