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ZZ Top

By

ZZ Top

ZZ Top

(Photo by Michael Waring)

Began:

1969 in Houston, Texas

Original (and current) ZZ Top Members:

Billy Gibbons - vocals, guitar
Dusty Hill - vocals, bass
Frank Beard - drums

Significant Facts About ZZ Top:

  • The original members of the band have been performing continuously for more than 40 years, a unique accomplishment among rock groups
  • Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill reportedly turned down offers of $1-million each to shave their trademark beards for a Gillete razor commercial
  • Ironically enough, the only band member who doesn't sport a chest-length beard is named Beard
  • The band has released 15 studio albums, is the subject of 15 books, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994

That Little Ol' Band From Texas:

The remnants of two Houston area garage bands -- Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons) and American Blues (Frank Beard and Dusty Hill) -- formed ZZ Top in 1969. They began to get significant attention with the release of their third album, Tres Hombres in 1973. Their blues-based, guitar-driven boogie beat made them distinctive, along with their signature sunglasses, long beards, and flashy outfits.

ZZ Top Keeping Pace:

While many Southern Rock bands who had thrived in the '70s were fading in the '80s, ZZ Top remained popular by working synthesizers and other electronic enhancements to their sound to keep pace with a changing audience. Nonetheless, the self-styled "Little Ol' Band From Texas" stayed true to its blues roots and Tex-Mex themes.

One Of a Kind:

The original members of the band have been together for more than 40 years, a feat that no other major rock band can claim. Beard, Gibbons and Hill also continue to write the vast majority of their songs, as they have throughout their career. The group continues to tour and record.

Essential ZZ Top CD:

Tres Hombres
The band's commercial breakthrough came with their fourth studio album, about which Allmusic called it "the record that bought ZZ Top their first top ten record ... it couldn't have happened to a better record."
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