ZZ Top’s Elwood Francis Uses 17-String Bass During Hunstville, AL Show

During ZZ Top’s November 5 show in Hunstville, AL, bassist Elwood Francis decided to play “Got Me Under Pressure” with a 17-string bass. You can see footage of that below:

Francis told Ultimate Classic Rock the following:

“I was doing night internet searching [and] turned up a picture of this crazy 17 string bass. I sent a picture to Billy [Gibbons] and we laughed about it and made some jokes about actually trying to use it.

A few weeks later, after I had forgotten about it, Billy shows up with [the 17 string bass].”

He went on to say that it was just “one of those ‘hold my beer’ moments”

Notably, the bass also caught the attention of YouTuber Jared Dines, who said the instrument is a knockoff of his custom 18-string bass. He shared a couple of Instagram posts regarding that:

Dines has since shared a friendly exchange that he had with Francis as well:

Watch Sebastian Bach, Billy Gibbons, Matt Sorum, And Gilby Clarke Perform At Private Party In Brazil

Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Matt Sorum (ex-Guns N’ Roses) and Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N’ Roses) recently performed during a private party at Usina Monte Alegre in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. The event was organized by by Sthorm and some footage from it can be found below courtesy of Paulo Baron (Top Link Music).

Metallica, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Etc. Among Pollstar’s “Top Touring Artists” Of The Past 40 Years

Pollstar have shared two charts that showcase the “Top Touring Artists” of the past 40 years. One is based on box office grosses, while the other is based on tickets sold. You can check those out HERE.

A list of the rock/metal artists that made the charts can be found below:

“Top Touring Artists Of The Pollstar Era: Boxoffice Grosses”:

#01 The Rolling Stones ($2,165,280,638)
#02 U2 ($2,127,771,684)
#07 Bon Jovi ($1,329,891,400)
#08 Eagles ($1,314,544,780)
#09 Metallica ($1,219,599,179)
#10 Paul McCartney ($1,193,812,645)
#21 Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($768,990,894)
#23 Guns N’ Roses ($751,306,152)
#27 AC/DC ($668,427,967)
#31 Aerosmith ($603,229,413)
#41 KISS ($532,363,017)
#42 Def Leppard ($514,231,844)
#44 Iron Maiden ($475,817,777)
#45 Journey ($470,947,895)
#51 Muse ($413,911,387)
#55 Foo Fighters ($397,110,491)
#57 Red Hot Chili Peppers ($391,478,473)
#63 Mötley Crüe ($367,345,912)
#65 Pearl Jam ($351,816,504)
#73 Rush ($341,767,928)
#75 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers )$340,201,810)
#76 Santana ($338,300,077)
#81 The Who ($319,253,907)
#89 ‘Vans Warped Tour‘ ($296,571,532)
#91 Van Halen ($295,611,828)
#96 Nickelback ($282,043,003)
#97 ZZ Top ($278,705,470)
#99 Scorpions ($271,865,172)
#100 Tool ($269,044,896)
#113 Queen + Adam Lambert ($225,209,819)
#119 Green Day ($204,959,692)
#132 Ozzy Osbourne ($186,754,231)
#133 Kid Rock ($186,416,121)
#142 Lynyrd Skynyrd ($174,624,299)
#143 ‘Ozzfest‘ ($174,320,095)

“Top Touring Artists Of The Pollstar Era: Tickets Sold”:

#01 U2 (26,178,043 tickets sold)
#06 Metallica (19,468,173 tickets sold)
#07 Bon Jovi (17,750,044 tickets sold)
#11 Trans-Siberian Orchestra (15,276,864 tickets sold)
#13 Aerosmith (13,336,974 tickets sold)
#22 AC/DC (11,512,424 tickets sold)
#23 Def Leppard (11,321,650 tickets sold)
#27 ‘Vans Warped Tour‘ (10,524,715 tickets sold)
#28 Paul McCartney (10,459,620 tickets sold)
#29 Journey (9,958,624 tickets sold)
#30 KISS (9,867,419 tickets sold)
#35 Iron Maiden (9,187,132 tickets sold)
#36 ZZ Top (9,104,788 tickets sold)
#42 Mötley Crüe (8,748,806 tickets sold)
#43 Rush (8,593,428 tickets sold)
#44 Guns N’ Roses (8,470,755 tickets sold)
#50 Santana (7,694,036 tickets sold)
#51 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (7,666,481 tickets sold)
#53 Van Halen (7,483,253 tickets sold)
#63 Pearl Jam (7,006,815 tickets sold)
#66 Red Hot Chili Peppers (6,846,945 tickets sold)
#76 Lynyrd Skynyrd (6,262,495 tickets sold)
#78 Muse (6,124,001 tickets sold)
#80 Ozzy Osbourne (6,006,522 tickets sold)
#82 The Who (5,920,078 tickets sold)
#83 Scorpions (5,864,625 tickets sold)
#84 Foo Fighters (5,815,511 tickets sold)
#88 Pink Floyd (5,662,178 tickets sold)
#89 Nickelback (5,605,065 tickets sold)
#104 Kid Rock (4,782,884 tickets sold)
#105 Green Day (4,764,387 tickets sold)
#109 Tool (4,483,293 tickets sold)
#118 Poison (3,911,113 tickets sold)
#120 ‘Ozzfest‘ (3,802,261 tickets sold)
#134 311 (3,482,392 tickets sold)
#142 Mötley Crüe (3,303,463 tickets sold)
#149 Linkin Park (3,211,166 tickets sold)

ZZ Top Stream “Brown Sugar” From New Live Album “Raw”

ZZ Top are streaming “Brown Sugar” from their upcoming live album “Raw.” That effort was recorded in connection with the band’s 2019 Netflix documentary, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” and it will be available on July 22. Billy Gibbons commented:

“‘Brown Sugar’ has been sweetening our concert sets for many decades now, so it seemed like the right song to kick off ‘Raw’. The Gruene Hall session was a satisfying return to our roots and a very special circumstance that we’re delighted to share with the friends and fans who have stuck with us all this time.”

ZZ Top To Release New Live Album “Raw” In July, Announce North American Tour

ZZ Top will be releasing a new live album, titled “Raw,” on July 22. The effort was recorded in connection with the band’s 2019 Netflix documentary, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” and it will be dedicated “in righteous memory of Dusty Hill.”

“Raw” Track Listing:

01. “Brown Sugar”
02. “Just Got Paid”
03. “Heard It On The X”
04. “La Grange”
05. “Tush”
06. “Thunderbird”
07. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”
08. “Gimme All Your Lovin'”
09. “Blue Jean Blues”
10. “Certified Blues”
11. “Tube Snake Boogie”

In other news, ZZ Top have also announced a headlining North American tour:

05/06 Niagara Falls, ON – Fallsview Casino Resort
05/29 Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre
06/01 Redding, CA – Redding Civic Auditorium
06/02 Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
06/05 Jacksonville, OR – Britt Pavilion
06/07 Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater
06/08 Walla Walla, WA – Wine Country Amphitheater
06/09 Spokane, WA – First Interstate Center for the Arts
06/12 Billings, MT – MetraPark – First Interstate Arena
06/14 Grand Junction, CO – Las Colonias Park Amphitheater
06/17 Tucson, AZ – Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater
06/19 Colorado Springs, CO – Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts
06/21 Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
06/22 Grand Island, NE – Fonner Park – Heartland Events Center
06/24 Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
06/25 Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre
06/26 Little Rock, AR – First Security Amphitheater
06/29 Rogers, AR – Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion
07/01 Toledo, OH – Toledo Zoo & Aquarium – Amphitheater
07/02 Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
07/05 Fort Wayne, IN – Foellinger Theater
07/09 Greenville, WI – Greenville Lion’s Park
07/22 Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion
07/23 Watertown, NY – Watertown Fairgrounds Baseball Diamond
08/27 Beaver Dam, KY – Beaver Dam Amphitheater

ZZ Top Sell Their Catalog To BMG And KKR

According to Variety, ZZ Top have sold their catalog to BMG and KKR for about $50 million. The deal “includes a buyout of the band’s publishing catalogue and their income from recorded royalties and performance royalties.”

ZZ Top manager Carl Stubner (Shelter Music Group) commented:

“We are proud to continue working with and expand our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch continued:

“This deal is a testament to the success, staying power and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR. This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.”

Jenny Box, Partner at KKR, added:

“We are excited to invest in ZZ Top’s iconic music and we look forward to collaborating with BMG and ZZ Top to further amplify the reach of their catalogue.”

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Shares Animated Video For “Jingle Bell Blues”

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) has shared an animated video for his latest single “Jingle Bell Blues.” The track is a reworked version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bells” and it can be purchased as a limited edition 7 inch HERE.

Gibbons previously commented:

“It dawned on us that everybody loves Christmas music and everybody loves the Jimmy Reed blues vibe, so we figured we’d combine them. We threw in some hot rod references for good measure because our preferred sleigh is the horsepower-propelled kind.

I suppose it could have been produced with a small hole and we wouldn’t have had to deal with the adapter, but this is, at its essence, a juke box record. It was even mixed with that in mind

Around Christmas, it always seems that there are five to ten holiday selections listed in the lower right corner of a typical juke box in a typical juke joint, the song titles and artist names printed on wreath-bedecked title strips. Our hope is for ‘Jingle Bell Blues’ to be one of those records. Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Elvis, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Otis Redding, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, and not forgetting Adam Sandler, need some company and we’d be thrilled to provide it in the spirit of the season.”

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Releases New Single “Jingle Bell Blues”

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) has released a new single called “Jingle Bell Blues.” The track is a reworked version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bells” and it can be streamed below. You can also purchase it as a limited edition 7 inch HERE.

Gibbons commented:

“It dawned on us that everybody loves Christmas music and everybody loves the Jimmy Reed blues vibe, so we figured we’d combine them. We threw in some hot rod references for good measure because our preferred sleigh is the horsepower-propelled kind.

I suppose it could have been produced with a small hole and we wouldn’t have had to deal with the adapter, but this is, at its essence, a juke box record. It was even mixed with that in mind

Around Christmas, it always seems that there are five to ten holiday selections listed in the lower right corner of a typical juke box in a typical juke joint, the song titles and artist names printed on wreath-bedecked title strips. Our hope is for ‘Jingle Bell Blues’ to be one of those records. Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Elvis, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Otis Redding, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, and not forgetting Adam Sandler, need some company and we’d be thrilled to provide it in the spirit of the season.”

Late ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill’s Widow Thanks Fans For Their Support Following His Death

Charleen McCrory, the widow of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, has taken to the band’s social media accounts to share a tribute for her late husband. She also thanked the group’s fans for their love and support.

McCrory said the following:

“After 19 wonderful years of marriage that ended too soon, I’ve decided to step out into Dusty’s spotlight to thank all of his fans, colleagues and friends for the overwhelming outpouring of love for The Dust. It makes me hopeful he will not be forgotten.

He was the kindest, most gentle and caring man a woman could ever Hope to find in a lifetime. Many don’t believe in fairy tale marriages but Dusty and I truly lived one! We were inseparable.

He wasn’t supposed to leave me or all of you. That wasn’t the plan he and I had. The plan was for another round of physical therapy, with a different approach, to help his chronic bursitis. The plan was he would return to the second leg of the tour in September.

Early Wednesday morning my world and yours would lose a great musician and I would lose my greatest love. He woke me up and we talked and as he was sweetly chatting with me he suddenly stopped and he was gone in an instant. So, while I feel numb and lost and alone and in a million pieces, I know he will always be with me in my heart and soul and I will join him when the Lord calls me home to be with them. It is my hope you will always keep him in your hearts. He loved his fans and always remembered that without fans music is not heard. So, know he truly appreciated each and every one of you.

Dusty was an avid tv and movie buff…always quoting lines and so I share an embellished quote from “This Is Us” as my last love letter I send with him to his final resting place.

My Sweet Dusty,

The single most extraordinary thing I have ever done in my life is fall in love with you. The single most extraordinary gift I have ever received in my life was for you to ask me to marry you. I have never been seen so completely, loved so passionately and protected so fiercely.

I will be with you again.
Love you to infinity and back.

Your wife,
Chuck

I will lay my husband to rest tomorrow. I would ask that you look to the heavens at noon and wish Dusty Godspeed.

With great love, respect and appreciation to Dusty’s fans, colleagues and friends,

Mrs. The Dust”

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: