In a 1985 interview with Spin magazine, bass player Dusty Hill explained: "Tush, where I grew up, had two meanings. It meant what it means in New York. Tush is also like plush, very lavish, very luxurious. So it depended on how you used it. If somebody said, "That's a tush car,' you knew they weren't talking about the rear and of the car. That's like saying, 'That's a cherry short.' But tush as in 'That's a nice tush on that girl,' that's definitely the same as the Yiddish word. I don't know how we got it in Dallas. All it could have took was one guy moving down from New York."
According to guitarist Billy Gibbons, they got the idea for the title from a song called "Tush Hog" by the Texas musician Roy Head, released in 1967.
Like "Pearl Necklace," "Tube Snake Boogie," and "Velcro Fly," this song has different meanings depending on the listener interpretation. Such ambiguity keeps the songs radio-friendly while appealing to ZZ Top's core audience.
The group came up with this song before a gig at a rodeo arena in Florence, Alabama. They were practicing a few hours before the show when Gibbons hit on the opening lick. He kept the riff going, and Dusty Hill improvised a vocal.
The band pointed out to anyone who may have been offended that this song is gender neutral - it can be sung by a man or woman. Their point was proven in 1981 when the group Girlschool covered it on their album Hit & Run.
ZZ Top considered changing the lyrics and performing this as "Bush" when they were asked to play for fellow Texan George W. Bush at his inauguration party in 2001. They decided against it.
This was the first national hit for ZZ Top, who were very popular in Texas but little-known elsewhere. They usually play it in their encore.
Billy Gibbons played a Les Paul guitar on this track through a 1969 Marshall Super Lead 100 amp. In the solo, he used a slide. He also used an unusual processing device called a Cooper Time Cube. Gibbons explained in Guitar World: "In a small rack-mounted can sits a small speaker right up next to maybe 50 feet of one-inch rubber tubing, which is coiled, spring-like. The sound waves actually take longer to travel, having to make these corners, creating a type of delay which is quite unlike the familiar sound of a digital delay. Some of the guitar sounds that appear to be doubled on the early albums are actually the byproduct of that oddball Cooper Time Cube."
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 13th 1975, "Tush" by ZZ Top entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #79; and on August 31st, 1975 it peaked at #20 (for 1 week) and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100... Between 1972 and 1991 the trio had seventeen Top 100 records; with two making the Top 10 and both peaked at #8; "Legs" for 2 weeks in 1984 and "Sleeping Bag" for 1 week in 1985.
Gerald from London, United KingdomActually Chris from Harrisonburg, VA, The radio staion in Heard it On the X. refers to a MEXICAN radio station. It was based in Ciudad Acuna. The call letters were XERF. It put out one million watts, more than was allowed in the US.
Thomas from Somerville, Al"Im just looking for some good enough?" I don't think so, Landon,,,tush is A**!!!
Landon from Winchester, OhI can see why people commonly refer this song to a lonesome guy searching for a nice peice of ass, but in Texas the word "tush" means "good enough". And "plush" means "pretty good", and "primo" means "excellent.
Ryan from Morrison, IlBassist Dusty Hill sang lead on this one instead of normal lead singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons.
Chris from Harrisonburg, VaActually Ken, La Grange was from the album "Tres Hombres." "Fandango" was unique in that the first half was a live set from recent tour stops, while the second half of the album contains six new studio cuts, including "Tush". It would be the only official ZZ release with live material until the last four cuts of "XXX" released in 1999. ZZ does reference Texas in a number of their early songs. "Heard It on the X", also from Fandango, refers to a radio station in Texas that Billy, Dusty, and Frank listened to while growing up.
Ken from Louisville, KyAlthough the song was almost 10 years old, ZZ Top performed it (along with "Sharp Dressed Man") on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1986. Johnny and Doc Severinsen were seen wearing fake ZZ Top beards during the performance.
Ken from Louisville, KyAlmost every song on the album ("Fandango") has at least one Texas reference. "La Grange" is an actual Texas town, while in this songe they sign "I've been bad/I've been good/Dallas, Texas/Hollywood".
Ken from Louisville, Ky"Tush" is also the Americanized version of the Yiddish word "touchas" meaning "buttocks".
Screamin' Armadillo from Fort Worth, Tx"Tush" is old Texas slang for something "deluxe", (or as the boyzz from ZZ Top would say, "Deee-Luxe") whether it be cars, clothes, food or chicks. It has the double meaning/connotation of booty.