Local Wire

B.B. King

Years ago, I was scheduled to do a phone interview with this living legend, but Mr. 200-Plus-Shows-a-Year slept through my call. It left this fan with a lot of unasked questions:

Since most blues consists of I-IV-V progressions, how many chords would it take, and in what fucked-up order would they have to be, to make "Stormy Monday" into something Gentle Giant fans might enjoy?

Is your "Blues Ambassadorship to the World" being weakened by insurgents like "California's Blues Ambassador" drummer Chris Millar? And if blues guitarist Bobby Mack is "Texas' Musical Ambassador to the World," which one of you gets the better table at restaurants in San Antonio?

Does it piss you off that Rolling Stone named you Number 3 in its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" behind Duane Allman, a guy who was alive for, like, three minutes, and Jimi Hendrix, who played all your Live at the Regal licks with his teeth?

If you can be rich, well-adjusted and chipper and still play the blues, what does it take for you to convey universal suffering now? A good memory or the cleaners ruining your tuxedo?

B.B. King, "King of the Blues," versus Sting, "King of Pain" -- who puts up with more?

If your assertion that "all music comes from blues" is true, do you feel at all responsible for "Laffy Taffy"?

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic