December 19 [12:00 EDT] -- B.B. King will be presenting his trademark guitar, the legendary "Lucille," to Pope John Paul II following a performance at the Vatican on Friday, December 19, according to reports by Reuters and the AP.
Which "Lucille" this is was not noted (the original "Lucille" is long gone, and the blues guitar legend has had a few subsequent axes over the years that have borne the name in turn), but B.B. King's signature Gibson guitar has been by his side for close to half a century.
"Meeting the pope will be a very emotional experience for me, it will be electrifying," King told reporters. The performance, at the Pope's annual Christmas concert, will be taking place at the Paul VI Auditorium, the usual scene of the Pope's public audiences. King, 72, will have an audience with the Pontiff in advance of the show.
AP reports that the concert is to raise money to build 50 new churches on the outskirts of Rome. King will be joined by fellow American
Chaka Khan, the Portuguese group Madredeus and France's Mireille Mathieu.
The Pope is becoming a regular rock fan. He met folk-rocker Bob Dylan at a concert in September.