George Benson is a very good ping pong player. I discovered this while covering the Free Jazz Festival in Sao Paulo Brazil. I could hear the ball bouncing and saw a crowd gathered around the table in the lobby of the Maksoud Plaza Hotel. After the guitarist dispatched two opponents and started to walk away, I asked if he was “ready for a lesson.” Although I knew I was going to get beaten, my ruse worked, and soon I was in a hot and heavy game. It was a good battle, after which he invited me for a drink. One caiperinia turned into several, and our visit stretched into the afternoon. We arranged for a phone interview once Benson returned to his home in Hawaii. Benson enjoyed talking about his early inspirations and repertoire, and the expectations of his fans.
- George Benson talks about the Charlie Christian sound. “Take Five” from Bad Benson CTI (1974)
- George Benson styling on “Honky Tonk.” “Breezin’” and “Six To Four” from Breezin’ Warner Brothers (1976)
- George Benson on audience expectation, and doing what he wants. “Six To Four” from Breezin’ Warner Brothers (1976)