I woke up this morning and the first thing that I read, was the announcement that B.B. King had passed. Although I can’t say it was shocking news considering he was 89, the sadness washed over me nevertheless. The Blues are my favorite genre of music, and B.B. pretty much is the King. I kick myself in the ass repeatedly when I think of a few of the greats I had the opportunity to see, but didn’t because something else came along. He was among them on that short list. I always thought, “Maybe next year” because there is always that one more time, that one more concert – until there isn’t. I had the opportunity to see him perform at the Doheny Blues Festival in 2009, and didn’t because the one I was with just didn’t feel the same way that I did about the Blues. I should have gone alone.
That’s my life; Men and music. Sometimes I erroneously choose the wrong men, and sometimes I choose the wrong concert options.
I think one of the reasons I hold such a fantastic connection to the Blues is that I feel like it is mine alone. It’s like my own special little thing. Crazy I know, especially when you look around and you see millions of people who love the sounds, the rifts, and the howls – but it is mine because it feels like it was this fantastic discovery that I made on my own. It wasn’t influenced by someone else’s love, as so often was the case; And trust me a lot of my music has been influenced by someone else’s love.
I’ve always loved music, — I mean who doesn’t; Until I came into the Blues in the early nineties, I was sort of all over the place. I am still all over the place, but now, Blues are home to me. Chicago, Delta, Texas – I love them all. When I don’t have to worry about anyone’s groaning over the loudness of Koko Taylor, or a yawn over a Stevie Ray Vaughn rift, I put the Blues in. When I want to sedate myself, I put on the Blues. It is absolutely the sexiest music out there. Try it sometime. My favorite though? Beyond sipping an icey martini and listening to a beautiful long wail of Etta? When I can put the top down on the car on a long drive and put on a playlist of them all.
I think I allowed myself at a younger age to be molded by the musical passions of those I dated. It wasn’t me folding to their tastes, as much as me going along for the ride. In many respects, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It opened up quite a few doors to fantastic musical groups that I probably would have only appreciated on the basis of their one top radio hit. (Think Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead, or Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett, which are really subpar in comparison to the rest of their music.) There have been a couple of misses. The drummer I dated who was really into Jazz. Maybe I was too young, but I just couldn’t ever feel it. But I have these small romantic milestones when I hear a little Bob Seger, or early Mick Jagger. Maybe a little Zydeco, or a touch of Country. These aren’t just occasions for me, they were new doors opening. Those relationships would fade, but the music would stick around for a lifetime.
I rarely involve myself in a relationship where music isn’t an some way, a strong common core. It’s not a conscious decision, or a pre-requisite it just strangely always happens. There is a room of men, make them all equally attractive, and I will find two; The Musician, and the Asshole. Sometimes they were one in the same, but it was well worth the trials and tribulations, because it takes a special person who can just sit back and appreciate the moment of listening.