It's been a rough month for music.
Dusty Hill, the bearded, understated bassist who helped make ZZ Top one of the biggest rock acts of the late 1970s and ’80s, anchoring songs including the shuffle boogie “La Grange” and showcasing his singing on the sultry Top 40 hit “Tush,” died July 28 at his home in Houston. He was 72.
Bob Merlis, the band’s publicist, confirmed the death but did not give a cause. ZZ Top was in the middle of a tour when they announced last week that Mr. Hill was “on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue.” They added that the band’s guitar tech, Elwood Francis, would be stepping in for Mr. Hill.
“Per Dusty’s request,” they said, “‘The show must go on!’ ”
Formed in Houston in 1969, ZZ Top was one of rock’s most durable bands, with a lineup that remained the same for more than 50 years. Mr. Hill was joined onstage by lead singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons, whose boogie-style blues riffs established him as one of his generation’s finest rock guitarists, and drummer Frank Beard, who despite his name was the only band member not to have a foot-long beard that rivaled Rip Van Winkle’s...
A group I was hoping to see live (I am trying of hearing that ), and as down to earth as they get. A local talk show host dedicated his Thursday show to Hill, and one man mentioned how he was in a restaurant when Hill and his agent sat down to eat one table over. The man walked up, introduced himself, and mentioned how he and friends played many ZZ Top songs in their band. Dusty was so happy he asked the man and his wife to join them, and they spent a long lunch (and several beers) just talking.
Many "artist" of today don't like to speak with their fans. Dusty loved his fans.
I can't think of a better song to send Dusty Hill up to the Pearly Gates than this. Have Mercy.