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Le blues du Québec, le blues musique!

○ Témoignage d’Anthony Gomes lors du décès de B.B. King.

anthony Gomes B.B. KingHello Friends,

I am so sad to hear of B.B. King’s passing.  He is my hero and someone who has inspired me as both a musician and a person.  His humility and grace is unmatched.  I have met a lot of people on the blues highway but no one more gracious and loving than B.B.  You can hear and feel that love in his music.  Lucille’s sweet vibrato comes from a beautiful place deep down in B.B.’s soul.  So deep that it resonates with all of us.  All B.B. King ever needs is one note to connect with mankind.  And, that my friends, is a testament to the man and his music.  A master beyond compare.

When I was in college I would go to a blues jam at a bar in Toronto called Chicago’s on Queen Street.  It was a tiny little place frequented by all sorts of characters.  They would give me a beer to play a couple of songs.  Sometimes, if it was really cooking they’d let me stay up longer and give me two.  For a broke college student cutting my teeth on the blues it was like a million dollars.

One night, a man came to me and said, « It’s nice to see a young man playing the blues.  Son, who’s your favorite guitar player? »  I confidently said, « That’s easy, it’s B.B. King. »  The man replied, « That’s what I thought.  I am B.B. King’s bus driver.  He’s playing a hour away tomorrow.  I want to give you 4 free tickets and introduce you to B.B.  He needs to meet you. »

Let me remind everyone that this place had some colorful characters.  Earlier that evening I had met the Pope, the President of the United States and someone who proclaimed they had the power of mind control.  Could this really be BB’s bus driver or just one of these characters?

It turns out that Lamar Sanford was indeed B.B.’s bus driver.  We had 4 front row tickets waiting for us.  And, as promised, after the show Lamar took me on a tour backstage and showed me B.B.’s bus.  When B.B. was done talking to people Lamar said he would introduce me to him.

I watched him sign autographs for an hour.  He had two stacks of promo photos and asked the people which they liked best.  He would sign the one they chose.  Lamar said BB would insist on meeting everyone who wanted to see him, sometimes taking 3 plus hours after the show.  This made an impression on me.  There was no self-centered musician ego.  Just a man who loved the music and the people.

Once he was done talking with everyone Lamar took me to B.B.  The King of the Blues spent a long time teaching me about the music business and how to be a professional musician.  He asked for my phone number and said he would do whatever he could to help.

That night I decided to be a professional musician.  I had always dreamed of playing music full time but I was scared.  B.B. gave me the courage to follow my dream.  The next day I told my parents I wanted to play music for a living.

Last year, I finally got around to telling B.B. how important he has been in my life.  He’s such a humble man and shies away from praise that it’s often difficult to share these stories with him.  I said, « B.B., you have inspired so many of us to live our dreams.  You made a white boy from Canada want to play the blues.  You were there in a way that no one else could be.  You believed in me in a time when few did.  So many people tried to discourage my dreams of playing the blues.  I have been met with a lot of criticism along the way that almost made me want to quit.  Many times. Frankly, it’s not easy being a white Canadian blues rocker in the blues purist world.  But I always thought, B.B. King believes in me.  I have to make him proud.  The God’s honest truth is that I wouldn’t be here without you. »  We were getting ready to take a picture and BB took my hand, like a father would to a son, putting his on top of mine.  It was one of the greatest moments in my life.  There was a beautiful spirit in the room. Lonnie and Ronnie Brooks were there with us and we all joined hands for the photo.

Thank you B.B. King for all you have done for us and for all the lives you have touched.  The Thrill is not gone.  It is strong.  It lives on.  In all of us.

God bless your soul Riley B. King.

Duke Robillard: God Bless the King……… The saddest news the blues world will ever hear has hit this morning. The man whose talent, invention, soul and absolute graciousness had changed the world forever has left us. Besides the musical joy, inspiration and real love of people that BB King shared with us, he was a true ambassador of good will and represented the Blues the way no one else could. As ambassador of black American music, only Louis Armstrong comes to my mind as an artist who has achieved as much. And like Louis, he wanted to play for the people until the end. Like Louis on trumpet, BB King set the groundwork for every guitarist that followed him. Every blues, rock or nearly any other genre of music played on the electric guitar owes so much more to this man than they realize. BB King literally wrote the book on the single string blues guitar style. I owe him everything and he had inspired and encouraged me every time we met over the last 45 years. I remember every encounter we had and it was always the warmest experience. I am blessed to have know him as well as I did and spend the time talking and playing with him that I did. He was a man whose kind we will never see again on this planet. I love and miss you BB King. Thank you for all you have given in your time on this earth……..

15 mai 2015 - Posted by | blues, communiqués | , , ,

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