Jim Mathis

Thursday, January 13, 2011

B.B. King

B.B. King is going to be in town next week. I have seen B.B. a number of times over the years, but I will never forget the first time.

It was 1976 and my wife and I were celebrating out fifth wedding anniversary. We had decided to fly to Reno for the weekend. It was the first time I had ever rented a car. We got a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and drove around Lake Tahoe. We checked the local paper and saw where B.B. King was playing at the lounge at the Holiday Inn. I remember Louise said, “Who is B.B. King?” and I said, “You’ll see.”

I had heard that you needed to tip the maĆ®tre de in Reno or Vegas if you wanted a good seat. So I gave the hostess a five dollar bill. In 1976, that was enough to get a front row seat in a hotel lounge. She escorted us to a table for two by the stage where we were enthralled by B.B.’s music and showmanship for the next 2 or 3 hours. My wife has been a B.B. King fan ever since.

The next night we went to see Roger Miller at the Golden Nugget where Glen Campbell made a surprise visit and they did a few songs together.

It was an amazing weekend.

One of the cool things about getting older is all the memories of great places we’ve been and people we’ve met.

And we’ve only begun.