1998 Gibson ES-355 BB King Signature Lucille Black Ebony w/ Bigsby
B.B. King's first "Lucille" was a Gibson L-30. In 1949 he rescued her from a nightclub fire in Twist, Arkansas, and named it after a woman in the club.
"One night, two guys started to fighting and one knocked down one of them containers (kerosene barrels, for heating the club) and it was already burning with kerosene and so when it spilled onto the floor, it looked like a river of fire and everybody started to run for the front door" - including B.B. King.
"But when I got on the outside, I realized then that I had left my guitar on the inside. So I went back for it. The building was a wooden building and burning rapidly. It started to collapse around me and I almost lost my life trying to save my guitar. So the next morning, we found out that these two guys that were fighting were fighting about a lady that worked in the little dance hall. We learned that her name was Lucille. So I named the guitar Lucille to remind me to never do a thing like that again."
And so the Lucille legend was born. King's first Lucille was a Gibson L-30, a small-bodied, non-cutaway, flat back budget guitar from Gibson. That was in 1949.
Many guitars and models later, the Gibson ES-355 is the "Lucille" everyone now associates with B.B. King. He'd played many budget-to-flagship Gibsons for many years, but the flash ES-355 was B.B.'s ultimate. As a variation of the ES-335, the ES-355 had looks, volume, sweetness and stinging tone. It also boasted the 6-way Varitone selector, which offers a spread of sounds over and above the Gibson ES-335 norm. You can hear the "honk" of the Varitone's capabilities on King's 1969 classic "The Thrill is Gone." King has played ES-335s and ES-345s too, but the ES-355 was the one fit for a King... and the guitar became the queen of all Lucille's.
This particular model is an all original "Lucille" with only the fine-tuning tailpiece being replaced for an original Gold Bigsby and the studholes covered with a "Custom Made" plaque, just to make it even more fancier and versatile then it already was... The condition is very good and this guitar was loved and cherished all her life. You can tell. She is in amazing condition with harldy any blemishes or playwear, and the protection plastic still on the control cavity cover! With 4.6Kg it's not a guitar for the lightweights but that said I guess no 355 ever is for that matter. Eat your spinach, boys and girls!
Includes the original Gibson Brown OHSC Hardshell Case with purple plush lining and plush shroud, made in Canada.