Lucille is 65
Few guitarists have had such a deep and enduring relationship with their instrument as BB King has with his beloved Lucille. As the legend goes, BB risked his life to rescue his first ‘ Lucille’, a Gibson L- 30, from a nightclub fire in Arkansas started by two men fighting over a girl. “We learned that her name was Lucille,” BB recalls. “So I named the guitar Lucille to remind me to never do a thing like that again.”
Many Lucilles have come and gone since, but her most iconic guise is that of the Ebony ES - 355 with Varitone switch and lack of F- holes – it’s the guitar you see BB holding in your mind’s eye. Now, on the 65th birthday of ‘ Lucille’, Gibson’s Memphis Custom Shop has created a luxury Anniversary version (£ 2,799), with mother- ofpearl ‘ Lucille’ peghead inlay, ‘ a gold- engraved ’ 65 Years’ motif on the truss- rod cover, and a bound pickguard. There’s also the TP6 Fine Tune Stop Bar and gold Grovers favoured by BB, and a ‘ window’ centre- block. A guitar fit for a King, no less! See www. gibson. com for more.
Gibson has long honoured BB King with signature Lucille models