The Lucille saga begins with her in the winter of 1949, when King – who turned 85 on Sept. 16, 2010 – was playing a Twist, Arkansas dance. A fight broke out and the burning barrel of kerosene that was used to heat the room spilled, spreading its flaming contents. Panic ensued as the fire began to cover the floor. Everybody, including King, fled. Once outside, he realized he’d left his prized guitar, a $30 Gibson acoustic, and returned to retrieve it.
The next day King learned two people had died in the blaze, and that the fight triggering the conflagration was over a woman named Lucille. He renamed his Gibson after her that day, as a reminder to never do anything as stupid as fight over a woman or enter a burning building again.