B.B. King Apologizes for 'Bad Night' in St. Louis

B.B. King performs at the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Ebet Roberts

B.B. King was a rambling man at a recent concert date in St. Louis, and now the blues legend is saying sorry. King's erratic performance on April 4 at the Peabody Opera House included long-winded stories and a 15-minute sing-along of "You Are My Sunshine." Half of the show was spent with the house lights on, and some shouted at the 88-year-old icon to "play."

On Tuesday a rep for King responded to the controversy by issuing a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran the concert review that led to national coverage of the evening. The review carefully factored in King's age, but pointed out that the artist's younger backing band did not seem overly concerned.

"When King was lost for a lyric or simply what to do next, the band seemed more than content to stand respectfully by and watch him (metaphorically) die," wrote Daniel Durchholz.

According to the rep, the Peabody date was King's first show in four weeks and was preceded by a 24-hour drive from his home in Las Vegas to the Gateway City. He also apparently forgot to take his diabetes medication that day.

"The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King's usual standard of excellence," the statement reads. "Simply put, it was a bad night for one of America's living blues legends -- and Mr. King apologizes and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans." 

King has a string of upcoming concert dates, beginning April 16 in Red Bank, NJ. He's also scheduled to perform in Albany and The Bronx later this month,and in May he plays two shows in Illinois.