Blues legend B.B. King, who died yesterday, named all his beloved guitars Lucille. In honor of those guitars, he also bestowed that name upon his beloved Maltese.
What was King’s deal with the name Lucille? According to Rolling Stone, he was playing in a club back in 1949 when two men fighting over a woman named Lucille knocked over a kerosene-filled bucket, starting a fire. King ran out of the club, and then, risking his life, ran back in through the flames to fetch his guitar. When he found out that both of the men died in the fire, he named his guitar after Lucille, “to remind me never to do a thing like that again.”
In 2006, when Lucille the dog went missing from King’s manager’s yard in West Hollywood, Calif., he offered an autographed copy of Lucille the guitar as a reward for finding her.
Unfortunately, the Maltese was apparently never found, even though about 500 “Lost” signs were posted in the area, and animal shelters were checked regularly.
Wrote ‘Blues for a Dog’ for ‘Married… with Children’
Long before Lucille the dog went missing, King wrote and performed the song “Blues for a Dog” for a 1991 episode of the FOX sitcom “Married… with Children.”
The “Look Who’s Barking” episode was told from the point of view of Buck, the Bundy family’s dog, who runs away from home and meets up with a female dog. Appearing as a street musician, King sings:
“Don’t want no fax machine,
Got no use for a phone,
Don’t even want my belly rubbed,
Just give me a blood-stained bone!”
Rest in peace, B.B. King. And wherever Lucille the dog is, I hope she’s being treated as well as she was by her dog dad.
Photo credit: Tom Beetz