Frank with B.B. King on B.B.'s bus, FleetBoston Pavilion, 9/2/04
On September 2, we took Frank to the FleetBoston Pavilion to see B.B. again. This time Frank's contacts at B.B.'s management company had provided us with backstage passes, and we might get the opportunity to visit B.B. on his tour bus!
As usual, all of the ushers fell in love with Frank and he always had someone to chat with. The Muddy Waters Blues Band played first, followed by Elvin Bishop. Next was Shemekia Copeland. Frank had known her late father, Johnny Clyde Copeland. Then Dr. John did a set. During one of the intermissions a man walked by, saw Frank, exclaimed "Mr. Brown!" and immediately went to get his mother. It turns out they were old friends of Frank's. They wound up sitting in the empty seats next to us for B.B.'s set. B.B. put on a great show. Frank sang along to "Key to the Highway" and "Rock Me."
The show ended at around 11:15 and we headed over to the backstage access area (to the right of the stage).The guy in front of us got on the bus, and I followed, with shaky knees. I climbed the steps and then turned around. Craig and one of B.B.'s entourage were helping Frank out of the wheelchair. and onto the bus. I took Frank's hand and guided him back to where B. was sitting on a leather couch. I said, "This must bring back memories, being on the bus, huh, Frank?" He agreed.
At this point we could see B.B. and I said "There he is, Frank!" B. said "Big Brown! How are you?" He asked Frank to sit down and Frank was a little confused and kind of tried to sit on the table. B said "Frank, man, you're grabbing my computer!" and told him to hold out his hand and feel where the seat was. B. shook both of our hands and said "Thanks for being kind to my old friend. We had lots of good times together." Frank took a seat right next to B.B.. Craig sat on the other side of Frank. I was still standing, but B.B. said "Please. Sit down." and I squeezed in. B.B. reached behind him and turned down the volume on the stereo. We said that Frank had a lot of stories about his days on the road and B said "And they're all true!"
I asked if I could get a photo of the two of them together and B.B. said sure. He leaned in to Frank and put his arm around him and I got a nice closeup shot of the two of them. It was really great to see B.B. in his own element where he could be himself. Seeing him sitting in his own bus, calmly receiving everyone, being a gracious host and oh so friendly and low key...he was a joy. We were really happy with the way the whole evening turned out. Frank didn't talk much (he doesn't like to interrupt other people) but it seemed like he enjoyed just being there in such close proximity to his good friend. B.B. signed some photos and gave us a couple of B.B. King lapel pins. When we were leaving (with some encouragement from Craig) I asked B.B. if I could have a hug, and he said of course. I gave him a big hug and told him that Frank is our good friend and we love him. B.B. said "He's a good man. He's a good friend of mine. He took good care of me."