We were in Chicago when B.B. and I parted ways. We had been playing at a Southside club and I was stuck with a horrific piano for 3- 4 days on our gig. It was torture. Whatever piano I was given on any given night was basically a "luck of the draw" situation. One day it'd be a Steinway or Baldwin concert grand, the next, maybe an old beat up out of tune spinet with a crooked folding chair instead of a padded bench. After being so limited playing this 'dog' piano for a few nights, we did another gig and I had a beauty. I went wild! My youthful frustration wrongly inspired me to overplay and step all over B.B.'s vocals and guitar licks and that's where our quarrel began after the show. Money problems soon came up and things were said that I'm sure we both regret and were sorry for. We dealt with it and resolved it. Our connection has continued to follow me some 35 years later. I've often been interviewed about those days and have contributed to several biographies and magazine articles about them, which were very well received. That's what partially inspired and gave me the confidence to write this book.

We've seen each other many times since 1976, all in good spirit as old friends, much like a father and son-type deal. Whenever I paid B.B. a visit, he'd always generously offer me some cash. I always politely refused. I figured I owed him so much already and didn't want to be one of the many who always had their hand out. Having his name on my resume opened many doors for me, not to mention all the valuable lessons I learned from him and the folks I met through him. I also got to see the world through a unique perspective that many have not, and never will. I've always been grateful for that and feel blessed to have played so many amazing nights of music together. I was exposed to many -- too many -- experiences to catalog even here. He was my teacher and raised me from an awkward teen to an experienced man of the world. I was always satisfied just to share a few moments with him and make him laugh. He always appreciated my sense of humor; well, most of the time.

"TALES of a ROAD DOG" - 'The Lowdown Along the Blues Highway' by Ron Levy
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