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ZZ Top

1970-
Billy Gibbons(guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill(bass, vocals)
Frank Beard(drums)

Artistfacts for ZZ Top

  • They are the longest-running American rock band with no member changes.
  • Gibbons and Hill have been growing their beards since 1979. Frank Beard is the only member who does not have a beard.
  • Jimi Hendrix called Gibbons "One of America's best young guitarists" on The Tonight Show.
  • They were the first and last band to play McNichols Arena in Denver. It opened in 1975 and closed in 1999.
  • In a 1984 Saturday Night Live Democratic candidate poll, they received 131,384 votes.
  • Legend has it that the "ZZ" in their name comes from a design on barn doors and "Top" comes from Tops rolling papers, but in Billy Gibbons' book Rock 'n Roll Gearhead, he states that while looking at the concert posters that were adorning the wall and trying to come up with a new name for the band, he noticed a poster for ZZ Hill. He liked the ZZ part and thought of using ZZ King, like BB King, but that was too close. However, King was the best, or "tops," so ZZ Top is was. (thanks, Courtney - Miami, FL)
  • They performed for President George W. Bush a few days before he was inaugurated in 2001. While Governor of Texas, Bush proclaimed May 15, 1997 "ZZ Top Day."
  • In 1991 a Texas man kidnapped and killed the wife of their manager, Bill Ham. The man was caught and given the death penalty.
  • They appeared in the 1990 movie Back To The Future III as a Square Dance band.
  • They opened some shows for Janis Joplin, who was also from Texas.
  • Their 1976 "Worldwide Texas" tour featured a stage shaped like Texas, as well as a steer, snakes, and cacti.
  • Hill was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2000. They had to cancel a series of shows so he could get treatment.
  • The icon car that appeared in their videos and on the album cover of the same name is known as The Eliminator. It's a 1933 Ford that Billy Gibbons had made into a Hot Rod, and it proved so popular that he had another one built just like it to go on tour. Gibbons was into Hot Rods and for many kids watching MTV, The Eliminator was their first look at one in action.
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Comments: 22

I am a close friend of John Bolin. John builds a bunch of the cool guitars and basses that both Billy and Dusty use.Amen and Have Mery John Bolin and House Of JB GuitarsJimmy - Baker City, Or
To Kathy from Houston how posted acomment about "childhood friends" of Billy. I am a close friend of Dub Darneille.He now lives in Joseph,Oregon,has limited computer access and wants to get in touch with you.Jimmy,Baker City.OrJimmy - Baker City, Or
LaGrange was a huge summer hit on 4th Ave. in Belmar, NJ during 1976.Dennis - North Arlington, Nj
Billy Gibbons also uses a quarter as a pick to get a raspy sound.Vince - Long Island, Ny
To all Billy Gibbons fans, please check out www.fullmoontheseries.com. Billy (Angus Mcgee), plays a wonderful creepy character, that any Billy Gibbons fan would want to see... you won't be disappointed.Ben - Liberal, Ca
I saw them in 1976 at Anaheim Stadium they played with Blue Oyster Cult and Johnny Winters IT WAS AWESOME- the best band I've ever seen live.. I got back stage passes from a roady who I was taking care of in the hospital

His name was Jimmy Austin .I'm trying to find him.. It's been 30 years since that tour Jimmy worked for Hamm Productions and I moved we lost touch do any of you know him?
Mindy - Orange County , Ca
Big Mike, Merrillville i agree ZZ Top is a great band Eliminator, Fandango!, and Afterburner are all great inspirations to a lot of music. But without a doubt Lynyrd Skynyrd beats the poop out of them. Not only is Skynyrd one of the greatest southern rock bands of all time, but is easily in the top 20 of greatest bands of all time.Matt - Cherry Hill, Nj
To "Childhood friend"...I also lived down the street from the Gibbons'....are you by any chance one of the Dicksons or Darnielles? What was Bill's little siste's name...we've been trying to remember...I think it was Pam or something...Kathy - Houston, Tx
PS: Of course it's in MP 3 mode now !!!

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Barry - Gagetown Nb Canada
"Tres Hombres" was the first L.P. I bought in 1974...still play and love it today ! I was honored to see ZZ Top LIVE in Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto Apr 3 1980 ... Awesome ! how how how !!
* ߪ??¥ *
Barry - Gagetown Nb Canada
La Grange is greatBen - Nyc, Ms
Yeah, and a memorable furry guitar :-)Mellissa - Wasaga Beach, Canada
Billy Gibbons lent his raspy vocals in a song by Queens of the Stone Age, "Burn the Witch".Michelle - Salem, Or
Best damn rock band from America. Period. Enough said.Big Mike - Merrillville, In
Billy and Dusty grew their beards out (without knowing the other was doing likewise) during a sabbatical hiatus the band took in the mid 70's.

Billy (and probably Frank and Dusty too) mentored Stevie Ray Vaughan.

After reading interviews of Billy Gibbons in guitar magazines, it turns out he uses several things in addition to standard guitar picks, including mexican peso coins. He also has lots of different ways he pinches strings instead of strumming them.

Billy Gibbons is also known as The Reverend Willie G.

They sometimes actually use "moving sidewalks" on stage during concerts. Picture the airport kind without handrails.

Much like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan (RIP), ZZ Top seem a lot more humble than most successful musicians.
Hadley - Austin, Tx
I heard that their name comes from their two favourite brands of rolling papers... ZZ - Zig Zag. Top - Top (duh). I could be wrong but.. it makes sense.Daniel - Toronto, Canada
Billy Gibbons is one of the most underated guitar players ever. If you like "Texas blues, and you wanna hear some truly amazing guitar playing get "One foot in the blues." The best "ZZTop" album I ever heard, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only have a few things with you this would be one of the musical items I would have.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
Billy Gibbons has red guitar picks with the words
"HAVE MERCY' printed on them. Roman moore-Denver
CO
Roman - Denver, Co
Did anybody catch these guys at the Grass Shack in Galveston back in the late 60's or early 70's? I've always heard they used to play there as the Moving Sidewalks with a band called The Countdown Five.Karen - Longview, Tx
Two of these guys were in a band named "American Blues." They played in Fort Worth at a club called the Bookstore around 1965-66. They used Kustom Amps (blue glitter). They may have bleached their hair. They were a tight, great group then too.David - Auburn, Al
Hmmm (re: high school comment). Billy graduated from Lee in 1968 and ZZ Top wasn't formed until 1970. We were neighbors from the age of 3, and I'm pretty sure that he didn't go back to Lee to paint cars after ZZ Top started rockin'.A Childhood Friend - Houston, Tx
While attending Robert E. Lee H.S. in Houston, Tx Billy Gibbons would paint the infamous "ZZ" symbol on people's cars who wanted it.Brian - Austin, Tx