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B.B. King and Lucille


Biff

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Picked up a used B.B. King Live in Kinshasa 1974 DVD for 2.40 euros the other day.

 

Priceless.

 

That ES-355 (I think?) Lucille with the Vibrola sounds and looks awesome. Even my daughter (1.5 years) now puts the DVD on every morning and starts dancing ... I, on the other hand, can't let go of my Dot when I'm home.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vWL8jAWbP8

 

And yes, that's Muhammad Ali in the audience :-({|=

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That must be the pre-Lucille years ca. 1974. The 335 has f holes in it (which I believe are absent on the real Lucille model).

 

It's pre-CURRENT Lucille, but he's been naming them all Lucille for decades. I think the current Lucille is a custom 355 that is still semi-hollow but without the f-holes for sustain purposes. It's also a stereo guitar!

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Yep, pre-Gibson-signature-Lucille because Gibson B. B. King Lucille was introduced in '81.

Gibson's signature models don't have the f-holes, for lower feedback. ES-355 still has them.

 

My guess that it would be a '70s es-355 in the video is based on the block inlays and binding, split diamond on the headstock, Vibrola and Varitone, but I'm not an expert of 335 style guitars...

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It's pre-CURRENT Lucille' date=' but he's been naming them all Lucille for decades. I think the current Lucille is a custom 355 that is still semi-hollow but without the f-holes for sustain purposes. It's also a stereo guitar![/quote']

 

The way I heard it at the Gibson factory tour in Memphis, (where they make these 355 types, along with the archtops)

is that he didn't like the f-holes because of the feedback. The 345 already has a lot of

sustain due to the internal tone block. His Lucille definitely has a different tone, brighter..

due to the lack of f-holes.

 

Good thing he's not playing the jazz box archtops...there's a lot more f-hole feedback.

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I have to admit I sometimes even like the feedback on the Dot' date=' you can feel the whole guitar vibrate and scream in your hands... :)

[/quote']

 

+ 1! At certain times, when I'm playing my Washburn HB-35, the air being pushed out of the f-holes creates enough breeze to move the hair on my arms! Hard to explain, but it makes me glad just be alive when I feel that!

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It's pre-CURRENT Lucille' date=' but he's been naming them all Lucille for decades. I think the current Lucille is a custom 355 that is still semi-hollow but without the f-holes for sustain purposes. It's also a stereo guitar![/quote']

 

A vast majority of the 355s were stereo. The mono versions were produced in much lower numbers and I don't see them offered very often.

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B.B.'s playing/style' date=' is the perfect example of why "Less is More!" IMHO.

He IS a "National Treasure!" CB[/quote']

 

I always see him as "The" Blues Icon...the last survivor of the Delta Blues Kings..

Freddie King and Albert King ( played a Flying V named Lucy) are now gone.

 

But he's getting on there and his health is not as good anymore..I'm just

wondering who will be handed the crown for the succeeding Blues King?

 

Clapton? Albert Collins...????? Anyone have thoughts on this?

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I'm just wondering who will be handed the crown for the succeeding Blues King?

 

Clapton? Albert Collins...????? Anyone have thoughts on this?

 

Well... Collins been dead since...awhile and Clapton is God. I like young guns like John Mayer and Derek Trucks.

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I'd go with Buddy Guy as the #2 to BB. But Buddy's not much younger than BB and would probably wear that crown for too short of a time.

 

Maybe Eric Clapton, but I'm gonna have to agree with Ricochet that it'll have to be the young folks. I think John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa are probably in the top two for this.

 

I know a lot of blues guys don't like Bonamassa because he's not the most traditional blues player. But he is on the national blues foundation, runs some program that brings blues to the schools and whatnot. He also seems to be in almost every guitar magazine I own either getting interviewed or doing a teaching column. Plus, he's only 30.

 

I honestly think that if the blues is to survive ten or twenty more years, we need young guys like Bonamassa and Mayer to be picking up some of the mantle. Sure they're no Clapton or SRV or Hendrix or Buddy or BB... but remember that we've had about 15 years or so without any real guitar heroes in the mainstream. These young guys have had to look to folks from the classic rock era for inspiration. Typically, looking at the classics doesn't usually happen when folks are really young; it's more typical for folks in their 20's and 30's.

 

All that to say that even though a lot of guitarists think John Mayer's music is lame (and I'd agree for most of his catalogue), he is a very good guitarist and could do a lot for the continuation of the blues. In fact, he's said that one of his goals was to use his pop success to descreetly get blues-inspired music more airplay. His last couple of albums, Try and Continuum, did this somewhat. The big hit from both of those albums was "Gravity" and it's definitely got blues in it, albeit a very tame blues.

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I'd go with Buddy Guy as the #2 to BB. But Buddy's not much younger than BB and would probably wear that crown for too short of a time.

 

Maybe Eric Clapton' date=' but I'm gonna have to agree with Ricochet that it'll have to be the young folks. I think John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa are probably in the top two for this.

 

I know a lot of blues guys don't like Bonamassa because he's not the most traditional blues player. But he is on the national blues foundation, runs some program that brings blues to the schools and whatnot. He also seems to be in almost every guitar magazine I own either getting interviewed or doing a teaching column. Plus, he's only 30.

 

[/quote']

 

I saw Mayer doing gravity on Claptons Crossroads DVD..not bad. I think he's got

a lot of potential but he's doing some commercial stuff right now.

I checked out Joe Bonamassa's web site and very impressed...he's a bit of

Clapton, SRV and his own style rolled into one. Started playing at 4, opened

for BB King at 12...that is a natural born guitar player-singer.

 

What is his best DVD that I sample some more of his stuff?

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With regard to John Mayer, all I have to say is he has to be seen live. Even songs that would be considered weak from his earlier releases, are better live.

 

You've all heard "Gravity" as played on his 'Continuum' album, and yeah, it sounds tame I guess. But if you click on the link, you'll see how it's performed live. It's 11 minutes long so hang with it. It's worth it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXXGlaGFywE&feature=related

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This is one of those topics that is pretty subjective, to say the least, and people have strong opinions about, me included.

 

IMHO, Buddy Guy and Clapton have to be the choice for successors to traditional Blues, Delta, Chicago, etc. Then you have Johnny Winter for Texas style, although I don't think he is going to be around much longer. I believe that John Mayer has the ability but I personally don't really care for his commercial "pop" approach to most of his stuff.

 

Joe Bonamassa is one of a kind and I like him more and more as I listen to him. Not traditional though. Definitely has the chops and the voice to be traditional when he wants to be.

 

There are also a slew of others, Robert Cray, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Jonny Lang and a host of others.

 

Maybe this should be a poll. My vote would have to go for Clapton for the forseeable future. He's about 15 years younger than BB who will always be the true King of the Blues. Eric's in good health and IMO should be the "Crowned Prince" Buddy guy runs a close second.

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