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Who here saw Albert King live?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by mojosman, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. mojosman

    mojosman Strat-O-Master

    890
    Mar 24, 2013
    Western Mass
    image-3990484544.jpg



    I've been thinking about some of the people that I missed the chance to see before they passed on. There are many, but none than Albert. I got turned on to the blues mostly through British artists like Led Zep, Clapton, and Cream. Then one day my buddy brought over a new record. Stevie Ray and DT, Couldn't Stand The Weather. Changed everything. This eventually led me to Buddy Guy, Albert, Hubert Sumlin and others.

    I came to appreciate him far too late. I'm guessing someone here saw him. I would love to hear your recollections of the show. My guess is maybe Rogue saw him. He has seen sone epic shows. Thanks in advance to those that have Albert stories.
     

  2. ShaneRingo

    ShaneRingo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Chicago
    I saw him a couple of years before he passed.. best of the three Kings,
    for sure! it was in a festival setting, so I wasn't really too close to the
    stage. Albert played his custom-made Flying V and I remember moving
    up close enough to watch but that's when I discovered that he didn't
    re-string his guitar for left hand play, and that he played his guitar
    strung for a right hand player but merely flipped it around so the treble
    strings were at the top and the low E was at the bottom. it was pretty
    much impossible for me at the time to figure out his chording as a result,
    but DANG! the man could play!!

    I've seen BB King a couple of times as well but honestly my favorite stuff
    of his was recorded in the 1950's before his style changed.

    if only I'd have been able to catch Freddie King when he was still around.
     

  3. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    I saw him in the late eighties along with BB King and Bobby Bland. He played through a Roland Jazz Chorus and of course killed it. I love BB but Albert King has been my favorite blues player since I first heard him.

    It was at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos CA. The round stage revolves for the whole show. Not a bad seat in the house. I had a stunningly hot girlfriend at the time. Im pretty sure everyone wondered why she was with me. It was a good night.
     

  4. gentlyweeping

    gentlyweeping Strat-Talker

    165
    Mar 1, 2013
    Saint Paul,MN
    Late 70's at the Cabooze in Mpls. Just out of High School and drunk as hell. Standing up against the front of the stage and nodding my head in time to the music all night. That Flying V sounded glorious blasting into my face. He was making comments to me between tunes but I have no memory of what was said.
     

  5. mojosman

    mojosman Strat-O-Master

    890
    Mar 24, 2013
    Western Mass
    Thanks guys. That's what I was looking for. Some guys sound great in the studio, but are weak live. Something tells me this was not the case with Albert.
     

  6. pauljo1963

    pauljo1963 Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 30, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    i saw him a couple of time at the Palais in Melbourne, great player, but by that stage his vocals were not that strong
    Late 80's and early 90's

    Probably my favourite King, I got an album of his in the early 80's that really opened my eyes
     

  7. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Thread derailer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    Tucson
    I saw Albert in the early 70's on the lawn at Lee Park in Dallas. I saw some really good low key shows there


    Those who only know his"modern" stuff...just don't know. He was completely different. Not to be too disparaging of him now...but, for decades he's been kissing the same ass he once kicked. Back on the chitlin circuit he was a mad man.
     

  8. Stark

    Stark Ghost of Johnny Thunders Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 16, 2011
    Richmond Annex, CA
    I was lucky enough to see Albert while I was living in Seattle. He played at Bumbershoot 1990, September 1st. Went back to San Francisco a week later, found an Ibanez Rocket Roll Korina V (in another pawn shop) and forgot all about playing punk rock.
     

  9. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Thread derailer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    Tucson
    Then that was a good day. :)
     

  10. Rogue Bohemian

    Rogue Bohemian what? WHAT????? Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Jun 4, 2010
    Bacliff by Galveston bay
    Right you are, mojosman. I don't even remember how many times he came to SF during the sixties, but it was several. I saw him at Fillmore West, I don't know how many times. I saw a King it had to be a dozen or more times. I would go multiple nights when I liked an act.

    He wasn't tired and worn out back then. And he brought it all to the stage. I was always up front, and went away totally confused about how in the hell he could play the guitar like that. The first few times I saw him, I got caught up in the music and paid no attention to the technical stuff. Or I was with a hot date. Or something like that.

    He really put on a great show and cooked all the way through. His band was always tight. I couldn't even tell you if it was the same band every time I saw him. Or the other Kings for that matter. But, they all were standouts. I didn't care what the first name was after I had seen them all. I would have shown up to hear Billie Jean King yodel by that time.
     

  11. Steve112

    Steve112 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    69
    Oct 15, 2013
    Abbotsford, Canada
    Saw him with The Doors in Vancouver '71 or '72, Albert and Jim did a fine show. Kind of sketchy in my memory, did some herb (a lot of) that evening, my my, a great night for the blues! Very glad to have seen Albert, he made it look effortless with a truckload of feeling!
     

  12. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    I saw him around 1980 at Grant St. He had the fancy Flying V and his pipe. I think he played thru one of those big Acoustic amps and a little phase shifter set real slow. Maybe a MXR phaser. It was so cool and he sounded great! He seemed happy and shook peoples hands when he took a break. His bus stayed parked behind the club for weeks cause it had broken down.
     

  13. DHart

    DHart Banned

    I saw him in San Francisco... Filmore West, as I recall. Late 60's. I don't remember much detail about it... we went to concerts at Avalon Ballroom, Filmore, then Filmore West almost weekly, it seems... lots of concerts. (And we were feeling quite euphoric much of the time, I must admit.) Those were the days when Bill Graham was really growing the concert biz. I saw Bill introduce dozens and dozens of bands back then. Amazing times and music. I was 18 years old in 1968 and lived in the SF Bay Area. Bill Graham brought an incredible number of great bands to SF... in addition to showcasing the great bands that lived in SF!

    In the late sixties, early seventies Albert King was really popular in the burgeoning rock scene, often on bills with British bands and San Francisco bands. He was my favorite of the Kings, for sure. I must have played his version of Crosscut Saw (the entire Born Under A Bad Sign album) enough to wear out the vinyl. Find these tracks on Spotify or YouTube or somewhere.. they are goodies. The Live Wire/Blues Power album is fantastic as well. Those are the two Albert King albums I listened to regularly back then.
     

  14. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I saw Albert 3 or 4 times in London. Usually he played medium sized venues like the T&C (1500 capacity) while BB played places like the Albert Hall (5000 capacity). I think that, over the years, it made him bitter that he didn't get the respect (and the money) he deserved. He had a point.

    He also didn't seem to keep a regular band for years on end, unlike BB or his friend Albert Collins. Maybe there was a lack of regular well-paying gigs to keep a decent band on a retainer? He usually just had a 3 piece band behind him, no brass, though I think he had a keyboard player once or twice.

    Memories? The first number was always an instrumental, & Albert came on stage smoking his pipe. Searing lead guitar from an old dude surrounded by pipe smoke - quite surreal. And he had the Chorus on his Roland amp on for the first song, then he turned it off.

    The second time I saw him, I had just heard of a new bloke called SRV. I knew he had ripped off a lot from Albert, but as I stood there watching The Great Man doing these ridiculous 4 fret bends, ending some lines with a "woooooooo!", rocking back on his heels, I realised just how much Stevie had pinched from Albert - whole lines note for note. I was quite taken aback. Stevie owed Albert big time - which he acknowledged.

    The last time I saw him was a bit weird. Before he came on stage, there was an announcement that went something like this:

    "Mr King has requested that only his vocal & guitar should be put through the PA, so it may be that the sound at this concert is a little unusual compared to what you are used to hearing."

    I can only assume that Albert was fed up with rock sound guys who turned the bass or drums up too loud in the mix, & this was his way of dealing with it. Trouble is, when he threw a solo at the second guitarist, we could barely hear him. So then Albert berated the poor guy: "that's my guitarist who refuses to turn his amp up!". No wonder he had a reputation for being an awkward old sod!

    And, for those of you who think that Live Wire, Blues Power was a great album, try getting hold of a copy of Blues At Sunrise, recorded live at Montreux in 1973. Albert sounds like he's using a valve amp turned up quite high - just beautiful - love that kind of gurgling noise he gets at the end of some lead lines. And he had a much better band than on LWBP - the clanky rhythm guitar on LWBP gets on my nerves. On the Montreux album it's Donald Kinsey, soon to join The Wailers. Get hold of a copy if you can.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIuV3vcsqr8

    Although he's famous for his guitar playing, I can't help thinking that Albert's singing was even better, he had this rich, mellow voice that was streets ahead of most of the blues guys. He had the voice of a soul singer - maybe he would have made more money if he had played more soul?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI7I9OumKhU

    I remember that I was on the Piccadilly Line on my way back to the office when I read of his death in The Standard, being read by the guy seated next to me. I miss Albert.