Little did I know when I posted that bit about musicians getting older, just HOW fragile a condition that the "Blues-Boy" was in !
When I turned on my notebook and saw his photo before I read the words.....my heart dropped into my stomach, fearing the worst. When I got up the nerve to actually READ the article, it was a relief but not by much. Everyone who knows B.B. knew of his problems with diabetes, he even did TV ads about medications for it. However, not everyone knew of his battle with prostate cancer. He started feeling worse around mid-2014, and had to cancel the remainder of his concerts after Chicago. The police were called to his home last Thursday, and there was some kind of "problem" there, and his daughter had to insist upon him going to the hospital. I'm not sure, but I think his business mgr. and confidant Lavern Toney, wanted him to remain at home, which she believed to be B.B.'s wishes. He WAS brought to the hospital, treated and released after a brief stay, back to his home, along with the Hospice personnel, to care for him in however many days he and God may grant us, to do him Honor !
Not to bore you, but I feel the need to share this little story about the last time I saw him in concert. It was a few years back, at the Bank Boston Pavilion, right on the edge of Boston Harbor in a semi-opened tent, soft summer breeze blowing in off the water. My son had gotten me GREAT tickets for my birthday, through some connection his wife had. We were center stage, four rows back from the stage (no pit at this venue), we were CLOSE ! He had a great opening act to warm up this conservatively rowdy crowd, "Tower of Power" ! I had never seen them live before, so it was quite a treat. Back on theme again, when B.B. was through with his last song, he rose up from the folding chair that he had sat on for the majority of the show. He flashed a huge smile as he waved to everyone and thanked us graciously. Just before he walked off stage, he bent over and reached into a small bag that was lying at his feet, and came out with a fistful of little gold guitar lapel pins with his name on them, and pretended to throw them out to the very back row. With a gigantic closed lip smile, he looked directly at my son and I, and tossed the whole load right at us ! I came up with 6 or 7, and my son got some and gave them to people around us. I (felling guilty at my son's teachings and raised eyebrow) did the same, however keeping just 2 for souvenirs. (which I took out of their hiding place, and rested one upon my computer desk, just for "good times sake")