What do you do when it’s not your audience…

Most pop acts expect a lifespan in the charts of 5 years. In 1985 Queen had been going more than ten years and felt they were probably at the end of their tenure. That is until they walked out in front of an audience that wasn’t theirs…and might not know their songs…or like them…and this happened… 

It was my very great privilege to sit at the feet of the late great B.B.King in 1996 and hear him perform at the Royal Albert Hall. At first his performance seemed a little restrained and I was surprised by that fact. As he loosened up I realised to my amazement that B.B. had been nervous in that first set. It is an intimidating venue and I had not expected nerves of such a legendary artist. But it was part of the man’s humility – a humility that absolutely informs how he played “Lucille” – the Gibson guitar that allowed him to produce his iconic sound. He really put soul into every single note.

It is with that same humility that B.B.King gave himself – and his band – for free – to the inmates of Sing Sing Prison in 1973. The audience response in this concert is off the charts. It would be a heart of stone that could not be moved by the emotion in the audience. B.B.King loved this audience and told them so with his music and lyrics. Watch the performance and there’s no mistaking it. Music is always a conversation. This concert illustrates that truth so powerfully. Enjoy!


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