I had to look this up and it was apparently Chaucer who coined the phrase that “all good things must come to an end” and sadly, this quote now applies to the venerated Times Square nightclub B.B. King Blues Club and Grill which will shut its doors in the coming weeks. Below please find the full press statement on the matter and I will close out with some thoughts as a longtime patron.
The Press Release:
After 18 years of hosting some of music and entertainment’s most revered names, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has announced its final run of shows in its current Times Square location (237 W 42nd St). Due to escalating rent, the historic venue and supper club is forced to close its doors with a final performance on April 29, 2018. B.B. King Blues Club is in the process of selecting a new location in Manhattan to relocate the venue.
To honor its storied legacy, B.B. King’s will host a very special closing week celebration which will consist of performances by: Buddy Guy, Rick Ross, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh + Special Guests, El Gran Combo, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and more. Buddy Guy will headline the final B.B. King Blues Club show on Sunday, April 29. Please see below for the current schedule. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets – all announced shows are on sale now. Stay tuned for more shows to be announced in the next few days at .
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the news about B.B. King Blues Club’s closing. Despite many sold out shows, the location’s rent escalated to an unsustainable level, leaving us no choice but to close our doors. Unfortunately this has become a growing trend in New York City, with other iconic music venues and businesses falling victim to opportunistic property owners. This venue’s legacy extends much further than the stage, playing a role in Times Square’s revitalization two decades ago. It is a shame that wasn’t taken into consideration regarding its future in the area. Nevertheless, we feel extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from both fans and artists over the years to create some truly historic and incredible memories in this space. We hope that we can find a new place to call home very soon so we can continue bringing live music to you all,” remarks Tsion Bensusan, Chief Operating Officer.
All shows scheduled beyond the April 29th closing date will be moved to various venues throughout the city. The weekly Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring The Harlem Gospel Choir, will give their two final performances at B.B. King’s on April 22nd & 29th. BB King’s is currently working with the group to find a new home for their weekly residency which will be announced shortly. Lucille’s Grill, located inside the venue, will remain open until April 29th and will feature sets by club favorites: B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Jon Paris, A Decade of Soul, and more.
First opened on June 20, 2000, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has hosted appearances by legends across all genres of music. Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Alicia Keys, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, and B.B. King himself are just a few of the many memorable performers to have graced the club’s stage. Recognized as must-see destination for live music, the venue offered fans unique experiences that could not be seen anywhere else including rare on-stage collaborations by: Larry Graham with Prince, B.B. King with John Mayer, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Jerry Douglas with Paul Simon, Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin, and many more.
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill Closing Week Celebration Show Schedule:
April 17 & 18: Buddy Guy
April 22: William Bell’s Memphis Soul Revue
April 23: Rick Ross
April 25: Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh + Special Guests
April 26: El Gran Combo
April 28: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic + Special Guests
April 29: Buddy Guy
ALL SHOWS ARE ON SALE NOW
*** end of transmission ***
PiercingMetal Thoughts: I’m not going to lie about this one and instead will say how this loss hits me pretty hard in my music journalist gut. According to my research, I’ve been in attendance at B.B. King Blues Club shows a little over “200” times. My Swarm check-ins are a lot lower since the app didn’t exist at my first foray and I don’t always remember to launch it. That app shows at about “97” visits and according to my Setlist.FM account, I’ve documented something over “300” bands seen in the place. Again, this is slightly lower because I didn’t always remember to check it off in the website. PiercingMetal.com has been fortunate to do a total of “95” contests with the B.B. King Blues Club venue and that measured out to about “650” fans of some truly awesome bands. All of this stuff and the people involved in the venue make this news very hard. I’ve said this before and will repeat myself that NYC doesn’t want to be NYC anymore and instead is focused on overpriced tea and trendy places. The grit of the vibrant NYC music scene is dealt another blow. Now you will have to excuse me as I need to collect my thoughts and map out a list of my favorite experiences here at B.B. King Blues Club which I will want you to participate in as well. Until we meet again.
Official Website: http://www.bbkingblues.com