Dusty Hill, bass player for the band ZZ Top, has died, the band announced Wednesday on Facebook. He was 72 years old. “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX It’s the end of and era. Through the last 50 years that little ol’ band from Texas the blues rock trio ZZ Top has put out a good deal of great music that I enjoyed a lot. Let’s face it with a trio when you lose a member, the idea of continuing is a bit dubious… When it’s a trio that’s been together for a half century…but per Dusty’s request “The show must go on!” Still like I said, it’s the end of an era.
RIP Dusty, thanks amigo for the fun and the music. Dusty was pivotal in maintain a full sound in a power trio setting. I regret that I never saw them live, but I was just blasting a few ZZ Top songs on my stereo last week. Will never get tired of their music.
Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, Gibbons and Beard formed ZZ Top in Houston in 1969, naming themselves in part after blues singer Z.Z. Hill and they were heavily influenced by Cream. Their first album, “ZZ Top’s First Album,” came out in 1970. Three years later they broke through with “La Grange,” a funky blues track that paid tribute to the Chicken Ranch, that famous brothel outside of the Texas town of La Grange.
It’d be hard to pick a favorite ZZ Top Album … but if you tried to take my copy of Tres Hombres away from me, we’d end up fighting. That’s probably true for Tejas as well, but I’d put Tres Hombres among the finest albums ever created. Ten Songs, 34 minutes … and your ass is kicked. My favorite would be a live version of Fool For Your Stockings, recorded possibly in Cleveland. I mention “possibly” because I’ve only heard it on Cleveland’s WNCX. When I Google this song live, several are listed but not the one I’ve heard played on NCX. Perhaps it’s a bootleg copy. My favorite ZZ Top song is “Stages” from the Afterburner album. I don’t know why it wasn’t their most successful song but it was my favorite song when it was out in 1986 I cranked the radio every time it came on and it was my favorite song of the whole year. I’ve never felt that way about any other ZZ Top song. Another great of my generation gone. My favorite song by ZZ Top was Blue Jean Blues. Used to sit in the bar and listen to it when my heart was broken by a girl who wore blue jeans. Reminds me today of a time when I could love, a time buried in the past.
That’s Frank Beard, the drummer in the band ZZTop, betweenDusty Hill (the bass player) & Billy Gibbons (the guitar player). The only member of the band who DOESN’T have a beard . . . & yet is named Beard. No, this is not just a random dude they picked from the local library. He was actually a phenomenal guitarist who happened to look like an accountant. He played with several punk bands and also with Lou Reed, but maybe his most famous performance is in Matthew Sweet’s song Girlfriend. Here is a live version of it, where he looks as out of place as usual, but playing like straight out of hell (unfortunately, mixed too low).