The early years when I was starting, blues player, you wasn't always welcome in a lot of the other places. People usually have preconceived ideas about blues music. They always feel that it's depressing and that it's just something that a guy sit out on a stool, grab a guitar, and just start singing or mumbling or whatever.
-B. B. King
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Singing about your sadness unburdens your soul. But the blues hollers shouted about more than being sad. They were also delivering messages in musical code. If the master was coming, you might sing a hidden warning to the other field hands . . . The blues could warn you what was coming. I could see the blues was about survival.
B. B. King
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I was born on a plantation, and things weren't so good. We didn't have any money. I never thought of the word 'poor' till I got to be a man, but when you live in a house that you can always peek out of and see what kind of day it is, you're not doing so well. And your restroom is not inside the house.
B. B. King
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My ex-wife was trying to be nice once, so she took me to a concert in Los Angeles. I went with her to Symphony Hall, and the orchestra was playing. When the show started, the spotlight was sharp on this one man (Andres Segovia) and he had sombrero on and his guitar propped up like this and, oh man ... he was a master ! - I really heard it. That one guitar sounded like a whole orchestra to me.
B. B. King
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When you heard Jimi Hendrix, you knew it was Jimi Hendrix. He introduced himself with his instrument. His attack to a guitar man, was, oh, something else! You think of one of the great American ball players, or one of the great fighters of the world, you know, that's the way he would attack any note on his guitar.
B. B. King
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It seems like I always had to work harder than other people. Those nights when everybody else is asleep, and you sit in your room trying to play scales. I just wonder where I was when the talent was being given out, like George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Eric Clapton ... oh, there's many more! I wouldn't want to be like them, you understand, but I'd like to be equal, if you will.
B. B. King
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I think Ive done the best I could have done. But I keep wanting to play better, go further. There are so many sounds I still want to make, so many things I havent yet done. When I was younger I thought maybe Id reached that peak. But Im 86 now, and if I make it through to next month, Ill be 87. And now I know it can never be perfect, it can never be exactly what it should be, so you got to keep going further, getting better.
B. B. King
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