Wednesday, July 28, 2021

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill dead at 72

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill died in Houston, TX on July 28 at the age of 72.

"We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” says guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard in a joint statement announcing the news. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top'. We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”

No cause of death has been revealed at this time.

Last week, Hill had been sidelined from the band’s newly-launched North American tour “to address a hip issue”; the group had longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis step in to cover bass duties in Hill’s absence.

Born in Dallas, TX, Hill and future ZZ Top bandmate Beard played in a number of bands in the city in the mid-1960s – including the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues – before the pair relocated to Houston, where they would separately become members of the Texas trio alongside ex-Moving Sidewalks guitarist Gibbons, shortly after the group issued their debut 1969 single, “Salt Lick.”

The new lineup secured a record deal and issued their debut, “ZZ Top’s First Album”, in 1971, their third release, 1973’s “Tres Hombres”, earned the group their first US Top 10 record as they gained a reputation as a strong live act. A pair of US Top 20 albums followed – 1975’s “Fandango!” and 1976’s “Tejas”, before the trio took a three-year hiatus.

ZZ Top signed a new record deal and returned with 1979’s “Degüello”, issuing 1981’s “El Loco” before modernizing their blues-based sound and scoring a smash hit with 1983’s “Eliminator”, with the help of a series of classic videos that arrived in sync with the rising success of new media outlet MTV.

1985’s “Afterburner” continued the trend before 1990’s “Recycler” and 1994’s "Antenna" started a downward slide of diminishing sales that continued for the next two decades; their most recent studio release was 2012’s “La Futura.”

With sales of more than 50 million albums worldwide, ZZ Top were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004.

See also:

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill sidelined from North American tour
ZZ Top announce North American tour
Billy Gibbons releases video for Hardware track She’s On Fire
ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons streams new album Hardware
Search ZZ Top at hennemusic