GIBSON ES-355 “LUCILLE”
| FROM THE COLLECTION OF HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL |
MADE IN 1962 AND PLAyED By
throughout the 1950s, B.B. King’s Lucille—the name he gave all of his guitars—was a hollowbody Gibson, but at the turn of the decade he switched to
Gibson’s innovative new semi-hollowbody designs. he eventually embraced the
Gibson’s ES-335, ES-345, and ES-355 had identical construction, with a
solid block running down the center of the body to minimize feedback. it appears King’s choice of the ES-355 was based entirely on the expensive look
of its large pearl block inlays and multi-ply binding. he didn’t use the ES-355’s
stereo capability (as indicated by “Stereo” on the truss-rod cover). he turned
the “chicken-head” knob of the Vari-tone control, which provided a progressive
filter of midrange tones, to its minimum setting; when he got his own Gibson
signature model, he added a “0” position so the control could be bypassed. he
removed the original vibrato entirely—the plugged screw holes are still visible in
the top—and added a stop-bar tailpiece, which provided more sustain.
the weathered finish and the worn gold plating on the pickup covers and
bridge of this, King’s first ES-355, attest to its constant use. King retired this
“Lucille” in 1967 and gave it to Chicago bluesman Elvin Bishop, but he has
continued to play Gibson ES-355s for the rest of his career.
| FROM THE COLLECTION OF JIMMIE VAuGHAN |
MADE IN 1962 AND PLAyED By
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
in 1973, an aspiring blues guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan went into the
heart of texas music store in austin and bought a used Fender Stratocaster.
as the wear and tear on this guitar suggests, its nickname, number One, is well
deserved. as Vaughan became the most famous and influential blues guitarist of
his generation, this guitar was truly his favorite.
Vaughan replaced the original three-ply white pickguard with a black unit and
added his initials, “SRV,” with stick-on letters. he put more permanent proof
of his ownership on the back, carving “SR Vaughan” in the wood. the vibrato
bridge is a left-handed gold-plated unit because it was the only one available in
the guitar store on the day Vaughan needed a replacement.
as the remnants of finish indicate, this guitar had a standard three-tone
sunburst finish. Due to constant use, the fingerboard was planed and refretted
a number of times, and eventually Vaughan replaced the neck with one from
another of his Strats.
after Vaughan’s death in a helicopter crash following a concert in 1990, his
older brother, Jimmie, reinstalled the original neck on number One. in 2004,
Fender honored Vaughan by replicating number One in a limited run of 100.