BB King(1925-2015)

With the passing of BB King we thought it appropriate to share an expert from the Book about Galens time working with BB King and the Crusaders for the Royal Jam Album of which Galen was the mixing supervisor.

SC: So your first gig is in London—what was the story?

GS: They were going to do two records: one in London, at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and one with BB King, called The Royal Jam. We were syncing together two 24-track machines, and we were picking the best tracks. I was really in my element.

On the first day, we were setting up the stage. It was tough with the full band, an orchestra, BB King, and BB’s band. For a recording engineer, it was a real challenge. BB’s band walks out, and says they don’t want to be on that side of the stage, and that they would rather play on the other side and ask to move their stuff over. The stage guy comes out, and it starts getting heated, with him arguing with BB’s band, and finally, they ask me to settle it. So, I figured this is BB’s call, as he is the headliner, and we bring him out, as both sides are arguing their cases.

BB was so cool. He was standing there with his arms crossed, listening to both sides, and finally, he says to his band, “When the boss says ‘do it’, we do it—and he’s the boss.” He pointed to me and walked off the stage without saying anything else. It was a relief, because moving his band would have been a nightmare. BB was great like that—easiest guy in the world to work with.

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