ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Opens Up About Dusty Hill’s Death: “I’m Just Glad He’s In A Good Spot”

During a recent interview with Variety, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons opened up about the tragic death of his bandmate Dusty Hill. The frontman says that he is “just glad [the bassist is] in a good spot.”

Gibbons said the following when asked about Hill initially leaving tour due to a “hip issue”:

“He did the first two [shows]. And then he requested dismissing himself. He said, ‘Yeah, let me go check this out.’ And of course I said, ‘Hey, man, health is number one. Go do your thing.’ And I could tell through those first two valiant attempts, if he’s not giving it 110%, he was the first one to kind of say, ‘Gee whiz. Let’s go take care of this.’”

He continued when asked if he noticed anything that made him think that Hill was seriously ill:

“Well, it’s no secret that over the past few years he had a pretty rough go with a broken shoulder, followed with a broken hip. And he had some problems with some ulcers. So he’s been kind of tiptoeing through keeping himself ship-shape, best he could. But I think that this was a real challenge. And by throwing in the towel, it might’ve caught up with him. Who knows? I’m just glad he’s in a good spot”

Gibbons also added the following when asked if there is an official cause of death or if he just “really fell asleep and didn’t wake up”:

“That’s about all they can determine. Let’s face it, you don’t necessarily pass away from a broken shoulder or broken hip. Although the attending physician had earlier warned him that bursitis was not uncommon, even arthritis, and they said it’s not a very comfortable place to be. And I could tell that he was moving a little slow. He said, ‘Boy, this shoulder and hip are really starting to become a problem.’ But, as of this juncture, yeah, it was off to dreamland and beyond.”

He also commented on the emotional toll that Hill’s death has taken on him:

“I had a couple of moments with the waterworks coming and going, and I really felt a sense of relief. I said, ‘Gee whiz, maybe I am human after all,’ This is coming from a very deep and glorious place, with respect to knowing that after 50 years with the guy, we were all joined at — no pun intended — joined at the hip.

But knowing that we can take his wishes forward and give him all due respect… You know, he was adamant. He said, ‘I’m going to go down and see what’s up. In the meantime,’ he said, ‘the show must go on. Don’t forget it.’ And he was pointing his finger and shaking it. [Laughs.]”

Gibbons also discussed moving forward with the band’s longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, on bass:

“Well, it was a direct directive from Mr. Dusty Hill. When he grabbed my arm and said, ‘I think I’m due to go visit the physician to see if I can bounce back,’ he said, ‘In the meantime, I want you to grab our guitar technician, Mr. Elwood and take him out of that tech station and strap him up with my guitar and make him carry on with every single note.’ And I said, ‘Well, if that’s your wishes, I’ll respect that.’ And sure enough, we’ve been very, very fortunate to have a stalwart standby to fill in.”

You can read more from Gibbons over at Variety. ZZ Top played their first show since Hill’s death at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, AL last night (July 30). You can see some fan-filmed footage from that concert below:

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Passes Away

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill has sadly passed away at the age of 72. This news comes after the bassist recently left tour early due to a “hip issue.” The band commented:

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that “Blues Shuffle in C.” You will be missed greatly, amigo. Frank & Billy”

Watch ZZ Top Perform Without Bassist Dusty Hill

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill was forced to head home from the band’s current tour due to a “hip issue.” During his absence, Elwood Francis is filling in. You can see footage of the group performing with Francis in New Lenox, IL below:

ZZ Top commented:

“The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue. They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.

Per Dusty’s request “The show must go on!”. With that directive, ZZ Top has put the services of Mr. Elwood Francis, their trusted guitar tech of the past two decades, into play with his slide guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica playing in full swing.”

Billy Gibbons added:

“And with Elwood to our right, rest assured ZZ Top will deliver their good time, signature show. Billy’s big guitar, crushing drums from Mr. Beard, and Elwood securing the bottom end continues the delivery with those famous three chords we all dig”.

ZZ Top Announce Massive North American Tour

ZZ Top have announced a massive North American tour. The trek will include 2021 dates in the United States and 2022 dates in Canada.

Tour Dates:

2021:

07/16 Manchester, IA – Delaware County Fair
07/17 Mt Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
07/18 Louisville, KY – Waterfront Park
07/21 Evansville, IN – Ford Center
07/23 New Lenox, IL – Village Commons
07/24 Goshen, IN – Elkhart County 4-H Fair
07/25 Corbin, KY – Corbin Arena
07/28 Simpsonville, SC – CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
07/30 Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
07/31 Valdosta, GA – Wild Adventures
08/01 Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
08/03 Little Rock, AR – First Security Amphitheater
08/04 Alexandria, LA – Rapides Paris Coliseum
08/06 Camdenton, MO – Lake Ozarks Amphitheatre
08/07 Washington, MO – Washington Town & Country Fair
08/08 Bonner Springs, KS – Azura Amphitheater
08/11 Sturgis, SD – Buffalo Chip Campground
08/12 Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
08/14 Reno, NV – Reno Ballroom – Silver Legacy Casino
08/15 Grande Ronde, OR – Spirit Mountain Casino
08/17 Jacksonville, OR – Britt Pavilion
08/19 Maryville, WA – Tulalip Amphitheater
08/20 Lewiston, ID – Clearwater River Casino
08/21 Missoula, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater
08/24 Englewood, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
09/11 Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest – Henry Maier Festival Park
09/12 Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
09/14 Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights
09/15 Cedar Rapids, IA – Alliant Energy PowerHouse
09/17 Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cover at Harrah’s Casino
09/18 Pryor, OK – Born & Raised Festival
09/19 Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre
09/21 Charleston, WV – Charleston Coliseum
09/22 Doswell, VA – Meadow Event Park
09/23 Frederick, MD – Frederick Fairgrounds
09/25 Watertown, NY – Watertown Fairgrounds Baseball Diamond
09/26 Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
09/28 North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center
09/30 Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium @ The Macon Centreplex
10/01 Tupelo, MS – BancorpSouth Arena
10/02 Lake Charles, LA – Golden Nugget
10/04 Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena
10/08 Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
10/09 Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
10/10 Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort
10/13 Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
10/15 Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
10/16 Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
11/06 Key West, FL – Key West Amphitheater
11/09 Tampa, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/11 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock International
11/13 Fort Myers, FL – Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
11/14 Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre
11/16 Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts
11/17 Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theater
11/20 Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Community College
11/21 Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
11/23 Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theatre
11/27 Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Center
11/28 Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Center
12/03 Biloxi, MS – IP Casino Resort and Hotel
12/04 Shreveport, LA – Municipal Auditorium
12/05 Wichita Falls, TX – Memorial Auditorium
12/07 Abilene, TX – Taylor County Coliseum
12/11 El Paso, TX – Abraham Chavez Theatre
12/12 Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center

2022:

04/23 Abborsford, BC – Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
04/24 Penticton, BC – South Okanagen Events Centre
04/26 Kamloops, BC – Sandman Centre
04/27 Lethbridge, AB – ENMAX Centre
04/29 Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Center
04/30 Enoch, AB – River Cree Resort & Casino
05/03 Brandon, MB – Keystone Centre
05/04 Niagara Falls, ON – Fallsview Casino Resort
05/08 Laval, QC – Place Bell
05/10 Halifax, NS – Halifax Scotiabank Centre
05/13 St. John’s, NL – Mile One Centre
05/14 St. John’s, NL – Mile One Centre

Dusty Hill commented:

“They shut the door right after our 50th anniversary tour and now it’s back open. We’re excited to get out there and play our music for everybody.”

Frank Beard continued:

“To say we’re looking forward to getting back out on the road and performing in front of real people is the understatement of the last 16 months, if not the century.”

Billy Gibbons added:

“ZZ is coming on strong. Let’s get it…!”

Def Leppard & ZZ Top Announce Fall Tour

Def Leppard have announced a fall tour with ZZ Top. This run will follow the band’s previously announced tour with Mötley Crüe, Poison, etc.

Tour Dates:

09/21 Albany, NY – Times Union Center
09/23 Virginia Beach, VA – Veteran United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
09/25 Knoxville, TN – Thompson Boling Arena
09/26 Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
09/28 Orange Beach, AL – The Wharf Amphitheater
09/30 Bossier City, LA – CenturyLink Center
10/02 North Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena
10/03 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
10/05 Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena
10/07 Omaha, NE – CHI Health Center Omaha
10/09 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
10/10 Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
10/12 Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center
10/15 Salt Lake City, UT – Vivint Smart Home Arena
10/17 Portland, OR – Moda Center
10/18 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena

Funko To Release New Slipknot, Slayer, Ghost, Etc. Pop! Figures

Funko announced a bunch of new music-related Pop! vinyl figures earlier today (January 20) as part of this year’s London Toy Fair. They include new figures inspired by Slipknot, Slayer, Ghost, Motörhead, ZZ Top, Weezer, Eazy-E, and Willie Nelson.

ZZ Top Announce Canadian Tour With Cheap Trick

ZZ Top have announced a Canadian tour with Cheap Trick. Here’s the dates:

05/01 Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford Centre
05/02 Penticton, BC – South Okanagan Events Centre
05/03 Kamloops, BC – Sandman Centre
05/05 Cranbrook, BC – Western Financial Place
05/06 Lethbridge, AB – Enmax Centre
05/09 Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Centre
05/10 Moose Jaw, SK – Mosaic Place

ZZ Top Documentary “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” To Receive Home Release In February

ZZ Top’s “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” documentary is set to be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digitally on February 28. Pre-orders can be found HERE.

Here’s a description of the film:

Produced by the Emmy award-winning Banger Films, ZZ TOP: THAT LITTLE OL’ BAND FROM TEXAS tells the story of how three oddball teenage bluesmen – Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard – became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet, all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans and entice onlookers 50 years after the band’s inception.

Buoyed by candid band interviews, never-before-seen archive, animation, celebrity fan testimonials (Billy Bob Thornton, Joshua Homme and more), and an intimate performance at the legendary Gruene Hall shot exclusively for this documentary, “That Little Ol’ Band” runs the gamut, from the absurd to the poignant, from squalid Texas bars to MTV heroics, all in celebration of this notoriously private, but larger than life, power trio. In the end, ZZ TOP: THAT LITTLE OL’ BAND FROM TEXAS unravels the extraordinary tale of a band whose image we know, but whose story we don’t.

ZZ Top Documentary “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” To Premiere Next Month

ZZ Top have announced that their “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” documentary will receive its worldwide premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, CA on August 13. Further screenings will follow to coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary tour. Among them are an August 23 screening at Cineplex Cinemas across Canada and a September 1 screening at Event Cinemas across Australia. You can find a trailer and a description of the film below:

Description:

Produced by the Emmy award-winning Banger Films, ZZ TOP: THAT LITTLE OL’ BAND FROM TEXAS tells the story of how three oddball teenage bluesmen – Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard – became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet, all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans and entice onlookers 50 years after the band’s inception.

Buoyed by candid band interviews, never-before-seen archive, animation, celebrity fan testimonials (Billy Bob Thornton, Joshua Homme and more), and an intimate performance at the legendary Gruene Hall shot exclusively for this documentary, “That Little Ol’ Band” runs the gamut, from the absurd to the poignant, from squalid Texas bars to MTV heroics, all in celebration of this notoriously private, but larger than life, power trio. In the end, ZZ TOP: THAT LITTLE OL’ BAND FROM TEXAS unravels the extraordinary tale of a band whose image we know, but whose story we don’t.

ZZ Top “Sharp Dressed Man” Rock Musical Coming To Las Vegas

Caesars Entertainment’s team, led by Michael Gruber and Jason Gastwirth, are working on a new ZZ Top rock musical called “Sharp Dressed Man.” The show is expected to premiere in Las Vegas next year and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard will all serve as executive producers. Prem Akkaraju and the band’s longtime manager Carl Stubner will also produce the musical. Furthermore, the show’s book was written by Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins.

Here’s an official description of “Sharp Dressed Man”:

“Sharp Dressed Man is an outrageous, bawdy musical romp about a Lone Star auto mechanic who becomes a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing hearts — and car parts — with the help of his merry band of beer drinkers and hell raisers.”

Gibbons said the following:

“We’re excited about this fantastic project and look forward to hearing our music in a new innovative context. Fans have often told us that we’ve provided the soundtrack to their lives, and this is very much in line with that kind of enthusiastic thinking.”

Akkaraju also commented:

“Pairing ZZ TOP’s iconic music with a Texas-version of the Robin Hood story delivers countless laugh-out-loud moments for audiences of of all ages. It’s an absolute blast.”

Stubner continued:

“I know firsthand that ZZ TOP is an enduring phenomenon; they’re now about to celebrate 50 years of rocking audiences around he world. The show that Prem, Michael, Jason and I envision will utilize the band’s music and tremendous energy for audiences in a new immersive realm. This, just like ZZ TOP, is all about having a good time at a great party and telling fun stories through their music.”

Gastwirth also commented:

“ZZ TOP holds a special place in American music history. Their songs incorporate rich imagery that lends itself to the narrative form. The addition of ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ to our already diverse entertainment lineup is exactly the component we are excited to welcome to the family for our guests.”

Gruber finished:

“We are at a time where Las Vegas is recognized to have some of the most amazing artists in the world from all eras, and we are excited to have the opportunity to bring to the stage a musical that has some of the best songs of a generation, with some great actors of today, enabling us to have an incredibly creative and successful show in the future.”

[via Blabbermouth]