ZZ Top: Bearded bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72

HOUSTON — ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, the long-bearded bassist for the million-selling Texas blues rock trio known for such hits as “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” has died at age 72.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. They didn’t give a cause of death, but a July 21 post on the band’s website said Hill was “on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue.” At that time, the band said that its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, would fill in on bass, slide guitar and harmonica.

Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard formed ZZ Top in Houston in 1969, naming themselves in part after blues singer Z.Z. Hill and influenced by the British power trio Cream. Their debut release, “ZZ Top’s First Album,” came out in 1970. Three years later, they broke through commercially with “La Grange,” a funky blues song in the style of Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips” that paid tribute to the Chicken Ranch, a notorious brothel outside of the Texas town of La Grange.

The band went on to have such hits as “Tush” in 1975, and the 1980s songs “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” “Gimme All Your Lovin'” and “Sleeping Bag.” The band’s 1976 “Worldwide Texas Tour,” with its iconic Texas-shaped stage festooned with cactuses, snakes and longhorn cattle, was one of the decade’s most successful rock tours. Their million-selling albums included “Eliminator,” “Afterburner” and “Antenna.”

ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, introduced by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

“These cats are steeped in the blues, so am I,” Richards said. “These cats know their blues and they know how to dress it up. When I first saw them, I thought, ‘I hope these guys are not on the run, because that disguise is not going to work.'”

That look, with all three members wearing dark sunglasses and Gibbons and Hill sporting long, wispy beards, became so familiar, in part thanks to their MTV videos in the 1980s, that it was the subject of a New Yorker cartoon and a joke on “The Simpsons.”

____

An earlier version of this story was corrected to reflect that ZZ Top was formed in 1969, not the late 1970s.

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Former ABC News executive says Chris Cuomo harassed her
Most Recent Entertainment News
A television executive who accused Chris ... A television executive who accused Chris Cuomo of groping her at a party 16 years ago says the CNN anchor needs a public education ...
2
Harris 'View' interview delayed, hosts positive for COVID-19
Most Recent Entertainment News
Vice President Kamala Harris' live interview ... Vice President Kamala Harris' live interview on 'The View' was abruptly delayed Friday after two hosts of the talk show learned they had tested ...
3
Beloved 'Sex and the City' actor Willie Garson dies ...
Most Recent Entertainment News
Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, ... Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradshaw's friend on TV's 'Sex and the City' and its movie sequels, has died, his son announced ...
4
West Side brewhouse movie theater sets reopening date
ABQnews Seeker
Flix Brewhouse on Albuquerque’s West Side ... Flix Brewhouse on Albuquerque’s West Side will reopen Sept. 30.
5
Jane Powell, Hollywood golden-age musicals star, dies at 92
Most Recent Entertainment News
Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star ... Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood's golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' and danced ...
6
'Jeopardy!' hosts: Bialik, Ken Jennings will finish 2021
Most Recent Entertainment News
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will ... Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split 'Jeopardy!' hosting duties for the remainder of 2021. Sony Pictures Television announced the plan Thursday, the same ...
7
Alanis Morissette blasts documentary 'Jagged' as 'salacious'
Most Recent Entertainment News
Just hours before the HBO documentary ... Just hours before the HBO documentary 'Jagged' was to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday, Alanis Morissette criticized the film about ...
8
Norm Macdonald, former 'Saturday Night Live' comic, dies
Most Recent Entertainment News
Comedian Norm Macdonald, a former 'Saturday ... Comedian Norm Macdonald, a former 'Saturday Night Live' writer and performer who was 'Weekend Update' host when Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson provided comic ...
9
Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber top star-packed MTV VMAs
Most Recent Entertainment News
Lil Nas X won video of ... Lil Nas X won video of the year at Sundays MTV VMAs on a night that Justin Bieber triumphantly returned to the stage as ...