the most recognisable sounds in blues, inspiring countless other blues and rock musicians including buddy Guy, eric clapton, Jimi hendrix, Jimmy Page, Duane allman, robert cray and robben Ford.
eric clapton said on his Facebook page: “i just want to express my sadness and to say thank you to my dear friend bb King. i want to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years and for the friendship that we enjoyed. this music is almost a thing of the past now and there are not many that play it in the pure way that bb did. he was a beacon for all of us who loved this kind of music and i thank him from the bottom of my heart. if you’re not familiar with his work then i would encourage you to go out and find an album called bb King, Live at the regal, which is where it all really started for me as a young player”.
Fellow bluesman buddy Guy said on instagram: “bb King was the greatest guy i ever met. the tone he got out of that guitar, the way he shook his left wrist, the way he squeezed the strings… Man, it was all new to the guitar playing world. he could play so smooth, he didn’t have to put on a show. the way bb did it is the way we all do it now. he was my best friend and father to us all”.
there have been many eulogies on twitter. Lenny Kravitz said, “bb, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one”, while bon Jovi’s richie sambora added, “i’m so so sad… he was so great to me. We’ve lost the King. My love and prayers to his family”.
Watch out for some special features on bb King in forthcoming issues of Gt!
BB King: the greatest bluesman of them all?