The Thrill Is NOT Gone...

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, June 16, 2008

Man..I had set up a post for Flag Day, but forgot to set the publishing feature correctly.

So, I will share a photo of the flag I have talked about before...from Grandpa Ernest's coffin...

It sits on top of one of my bookshelves in my living room. Just below it, you see the license plate from NJ. I had that since 1997, but on September 11, 2001 it took on a special meaning when I returned from the City and looked at it. Since that day, it has stood for


Holy Bluesville Batman...all of us can only hope that at 82 years young we have the drive, the love, the stamina and the humility of the great B.B. King...

Backing up a bit, on Friday darlin' Nancy came by and we dropped the car off at the repair shop to get the AC working once again.

We then headed to Tunica, arriving about noon. After getting into our room and settling in we spent some time out by the pool, just hanging in the water talking and laughing and enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Back to the room, we opened a nice bottle of 2004 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir and relaxed for a spell.

After showers and getting dressed for the evening, we headed down to the casino. I told you about the one bet...$100.00 at the Roulette Wheel...BLACK...

We stood and looked at the two wheels working and one had a run of 5 blacks in a row, so I was leery of that. It then hit 14 Red back to back (and some guy made a killing on those rolls).

Then another black hit. I dropped the $100.00 on Black and watched as the ball circled around and jumped out of three red numbers...hit a black number and then skipped to 30 RED!

Taking Nancy's hand, we walked away... OH well....

She went over to the slots and I went to an electronic poker machine. After a while, down about $20.00, I found her sitting at a slot machine and looked at her total and asked what she had started with. When she said $20.00, I looked at the total on the machine and realized she was up $160.00!

Nancy looked at me and said, "Well, dinner is paid for." and we walked away. As we made our way to the concert hall, we stopped at a blackjack table and I contributed another $40.00 to the casino. My luck was just not there.

We went into the concert hall and I have to explain 'hall' is the wrong term. It is a large bar with a balcony. The seats are all chairs and we were led to our seat, row F, on the aisle. (NOTE: I kept saying fourth row, but I was never a good speller! Actually 6th row!)

A waitress came around and took our drink order and precisely at 9:00 pm, the B.B. King Orchestra took the stage with each musician taking their turn on a solo.

Before long, B.B. King was introduced and led out onto the stage and his chair at the front.
He explained that he did not sit because "as some thing, I am old, but it is because of my diabetes."

For the next hour and a half, B.B. played his Lucille like a 20-year old, told stories, joked with his band and the audiece, tossed guitar picks to the front row, expressed is mood with facial expressions and 'chair dancing, and just held all those assembled in the palm of his hand.

He is so gracious, making sure each band member was recognized every time they played a solo, asking for applause for them and getting it.

We also called out friend Turnbaby and left her a short cell-cert and spoke with her and she said she heard it well.

He told the story of how his guitar was named Lucille (Recounted on The Couch HERE). He told of his boyhood in Indianola, MS and going down town to stand on the corner and "watch those ladies who walked up and down the street like this" (and he bumped his hips around), the audience breaking into laughter. Telling how he would drop a nickel so he could sneak a glance at them, because "y'all did not want them to catch ya lookin'"

He talked about "never seeing an ugly woman" at which point his guitarist and bassist both turned their heads and snickered. He told us that he keeps hearing people say that he is playing his last show because he is short for the world and that he is not going anywhere and will continue to play and play and play.

It is evident that much of this is 'scripted, but who the hell cares, because between his chatting with us, he played Lucille. Let me tell you folks, he might be 82, but his fingers still fly up and down the fretboard.

All too soon, B.B. informed us that he had already played longer then he was supposed to (like anyone would tell him to get off the stage) and that it was time to close the show and he broke into "The Thrill Is Gone".

Then with his handlers at his side he began tossing things to those who had assembled at the stage at the end ... I walked up and he had tossed the last necklace and pin. As I walked back to Nancy, a young woman and her boyfriend looked at me and she said "We got two, would you like one?" I thanked her and accepted the small plastic pin.

One word...BRILLIANT!

I can only say, if you see him playing near you...BUY TICKETS

After the show, we went to the steak house in the casino and had a mediocre was not worth the price (the only bad thing of the weekend)...

Then back to the room and we crashed.

Saturday we woke and just moved slowly, leaving the hotel at noon. We drove over to the outlet mall and spent a few sheckles in the Kitchen Store there...I needed some things and Nancy needed some new knives.

Then we headed to the Harrah's Casino Hotel and the new Paula Dean Buffet there. $10.00 each, we spent the next two hours eating and eating and eating...What a great place!

Then downstairs where we won some, lost some and walked away without being hurt badly. Overall, I think Nancy was even and I lost about $80.00.

Back home, we picked up my car and found out I have a new radiator, as a hole was punched in mine during the repair. We arrived back at my place and sat and watched "Hairspray" together before Nancy headed home.

A most wonderful two days with an incredible concert and a fabulous woman and friend.


6/26/2008 - Del Mar Fairgrounds - Del Mar, CA
6/28/2008 - Silver Legacy Resort Casino - Reno, NV
6/29/2008 - Monterey Fairgrounds - Monterey, CA
7/01/2008 - Britt Pavillion - Jacksonville, OR
7/03/2008 - Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery - Woodinville, WA
7/04/2008 - Northern Quest Casino - Spokane, WA
7/05/2008 - Maryhill Winery Amphitheater - Goldendale, WA
7/06/2008 - Les Schwab Amphitheater - Bend, OR
7/09/2008 - Solano County Fair - Vallejo, CA
7/11/2008 - Pacific Amphitheatre - Costa Mesa, CA

Now the pictures and a short video...(click all to enlarge)

Continue to stay strong Turnbaby
Remember you have many friends.

36 Of Your Sparks

  1. Wow. What a weekend. I surely would love to see BB live. Sigh.

    Oh, I hope he gets paid for the Vallejo, CA gig - that town just declared bankruptcy.

  2. Schmoop Says:
  3. Sounds like a fab-o time Vin. And here's to B.B., his last name is King for a reason. Cheers!!

  4. Dana Says:
  5. He is amazing ... still! I'm wishing there were some way I could make it to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery show. Not only is that just minutes from where I spent the first 20 years of my life, but there is nothing better than pairing a great wine with a great man!

  6. DrillerAA Says:
  7. Yes sir, they don't make 'em like him anymore. Glad you had a wonderful week-end.

  8. Liz Hill Says:
  9. Thank you so much for the cellcert!

    I'm so glad you all had a great time.

    Thank you for thinking of me;-)

  10. Anonymous Says:
  11. V..
    after reading your blog and other people's blogs for a long time, I decided to do it!!!!
    Still haven't heard about that meal we have been meaning to do.

  12. SONGBIRD: I am sure if there is a chance he won't get paid, they will cancel

    MATT-MAN: It was Sir..thanks

    DANA: That would be fantastic!

  13. DRILLERAA: No they do not...and it was perfect

    TURNBABY: Glad you heard it and here for you always

    CHARLENE: Gotta let me know where it is

  14. Ken Says:
  15. Sounds like you had a GREAT weekend. Contributing to casinos is always fun. LOL
    No doubt the show was awesome!

  16. Glad you had a great time. But how could you not?

  17. Well that sounds like an amazing birthday weekend Vinny =) I really want to see BB but he needs to come a bit closer then Bend=(

  18. I love your memorial and your reminder of 911, we cannot forget what they did on that day, I cannot forgive........

  19. wow bond that sounds amazing! glad you got to go and that you had so much fun!

    smiles, bee

    ps: was there cake on paula's buffet? just askin'...

  20. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, Vinny! I'm glad for you! I am so impressed by that license plate! Happy Birthday!

  21. OBLadyBug Says:
  22. It truly was an incredible weekend. I'm so thankful to have you in my life.

    Happy Birthday Sweetheart! I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR YOU ... plenty to share.

  23. BeckEye Says:
  24. That's an interesting license plate. I might replace "terrorism" with "tragedy," just because it puts more emphasis on the victims than on the cowardly terrorists.

  25. MICKEY-T: Totally awesome..and the weekend too

    BUD: Would have been tough to not have a wonderful time

    STARRLIGHT: It was and it continues...I was told to take the afternoon off so I am sitting with a nice hoagie and a beer and some golf on the TV

    BEE: More cake than you can imagine...and it appears Nancy has some too!

    TEACH: Mary Thank you so very much..beautiful card

    NANCY: TRAVIS!!!! BEE!!!! CAKE!!!!
    You made the weekend better than I could imagine

    BECKEYE: Nice call

  26. Anndi Says:
  27. Happy Birthday and here's to great weekends with the ones we love!

  28. ANNDI: TY my friend and I will drink to great weekends with the ones we love...SMOOCH

  29. Julie Says:
  30. Oh very nice post here Vinny. You expressed sweet details in such a wonderful way.

    Happy birthday and many many more!

  31. Anonymous Says:
  32. vince
    sorry about that

  33. TopChamp Says:
  34. sounds fantastic! (new Hairspray or old?)

  35. JULIE: Why thank you on both counts

  36. CHARLENE: Got it

    TOPCHAMP: New with Travolta

  37. Travis Cody Says:
  38. You mean there's CAKE and BB King?


    Happy Birthday! I'm glad you got to do something so special.

  39. Fred Says:
  40. Glad you had a great time. I tried my hand at a few table games last weekend. I need to practice more.

    Nice to know you're a Howard Stern fan. I'm hoping XM and Sirius merge so XM picks him up.

  41. Oh man, is it a real Italian grinder? Cause now I am hungry and jealous for reals =(

  42. Meribah Says:
  43. In life, you win some and you lose some...but in a casino, you lose more than you win, cuz the house always wins in the end. After all, they wouldn't be in business very long if they didn't, eh?

  44. Tug Says:
  45. What an awesome weekend!! it Happy Bondday today? HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR!!

  46. Lu' Says:
  47. Arghhhhhhh Casinos a scourge. We go. We lose. We go back, HA! At most (I don't want to use the word least when speaking about your Nancy or the great BB King) you had Nancy and BB baby :) Bond, have you heard of the 14 year old harp player on Phfrankie's site?

  48. Kb Says:
  49. Sounds like a perfect weekend! Happy Father's Day BTW!

  50. TRAVIS: Even more cake tomorrow!

    FRED: I am a Stern fan...yup... and practice makes perfect.

    STARR: heheheh YUPPERS

    MERI: Of course you lose more..but to spend the time and not lost a lot is the cost of entertainment

    TUG: I love it! Happy Bondday... heheheh thank you dear

    LU': I need to visit Phrankies site more....
    And yes ...had a most wonderful time

    KB: Thank you and yup yup yup FUN!

  51. Jeff B Says:
  52. Thanks for the heads up on the tour dates. July 6th, in Bend, OR. That's only about two hours from here. Might just have to make a weekend of it.

    I've not made the time to see him before and at 82 he may not make it back to the Pacif northwest before he hangs it up.

  53. Kimmie Says:
  54. Hi Bond,
    Your Birthday Weekend sounds like it was fabulous! Sound like your dream came true. :-) I am happy you had a great time with your love.

  55. JEFFB: You gotta do it dude...

    KIMMIE: Thanks so much Kimmie

  56. katherine. Says:
  57. how cool is THAT...sounds like you two had a wonderful time!!


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