ZZ Top (1970-)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill (bass, vocals)
Frank Beard (drums)
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They are the longest-running American rock band with no member changes.
Gibbons and Hill have been growing their beards since 1979. Frank Beard is the only member who does not have a beard.
Jimi Hendrix called Gibbons "One of America's best young guitarists" on The Tonight Show.
They were the first and last band to play McNichols Arena in Denver. It opened in 1975 and closed in 1999.
In a 1984 Saturday Night Live Democratic candidate poll, they received 131,384 votes.
Legend has it that the "ZZ" in their name comes from a design on barn doors and "Top" comes from Tops rolling papers, but in Billy Gibbons' book Rock 'n Roll Gearhead
, he states that while looking at the concert posters that were adorning the wall and trying to come up with a new name for the band, he noticed a poster for ZZ Hill. He liked the ZZ part and thought of using ZZ King, like BB King, but that was too close. However, King was the best, or "tops," so ZZ Top is was. (thanks, Courtney - Miami, FL)
They performed for President George W. Bush a few days before he was inaugurated in 2001. While Governor of Texas, Bush proclaimed May 15, 1997 "ZZ Top Day."
In 1991 a Texas man kidnapped and killed the wife of their manager, Bill Ham. The man was caught and given the death penalty.
They appeared in the 1990 movie Back To The Future III as a Square Dance band.
They opened some shows for Janis Joplin, who was also from Texas.
Their 1976 "Worldwide Texas" tour featured a stage shaped like Texas, as well as a steer, snakes, and cacti.
Hill was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2000. They had to cancel a series of shows so he could get treatment.
The icon car that appeared in their videos and on the album cover of the same name is known as The Eliminator. It's a 1933 Ford that Billy Gibbons had made into a Hot Rod, and it proved so popular that he had another one built just like it to go on tour. Gibbons was into Hot Rods and for many kids watching MTV, The Eliminator was their first look at one in action.
You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound
, plus a collection of other classics for the likes of Aftershock, Ali and Goodfellaz.
Steve Forbert - "Romeo's Tune"
"Let me smell the moon in your perfume..." It took a rough mix and an extra verse, but Steve found his "calling card" song, which is always
Van Dyke Parks
U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.