I’d take my guitar and play on the streets. A gospel song would get me a pat on the head. But a blues would get me a dime. So you see why I stuck with the blues.
B. B. King
More quotes by B. B. King
I knew that if I went to town on a Saturday, which I did, and there was two fountains, one said “Black” and one said “White.” I didn’t think other than that if you want to stay out of trouble, leave the white one alone. I also noticed that when I went to the restrooms there was one that said “White Men,” “White Ladies” and “Colored.” That’s all I knew. I grew up with it. It wasn’t like somebody just threw me down there and said, “You don’t bother that…” But I was taught that in my early life. My family would always say – because there was people being lynched around me. I haven’t seen people be lynched, but I’ve seen them after they was. And I was told by some of the elders that, you know, “Unless you do certain things this can happen to you or that can happen to you. You don’t bother the white ladies, you don’t do this, you don’t do that,” and I learned that at an early age and to me it was just part of my training. I think this is why black people never did resist for such a long, long time because if there’s any such thing as being brainwashed I was brainwashed, but it didn’t bother me.
[moving to Las Vegas] It was sort of like a man getting married – you don’t have to go out looking for girls, you’ve got your girl with you. I could go to casinos any time I had money and wanted to, so I actually went less.
I think I’ve done the best I could have done. But I keep wanting to play better, go further. There are so many sounds I still want to make, so many things I haven’t yet done. When I was younger I thought maybe I’d reached that peak. But I’m 86 now, and if I make it through to next month, I’ll be 87. And now I know it can never be perfect, it can never be exactly what it should be, so you got to keep going further, getting better.
There’s a sadness to all kinds of music if you want to hear it. There’s also happiness to it if you want to hear it.
More quotes about Music
The way I look at it, they’re all part of my musical diary, and I can listen to any one of them and it will bring up memories of what was going on at that time.
If a Jazz musician plays someone else’s song, he has a responsibility to make a distinct and original statement.
I got out of the car and there was a knife in my neck. The guy says, “Don’t move.” And the drummer got out of the car, and he got a gun in his head. This was my entrance to the South Side of Chicago. But it was necessary, because I wanted to play jazz.
Music is emotional, and you may catch a musician in a very unemotional mood or you may not be in the same frame of mind as the musician. So a critic will often say a musician is slipping.
Back in college, when I got kicked out of school, I was still in school, I’d just written the song that got me my record deal. If I hadn’t gotten kicked out of school I wouldn’t be where I am now. Three months after that, I got my record deal and the rest is history.