Classic Rock

Billy Gibbons And ZZ Top’s Music Change After Dusty’s Death

todayMarch 12, 2024 2

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Billy Gibbons, the legendary guitarist and vocalist of ZZ Top, recently shared his thoughts on the band’s sound after the unfortunate passing of his bandmate, Dusty Hill. In a public interview with Rock Legends Cruise, Gibbons reflected on the changes that occurred and how they affected their music.

ZZ Top’s Sound Evolution and Future Prospects

Gibbons acknowledged that some fans have noticed a shift in ZZ Top’s sound over the years. He explained, “Someone said, ‘Gee whiz. ZZ sound has remained the same.’ It’s slightly different in the fact that it’s become perhaps a little more focused and sharper.” He attributed this change to the way bassist Elwood Francis, who joined the band after Hill’s passing, prefers to play. While Dusty Hill used his fingers to play the bass, Elwood uses a pick, resulting in a “sharp attack” on the strings.

The new dynamic created by Elwood’s playing style has brought forth an exciting new sound for ZZ Top. Gibbons described it as “everything contained in the same manner with kind of an exciting new sharpness.” However, he humorously admitted, “And Frank, I don’t know what he’s doing,” referring to ZZ Top’s drummer, Frank Beard.

When asked about the possibility of releasing a future album, Gibbons replied with a touch of sarcasm, “If we can ever get off of this boat.” This playful response indicates that the band’s focus is on their current endeavors, but the prospect of new music is not entirely off the table.


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Honoring Dusty Hill and Gary Rossington

Reflecting on Dusty Hill’s impact on the band, Gibbons shared that Hill’s passing was a significant loss for ZZ Top, both as a bandmate and a family member. The decision to continue as ZZ Top with Elwood Francis filling the void was made in accordance with Hill’s wishes. This transition not only paid tribute to Hill’s legacy but also injected a fresh energy into the band.

Gibbons also played a pivotal role in organizing a tribute for Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd. After Rossington’s passing, Gibbons was approached to assist in putting together a tribute at the CMT Awards. This demonstrates his commitment to honoring his fellow musicians and celebrating their contributions to rock music.

Despite the sadness of losing an original member in 2021, ZZ Top remains active and continues to perform under their iconic name. Recently, the band embarked on a tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, kicking off in Savannah, Georgia. This tour features special guests Black Stone Cherry and the Outlaws, adding to the excitement and variety of their live shows.

Billy Gibbons’ interview sheds light on the evolution of ZZ Top’s sound following Dusty Hill’s passing. The introduction of Elwood Francis and his distinct playing style has brought a new level of focus and sharpness to the band’s music. Despite the challenges that come with losing a bandmate, ZZ Top remains resilient and determined to keep the spirit of their music alive. With their ongoing tour and potential for future projects, the iconic rockers continue to captivate audiences with their timeless sound and electrifying performances.

You can watch the interview below.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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