I guess you can look at me, and tell I’m the old man. My name is BB King.
B. B. King
More quotes by B. B. King
I just wonder where I was when the talent was being given out, like George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Eric Clapton… oh, there’s many more! I wouldn’t want to be like them, you understand, but I’d like to be equal, if you will.
It seems like I always had to work harder than other people. Those nights when everybody else is asleep, and you sit in your room trying to play scales.
For all the hard times and tough challenges I faced during different periods of my life, I think I was lucky or blessed or both. When things looked bleak, a good guide would appear to set me straight. Someone once asked me about the villains who got in my way, the bad guys who wanted to trip me up or take me out. I don’t remember any. Maybe it’s my nature to remember the good and forget the bad, or maybe it’s my destiny to lock onto the righteous for help.
My wife Martha used to call me Ol’ Lemon Face because of my facial contortions when I play Lucille. I squeeze my eyes and open my mouth, raise my eyebrows, cock my head and God knows what else. I look like I’m in torture, when in truth, I’m in ecstasy. I don’t do it for show. Every fiber of my being is tingling.
More quotes about Music
I met up with George Shearing about a year before my mother passed away. When I was 11 years old, Mama took me to the Edgewater Inn in Seattle and I was able to sit down and play piano for George and a lot of (the set list) was songs I had heard from the album, Concerto For My Love.’ Then, after Mama died, my dad and I went to actually hear him perform at the Edgewater Inn when I was 12. Oh my gosh! It just really got me into playing piano.
You know the actor John Garfield? In one movie he walked up to this train station, the ticket booth, and the guy says, ‘Yes, where are you going?’ And he says, ‘I want a ticket to nowhere.’ I thought: that’s it. The freedom to do that. I want a ticket to nowhere.
I never wanted to be like other blues singers. I might like hearing them play, but I’ve never wanted to be anyone other than myself. There are a few people that I’ve wished I could play like, but when I tried, it didn’t work.
In Kansas City joints ran 9pm-5am. Pay was a $1.25 a night but somebody special like Count Basie could command $1.50.
Music always turns into music. As soon as I play a key, push a key down, there’s no theory any more. When I go and I hear a sound on the keyboard, all theories go out the window.
It’s not the style that motivates me, as much as an attitude of openness that I have when I go into a project.