In 1976, I was just getting started in the business and I had made a deal with the Ivanhoe Theater in Chicago to gain access to all of their shows. A short time later, I was reading the schedule and saw the name B.B. King. Being a blues fan for years, that was a must see show. I was mesmerized by his tone, his singing and most of all by his amazing stage presence. Throughout all of my years in the business I don’t think I have ever seen someone have that much fun on stage. His smile was ear to ear throughout the show. I was hooked!!
Many years later, Guitar World Magazine asked me to go to Cleveland to photograph the “King Brothers”- BB and Albert King. I hung out with them for about an hour, took some great pictures and went home a happy and fulfilled man!
Little did I know that two months later, in April of 1991, I would be asked to travel to a press event in Los Angeles to kick off the Benson and Hedges Blues Tour. When I got there I was told that after the press conference, I would be given an hour in private with BB King, John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon. Now that is the motherload. Three older gentlemen, dressed in black with hats and shades, talking for an hour in between photographs about their sex lives- their RECENT sex lives! It gave me hope for my future!
Whenever I showed anyone those pictures, I would always say- Only one of them is still alive.
Now they are all gone, and the blues world will probably never see anyone like those guys again.