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Albert King and his Flying V

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Tadg Galleran (tadg@transdigital.com) (who used to play harmonica with Lee and Sam King) and Jennifer Abath have offered the following historical photograph to BluesNet. This picture has never been published anywhere, and it's the last known photograph of Albert King, taken just eight days before the great bluesman passed away. Tad writes: During the last set of what was destined to become his final performance, blues great Albert King called his adopted "cousins" Lee and Sam King to the stage.

 

After introducing them to the audience and completing his set he handed his custom-made "Flying V" guitar to a stunned Lee King saying, "I want you to have this." Lee and Sam first met Albert in 1968 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco while working for their actual second cousin, Freddy King. Recognizing genuine blues talent when he heard it Albert used Lee as rhythm guitarist on a group of recordings with John Mayall in 1969. This work was later released on an album called "The Lost Sessions"    

 

Shortly thereafter Albert put Sam to work in his band playing drums on several tours throughout the U.S. and Europe between 1970 and 1974. The fruit of these labours can be heard on an album recorded at Montreaux, Switzerland in 1973 entitled," Blues at Sunrise".  Lee was to meet up with Albert again in 1980 when he was employed as guitarist on a Japanese tour starring the great B.B. King. Although they had stayed in touch with Albert who lived in Memphis for the last several years there was no professional involvement

    

The guitar that was given to Lee King is a custom, hand-made, left- handed "Flying V", styled loosely after the Gibson of similar design. The above was given to Albert by members of the rock group Z.Z. Top who had it made for him. Albert's name is inlaid in mother of pearl on the fingerboard and the name Lucy is likewise inlaid in the headstock. This gesture, symbolic of generations of bluesmen passing the tradition and the music one to the next, shines like a candle of hope . Perhaps our childrens' children will listen to and appreciate the blues. Bless your soul Albert you'll be missed....but your music will live FOREVER......    

 

P.S. Billy Gibbons had the guitar made in Nashville by the legendary luther Tom Holmes.    

 

We have this kind of Flying V guitar, if you want to buy, pls contact us.

 

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