Houston (Associated Press)-The band announced on Wednesday that one of the bearded figures of the Texas blues rock trio, ZZ top bassist Dusty Hill, died at his home in Houston. He is 72 years old.
In their Facebook post, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said that Hill died in his sleep. They did not give the cause of death, but a July 21 post on the band’s website stated that Hill was “taking a short detour back to Texas to solve the hip problem.”
At the time, the band stated that its long-term guitar technique, Elwood Francis, would fill bass, slide guitar and harmonica.
Joe Michael Hill was born in Dallas. He, Gibbons and Beard founded ZZ Top in Houston in 1969. The band released its first album in 1970, titled “ZZ Top’s First Album”. Three years later, it achieved a breakthrough single “La Grange,” which is an ode to the chicken ranch, a notorious brothel outside the small Texas town.
The band continued to hit the charts in the hit song “Tush” in 1975, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin'” in 1983, and “Rough Boy” and “Sleeping Bag” in 1985.
The band’s “Global Texas Tour” in 1976, with its iconic Texas-shaped stage decorated with cacti, snakes and longhorns, was one of the most successful rock and roll tours in a decade.
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. The Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards said when he introduced the band to the hall: “These cats are immersed in blues, and so am I. These cats know their blues, and they know how to dress it. When I first When I saw them, I thought,’I hope these people don’t run away, because this kind of disguise won’t work.'”
That look—three members wearing dark sunglasses and two lead singers with long, thin beards—has become so iconic that it became the subject of New Yorker cartoons and “The Simpsons” jokes.
This story has been corrected to reflect that ZZ Top was founded in the late 1960s, not the late 1970s.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.