“I have never experienced anything like that. There was B.B. King grease that had been baked on there for years and the strings were heavy as hell”: Lee Ritenour on the time he played B.B. King’s prized guitar Lucille

Left- BB King playing his guitar Lucille on stage/Right - Lee Ritenour performs at Blue Note on November 23, 2023 in Milan, Italy
(Image credit: L- Harry Herd/Getty Images; R-Sergione Infuso - Corbis/Getty Images)

B.B. King had more than one Lucille throughout his illustrious career. Yet, the Gibson ES-330 and ES-355 models not only accompanied King across countless performances, but under the umbrella name Lucille, have also been the subject of many anecdotes. Prolific jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour now adds his own story to Lucille's lore.

“I was at a festival with him. I had performed with my band and opened for him. I forget where this was,” recalls Ritenour in a new interview with MusicRadar.

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.