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Ultimate Classic Rock 02 August, 2021 - 10:55pm 21 views

Which member of ZZ Top died?

Legendary Texas musician, singer, and songwriter Dusty Hill, of the world-famous trio ZZ Top, died at his home in Houston, Texas Wednesday, just days after leaving the road over a hip issue. Hill was 72. NBC 5 Dallas-Fort WorthZZ Top's Iconic Bassist Dusty Hill Dies at 72

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The show goes on for ZZ Top: Elwood Francis fills in for Dusty Hill during concert following bassist’s death

KPRC Click2Houston 02 August, 2021 - 02:03pm

According to Billboard, guitarist Billy Gibbons introduced Elwood Francis, the band’s guitar tech, at the concert in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“We’re gonna have a good time in here tonight. Got a new guy up here, as you know. Dusty gave me the directive. My friend, your pal, Elwood Francis is gonna hold it down behind me,” Gibbons told the crowd.

On July 23, ZZ Top issued a statement on Facebook regarding Hill’s departure from the tour to address a hip issue.

Per the group’s statement, Hill had said that “the show must go on,” and so Francis filled in to play slide guitar, bass, and harmonica.

On July 28, ZZ Top announced in a statement that Hill had died at his home in Houston.

ZZ Top played their first show following Hill’s death on Friday, with Francis filling in for Hill.

The band’s tour is currently scheduled to run through the end of the year, with the final show set for Dec. 12 in Midland, Texas. See details of the tour here.

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Dusty Hill Recorded Vocal Tracks for New ZZ Top Album

Ultimate Classic Rock 02 August, 2021 - 07:32am

Late ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill recorded bass and vocal tracks for a new ZZ Top album in the months leading up to his death, according to a new interview with singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons.

The frontman recently told Variety that Hill, who died the past week at the age of 72, had delivered some lead vocal performances for ZZ Top’s next album, which will mark their first studio effort since 2012’s La Futura. Gibbons admitted it will “require some completion work” to incorporate Hill’s vocal tracks into the finished LP, but the band has “got a couple of things [with Dusty singing lead] that’ll make sense.”

Hill, who served in the Texas blues trio with Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard since 1969, shared lead vocal duties with Gibbons, most notably on the song “Tush,” which became ZZ Top’s first Top 20 hit in 1975. The band will soldier on with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis filling in for Hill, per the bassist’s directive. ZZ Top canceled their Wednesday performance in Simpsonville, S.C., after Hill’s death, but they were back on the road Friday night, giving a spirited performance in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Gibbons recently told Classic Rock that ZZ Top’s 16th studio album could arrive by “the very late end” of this year. The guitarist has kept busy in the decade since La Futura, putting out three studio albums in less than six years. His latest solo LP, Hardware, arrived in June.

ZZ Top have been working on their new album with famed producer Rick Rubin, who also coproduced La Futura with Gibbons. The guitarist previously said the La Futura sessions yielded enough material for a second volume. “The label didn’t really want to release a dual disc in this rather topsy-turvy musical landscape, where promoting new material is so challenging," he said in 2012. "So we’re sitting on 10 more songs. … We have that big ball of wax waiting to roll."

Dusty Hill Recorded Vocal Tracks for New ZZ Top Album

MusicRadar 02 August, 2021 - 07:32am

Late ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill recorded bass and vocal tracks for a new ZZ Top album in the months leading up to his death, according to a new interview with singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons.

The frontman recently told Variety that Hill, who died the past week at the age of 72, had delivered some lead vocal performances for ZZ Top’s next album, which will mark their first studio effort since 2012’s La Futura. Gibbons admitted it will “require some completion work” to incorporate Hill’s vocal tracks into the finished LP, but the band has “got a couple of things [with Dusty singing lead] that’ll make sense.”

Hill, who served in the Texas blues trio with Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard since 1969, shared lead vocal duties with Gibbons, most notably on the song “Tush,” which became ZZ Top’s first Top 20 hit in 1975. The band will soldier on with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis filling in for Hill, per the bassist’s directive. ZZ Top canceled their Wednesday performance in Simpsonville, S.C., after Hill’s death, but they were back on the road Friday night, giving a spirited performance in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Gibbons recently told Classic Rock that ZZ Top’s 16th studio album could arrive by “the very late end” of this year. The guitarist has kept busy in the decade since La Futura, putting out three studio albums in less than six years. His latest solo LP, Hardware, arrived in June.

ZZ Top have been working on their new album with famed producer Rick Rubin, who also coproduced La Futura with Gibbons. The guitarist previously said the La Futura sessions yielded enough material for a second volume. “The label didn’t really want to release a dual disc in this rather topsy-turvy musical landscape, where promoting new material is so challenging," he said in 2012. "So we’re sitting on 10 more songs. … We have that big ball of wax waiting to roll."

Watch footage of ZZ Top's first shows since bassist Dusty Hill's death

Guitar World 02 August, 2021 - 05:20am

The band recruited longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis to handle bass duties – with Hill's full blessing, according to frontman Billy Gibbons

Appearing at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Alabama on Friday, and at Wild Adventures, in Valdosta, Georgia on Saturday, the band – as they have since mid-July – recruited long-serving guitar tech Elwood Francis to handle bass guitar duties.

The band kicked off their performances with Got Me Under Pressure – from their 1983 album, Eliminator – and concluded them with Tush – from 1975's Fandango! The latter was, of course, sung my Hill prior to his death, however Gibbons took on vocal duties, and the band hung Hill's cowboy hat on a mic stand in tribute. Check out footage of the group's Friday show below.

Hill played the first two shows of the band's 50th anniversary tour, before he “requested dismissing himself”, as frontman Billy Gibbons explains in a new interview with Variety.

He continues: “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.”

When asked about Hill's cause of death, Gibbons explains: “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.”

Regarding the inclusion of Elwood Francis as the band's new bassist, Gibbons says the decision was made with Hill's full blessing.

“It was a direct directive from Mr. Dusty Hill,” he explains. “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 fortunate to have a stalwart standby to fill in.”

Of course, a new ZZ Top member can't join the fold without appropriate facial foliage. According to Gibbons, Francis grew his out during lockdown.

“What's really got everybody on the ropes is that Elwood had been holding down the guitar technician post for 30 years as a clean-shaven young fellow,” he says. “And when the lockdown was imminent, we all gathered for a band meeting, before things got too fierce.

“And I said, ‘Dusty, it looks like we're not going to be able to go do much or go anywhere. What do you plan to do?’ And he said, ‘Well, I'll tell you what I'm not going to do. And that's cut the lawn. I'm not going to cut the grass.’ And I smiled and said, ‘Well, I'll join you on that.’

“And Elwood piped up and said, ‘Well, if you guys aren't going to cut the grass, I'm not going to cut my whiskers.’ And when we regathered to commence rehearsals just a week and a half ago, here came Elwood, and I said, ‘My gosh, you've got chin whiskers as long as me and Dusty!’”

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