|From Rolling Stone Magazine|
Riley. B. King started playing when he was only 12 years old.
He purchased his first instrument for $15.00. By 1943 he was working as a tractor driver on a farm and on the weekends he played guitar in churches with the Famous St. John's Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi.
Blues Boy King. It was around this time King ran in to T-Bone Walker and heard him play electric guitar. King realized he had to get an electric guitar.
In a video interview, B.B. King tells this story:
Now it was already burning, so when it spilled, it looked like a river of fire, and everybody ran for the front door, including yours truly.
I'd left my guitar inside. I went back for it. The building was a wooden building, and it was burning so fast when I got my guitar, it started to collapse around me. So I almost lost my life trying to save the guitar.
|BB King Super 400|
That first guitar, the one in the burning building was a Gibson L-30 archtop. Since those days B.B. King has usually favored slim body Gibson ES-355 guitars.
Then in the early 1980’s when Gibson made a signature Lucille guitar for him.
|BB King ES-355|
|Autographed Signature Lucille|
|80th Anniversary Lucille|
|BB and Eric Dahl returns Lucille|
He said when he went to exam it, "The whole thing was covered in sweat. The strings were nasty, and then I flipped it over and looked at the headstock and it said, 'Prototype 1' in a white stamp. I assumed it meant this was one of the original 80th Birthday model Lucilles that B.B. King had approved."
|From B.B. King's Funeral courtesy of Michael Wilson|