The legendary B.B. King doesn't give many interviews these days, because at age 85 he's saving his energy for the stage.
But that's OK, because Tri-Citians will get to see the legendary blues master when he returns to the Tri-Cities on March 3 with his beloved guitar Lucille.
So get ready for an evening of ever-so-cool blues in the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center in Kennewick Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $45 to $75.
"It's written in the contract with the promoter from B.B.'s agent that he does not do interviews or meet and greets, and it's been that way for years," said Jude Strode, Toyota Center marketing coordinator. "He travels on his bus, goes on stage right before (his show is ready) to start, and goes back to his bus the moment he is off-stage."
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Though that may sound like he's slowing down some, King still averages about 250 concerts a year despite his octogenarian status.
If you've ever wondered why he named his guitar Lucille, it all goes back to his early days as a musician growing up in Mississippi.
As he told the Herald in an interview several years ago, King almost lost his life trying to save his guitar when a club where he was playing caught fire after a couple of guys got into a fight and knocked over a burn barrel used for heat during the winter.
"I hightailed it outa there right along with everyone else when the fire started," he said. "But I realized once I was outside that I left my guitar inside, so I went back in to get it."
That, he admits, was a foolish move. "The building was falling down around me and I almost lost my life saving that guitar," he said.
The following day, he learned the two guys who were fighting were quarreling over a woman named Lucille.
"I heard that and decided to name my guitar Lucille right then and there to remind me I never want to be so foolish again as to go back into a burning building over a guitar," he said.
In the many years since, King has received numerous kudos for his contributions to music. He's released 50 albums and won 14 Grammys.
He also earned the National Award of Distinction from the University of Mississippi in 1992 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.
Tickets for the Tri-City show are available at www.ticketmaster.com or the coliseum box office. Tickets purchased at the box office avoid service charges.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org