Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For a music journalist: Albert King, blues master

This story about Albert also came from the Tomato Years release; I think it's one of the best collections around of his work. I especially enjoy "Angel of Mercy" and the different take on "The Very Thought of You," one of the most romantic tunes I've heard. In that deep bass voice of his, Albert treated it like he was holding a baby in his arms.

Meanwhile, enjoy the story of Albert-to-the-rescue of a music executive who was also a close friend. This takes place in Detroit in a very bad section of town, and they have just checked in to a hotel where the room and cashier's window are protected by heavy bullet-proof glass.

"Later that night after being in my room for about half an hour, Albert knocked on the door and asked to be let in. I have never seen a more majestic sight in my life as I saw that night. Albert arrived dressed only in a sleeveless white tee shirt, extra large white silk boxer shorts held up with red, white, and blue suspenders of the same design as our American flag, pink silk stockings, black leather garter belts, and black Alligator shoes.

"Tucked under his arm and strapped around his back was a black leather shoulder holster containing a pearl-handled .45 automatic. With Albert's size, the hand gun looked like a derringer. Albert told me that if there was any trouble to knock on his wall and he would be right over. To this day, I don't know if he would have kicked the door in or shot the lock off to come to my rescue."

By the way, Albert was a very gentle man as a bulldozer operator: they said he had a touch that was so fine that he could pick up a rug with the blade and not scratch the floor.  He also was a notorious pool player:  he once played a game on a table that was so warped that it went downhill faster than a piano on wheels on a San Francisco street.  He won $15,000, and said to the sore loser that he would rather not give a rematch because his game would suffer.

No comments: