I'm late to this thread, but I heard about this the day the news came out. I cried. I'm not a big time ZZ Top superfan or anything but I did grow up with their music, and as a bassist of course I take inspiration and have a lot of love for their music. RIP Dusty.
ZZ Top were a ground breaking band in many ways. But they were also a real bread and butter good ol' boogie outfit that used to play behind chicken wire in biker clubs, early on. Bill Ham really elevated them. Executive producing them and giving them the vision, taking them higher and inspiring them. God rest his good soul too.
In later years they were just dialing it in. Then again it had been nearly a half-century and the amount of money they got paid was fucking silly. Ferraris etc. etc. etc.
Billy likes a drink by the look of him. Here he is in his younger years -
Surprised he's still alive tbh.
Here's Kid Rock pissing about with him -
This is a good photo of them 'back in the day' -
But this is about the best performance from them I have seen. It's from 1980. They do one of their rare songs from Degüello called "I thank you".
Here you can really see why these good ol' boys survived the onslaught of beer bottles against chicken wire back in the good old days. These motherfuckers can sing. Both Dusty and Billy. Real white niggers. Got soul.
So locked in time and used to doing the chicken step choreography, they really aren't trying any more. This is them at their peak. When they weren't exactly young, but still young enough to do it. No old broken bones yet.
I'm sure they rocked out a lot of other places too.
This is a good one that I have fond memories of, driving my car through the snow in winter, this on my radio -
People think of them from that era as just being MTV poster boys. But they have depth. In musicianship. In production values. In being a coherent and tight little gang.
There will be no more ZZ Top without Dusty Hill. Just like that other great triumvirate Rush, losing Neil Peart, these boys won't even pretend. It's over.
It's the end of an era.
RIP Dusty. What a voice. What a tight fucking bass player. What a team player. What a very unique individual no one really knew.