JOE BONAMASSA’S HEARTFELT TRIBUTE TO BB KING
Anyone who has an appreciation of the blues has a part of BB King within them. Joe Bonamassa owes more to BB King than most of us. As a 12 year old, Bonamassa shared a stage with BB King. The blues legend then gave Joe a blues guitar education money could never buy, taking him on tour with him. Here’s what Joe Bonamassa recently said of his hero and friend BB King upon his passing. (And see video tribute below).
“For many of us the thought of not having BB King on this earth seemed surreal. A man larger than life who was a constant, something you can set your watch to. The sun will rise and fall and B.B. King will play the blues. Sadly, today the sun rose but the music was silent. To say that the loss of B.B. King is devastating to the blues community is an understatement. He defined the blues, he was the blues. He brought blues to an audience that would never have found the blues if B.B. was not the conduit. Never again will there be another as good, gracious or as kind as Mr. King. When Mr. King came off the road last year I couldn’t believe nor wanted to accept that I would never hear his nephew Walter King introduce him again, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the King of the Blues, Mr B.B. King!’ That combined with the fast shuffle and the horn stabs as the man himself walked onstage was enough to convince this kid on May 24, 1990 that a life in the blues was for me. The excitement those words caused over the thousands of shows to the millions of people will never be matched or equaled. Those shows that I saw – almost 50 in total over the past 25 years – changed my life. Thank you Mr. King for the inspiration, the motivation, the support, your friendship and, most importantly, the music which I love so dearly. Rest in peace, my friend.”