Our hotel backs onto 42nd Street and if you turn the
corner twice you find yourself in front of B.B.King's
cafe. A venue where in the next few weeks Robert Ford
and David Crosby's CPR, among others, are due to play.
There was a blues jam session planned for the Monday
evening and at 9 am, Anita and I were at the box office
to reserve our seats.
"At the moment there's a problem with the computer.
We can't take bookings for this evenings' show."
I told them I wanted to attend the blues session and
associated grill party .
"No problem about the blues session. It's on Monday."
So at 8pm we waited at what I shall for convenience
sake call Room 2. Nice girl of the type, 'I know what
hip is', led us to our table. Right in front of the
stage.. The only disadvantage was that when the door
opened the draught blew the serviettes off the table.
It bore no resemblance to my conception of a jam session.
We weren't there for more than five minutes when the
band began a Bonny Riath number. The singer could have
performed as a stand-in for Bonny if the latter were
to fall sick. And the band was so tight. They could
teach a thing or two to our school management team and
their rigid plans. The prices gave me a bit of a jolt.
Ten dollars for a half litre bottle of sparkling water.
Oh, well, what the hell. No jam session but a great
blues rock band on the menu.
Anita had ordered grilled salmon and she discovered
that this item was served cold and raw inside. Lesson
one: good blues is raw. I had grilled steak. Delicious,
but served without chips or vegetables. Lesson two:
Don't complain, good blues should be served without
Our water disappeared pretty quickly. I had emptied
my glass and the waiter had filled it up again without
having to be asked. I don't drink fast enough for him,
As always I had finished before Anita, so after ten
minutes Anita was still laboriously munching away at
her salmon while my glass and plates had been cleared
away. So, Lesson three: "No time to waste",
is also applicable to B.B.King's cafe. Within half an
hour we had consumed one delicious steak, one cold grilled
salmon, half a litre of sparkling water and five songs
for a mere seventy-one dollars and ten cents. You're
supposed to leave a tip, so I let them keep the fifteen
cents change to divide between the three of them.