I made the long drive up Interstate 55 to Memphis. A friend of mine, Katherine, was in town for business, and offered me a place to stay on the couch of her hotel suite. I got there pretty late and we had dinner and went to bed early.
The next night we went out to Beale street. Memphis has a long and illustrious history as a music mecca, particularly for blues and rock & roll. Beale street is supposedly the heart of this. Beale is a couple blocks of nightclubs, bars, and venues. Live music blasts from each doorway, competing with other doorways, oozing out into a sort of punctuated hum in the street like tributaries creating a river. The night we went was biker night. Hundreds of motorcycles lined the street, and everybody was wearing leather.
Except Katherine; she wasn't wearing leather.
Beale street was pretty neat. We found an outdoor beer garden with a band. A couple guys were singing soul music very seriously.
Here is one of their lyrics:
"Now I'm 49,
My mind's a whole lot stronger,
My love making lasts a whole lot longer,
When people ask if I want to turn back time, I say 'no man' "
We wandered over to the B.B. King Club, where a blues band was playing. They were really talented.
We were very impressed.
Then, the front man started playing his guitar with his teeth.
The picture's not very good, but I promise this happened. It was on a crazy solo. It even sounded good.
On the way back to the car, we passed:
and what seems to be the Beale street motto.