As we remember the life & legacy of B.B. King, let’s take a look at the story behind his infamous guitar Lucille.
B.B. King and his beloved Lucille go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly. The King of Blues and his black Gibson guitar made history together until his dying day, May 14th 2015 in Las Vegas.
They won 15 Grammy’s together, got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, toured the World, even starred in a Toyota commercial together! In 1980, Gibson Guitar Corporation launched the B. B. King Lucille model. But how did Lucille get it’s name?
As the story goes: In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. Two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel (used for warmth). The hall burst into flames, and the building was evacuated. Once outside, B.B. King realized that he had left his guitar inside so he went back into the burning building to retrieve his beloved $30 Gibson guitar.
Two men died in the fire, and King learned the next day that they had been fighting over a woman named Lucille. King subsequently named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every guitar he has owned since, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.