10/27/08 Last night I was in the same room with Bono and the Edge from U2! Normally that would be all I would need to write to make this quite possibly the absolute BEST post in the brief history of this blog, but obviously this deserves further explanation. I was invited to cover last night's Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz's tribute to B.B. King and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at the Kodak Theatre here in Los Angeles. That was cool enough, but when I heard Bono and The Edge were going to be on hand as surprise guests, presenters and, possibly, performers, well, my ass was down there faster than Michael Phelps through water!! And man, was I glad I went. Bono and Edge first showed up onstage to accept Allen's award, Bono joking, "We're not as smart as him, but we're certainly better looking." But later in the show, the real fun – and reason probably most of the crowd, including myself, was there – began when the two joined B.B. King onstage for a very loose but very cool version of "When Loves Comes To Town," originally found on U2's Rattle and Hum album, featuring of course, Mr. B.B. King, who also performed the song with U2 in the Rattle and Hum movie. Later still, Bono and Edge came back onstage to join a whole host of incredible musicians, including B.B. once more, for a rollicking good time version of the blues standard "Let the Good Times Roll." With the biggest smile on my face and spring in my step, I practically floated out of the Kodak Theatre, down Hollywood Blvd. and down to the Metro Rail train stop to catch the train back to my small apartment, where once again, alone and in complete silence, I just had to say to myself: Life is Good! Here's my review of the evening.
KINGS FOR A DAY: BONO, EDGE SHARPEN BLUES SKILLS!
U2 members Bono and the Edge last night helped honor blues legend B.B. King and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the latter two receiving special awards at the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz's The Blues and Jazz: Two American Classics Gala Concert. The two Irish rockers accepted Allen's Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award, Bono quipping, "We're not as smart as him, but we're certainly better looking," while Edge called blues and jazz the "greatest gifts" America had given to music. Later, they joined King onstage for a spirited, spiritual, and eventual soulful version of U2's "When Love Comes To Town," a song off Rattle and Hum that Bono said was released "20 years ago this month…and B.B. told me then the lyrics were 'very deep for a young guy.' I'm not so young now, but I hope they're still deep coming from B.B.'s voice like a volcano." Later still, Bono and Edge came back onstage with B.B., Robert Cray, Keb'Mo, Hancock, keyboardist George Duke, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and a stage-full of fellow performers, who Bono said would have to "slum it tonight" to play with these two "very white Irishmen," for the very appropriately titled evening closer, "Let the Good Times Roll." The evening was taped for future broadcast, details to be announced soon.