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BB King

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:24 pm
by Gordon Neill
I'm not trying to wind anyone up, but I'm still bemused by the adulation that BB King attracts. It's not I hate his stuff, I don't have the BB Hee Bee Gee Bees, just that's it's merely OK.

I've not seen him live, so I accept that he could well put on a great show. But I've just never been all that taken by his records. And goodness knows I've tried. Early stuff, late stuff.... 'Live at the Regal' was OK, but just OK. And it's not as though I don't like blues. John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King... you name 'em, but don't name BB as far as I'm concerned. And I really love some of the smoother blues guys like Bobby Bland. But BB's smoothness just passes through me, without any nourishment.

I'm not looking for any cure. I'm too old and set in my ways. But is there anyone else who suffers from this, apparently, rare condition?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:40 pm
by Gordon Neill
Oh. I posted this in the Archive section, safe in the knowledge that no-one would see it. But... gulp!.... it's been moved into the full glare of the SOTW Forum. I'm feeling quite scared.....

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:49 pm
by Gordon Moore
Me too!, but then I like some of Gary Moore's stuff, so I'm glad this is hidden away in the archive!

I hope that flashlight and rifle I can see in the distance doesn't belong to the great game hunter aka Adam the Man.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:00 pm
by Adam Blake
Gordon Moore wrote:Me too!, but then I like some of Gary Moore's stuff, so I'm glad this is hidden away in the archive!

I hope that flashlight and rifle I can see in the distance doesn't belong to the great game hunter aka Adam the Man.


You are a pair of Stalinist, Fascist, Maoist lentil growing hippie capitalists and I condemn you to a lifetime of listening to three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fighting in the dressing room at the Fillmore East...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:10 pm
by Gordon Neill
I'd just like to make it clear, for the avoidance of doubt, that I don't much care for any of Gary Moore's stuff. But I'm willing to hold Gordon Moore's coat for him while the rest of you pile in.

On the other hand, I quite like some of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's stuff. Oh dear....

Re: BB King

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:57 pm
by Ted
Gordon Neill wrote:I'm not trying to wind anyone up, but I'm still bemused by the adulation that BB King attracts. It's not I hate his stuff, I just that's it's merely OK.


I'd have to agree. But B.B. King on a bad day is still pretty good. Whats your position on Zak & Yngwie?

Re: BB King

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:44 pm
by Charlie
Gordon Neill wrote:I'm not trying to wind anyone up, but I'm still bemused by the adulation that [xyz] attracts. It's not I hate his stuff,... just that's it's merely OK.

You are on dangerous ground, young GN. Just look ahead a few years.

Right now, people fall over themselves to be the first in the family to pick the post up off the doormat on the day that each new issue of fRoots arrives, tearing off the wrapper and turning straight to the back page, where they shake their heads in wonder, saying, oh no, he's done it again, he's really excelled himself this time.

And then comes the day when the youngest member of the household, the one who was watching re-runs of Top Gear on Dave TV while all that commotion was going on every month, the day when he sneaks a look at that back page and says to himself, what were they on about?

But if it's any consolation, I'm kind of on your side. Lovely guy, B.B, really one of the most gracious and funny men I ever met. But up against Muddy, Magic Sam, Howlin' Wolf or any of the many Johnsons of a blues hue, B.B. doesn't have the same kind of weight.

Nice guy, though, and dependable. He will always get to the gig on time, and so will his band; they'll play for at least as long as they said they were going to, and most of the people who came to see him this time will come again when he comes back next year. Keep that up for fifty years, you wind up top of the pile.

Better still, he got a manager, Sidney Seidenburg, at just the right moment, who upped his royalty rate and improved the type of venue he played, so B.B. became a rich man, able at last to get ahead of his gambling debts so he didn't have to spend the rest of his life paying them off by playing Vegas all year.

Young GN chips in again

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:27 pm
by Gordon Neill
Ted asked:

Whats your position on Zak & Yngwie?


I'd no idea who these people are, but I found Yngwie Malmsteen on the mighty Google. I'm tempted to say that I think he's really good, but I fear that there's only so much Adam can take. To be honest, after watching this clip, I'm starting to warm to BB King. It truly is everything that I detest about electric guitar players. It's more of a circus act than music.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_IYe5JTZ4

And, picking up on Charlie's coments, everything I've read about BB King has told me that he is a real professional (in the best sense) and fully deserves his success. I just wished I liked his records more. Besides, when's the last time that he laughed at my fRoots pieces?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:32 pm
by Jamie Renton
Comparing BB with Muddy, Wolf or Robert Johnson is like comparing chalk & chitlins. I see King as far closer in spirit to the goodtimre entertaining likes of Louis Jordan or, to give a more contemporary example, Taj Mahal. Like Taj, BB probably gets dismissed by a certain type of blues purist for having no obvious hellhounds on his trail. for being a big, easy going, open minded chap, rather than a crazy old self-destructive mofo & yes, he might lack edge nowadays, but just listen to the bawlin' soul & attacking guitar of his earliest recordings from the 50s. Plus he's willing to try things, he's not as adventurous as Taj I'll grant you, but I have a soft spot for the albums he made with The Cruesaders & the Count Basie Orchestra.

Being good humoured isn't a crime & the man's made a lot of fine music in his time.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:35 pm
by Dayna
Gordon Moore wrote:I hope that flashlight and rifle I can see in the distance doesn't belong to the great game hunter aka Adam the Man.


That would more likely be Ted Nugent.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:43 pm
by Gordon Neill
Jamie pointed out:

Being good humoured isn't a crime


I totally agree. There's only so many hellhounds or tortured geniuses that I can put up with as well. I chucked in Muddy and Howlin' etc just as top-of-the-head comparisons. But I could just as easily lobbed in Louis Jordon, who's records I love. And there's a fair bit of humour in some of Howlin' Wolf's records as well (300 Pounds of Joy, Built For comfort) or, say, Joe Turner's.

I just don't much care for BB's records. And I've tried, I've really tried. I've listened to the early stuff. It just all sounds the same.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:05 pm
by Jamie Renton
Now look I'm sorry Gordon but that's just really not acceptable.

I like something, therefore you have to like it too. Otherwise you know where this will lead don't you? We'll have to defend our differing views with increasingly heated & irrational postings, until this thread descends into a protracted stream of insults & name calling.

Is that what you want to happen Gordon? Is it? Because if it does it will all be your fault.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:37 pm
by Gordon Neill
What? Agree with one another? Where's the fun in that? But, fair enough, let's just agree that you're in the wrong and we can both move on.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:27 am
by Neil Foxlee
Jamie Renton wrote:Comparing BB with Muddy, Wolf or Robert Johnson is like comparing chalk & chitlins.


Agreed - BB represents the smooth rather than the rough end of urban blues. It's like comparing Philly soul with Stax. There's room for both, even if (like most of us perhaps) our tastes instinctively tend towards the more visceral. Whatever, his playing is perhaps more lyrical than any other blues guitarist.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:06 am
by judith
and, perhaps from a female perspective, more tender.