Last week, ZZ Top lost their bassist of over 50 years when he died in his sleep. But it was Dusty Hill’s wish that the show goes on, with guitar tech Elwood Francis taking his place in recent live shows before and after his passing. Aside from concerts, ZZ Top had been working on their first new album in almost a decade.
ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons recently spoke with Variety following Dusty’s sudden death.
The 71-year-old shared how they had been reviewing a couple of rough tracks within the last couple of months that were starting to come together.
Asked how far they’d got on the album with the late bassist, Billy said: “It’s gonna require some completion work.
“I think the luck of the draw was, I handed Dusty a couple of lyric sheets and I said, ‘Hey, see if you can make heads or tails out of this.’”
READ MORE: ZZ Top ‘will continue after Dusty Hill’s death’ says Billy Gibbons
Billy continued: “He said, ‘Can I sing it?’ I said, ‘Dusty, you could sing the calendar if you wanted to — people would love it.’
“He goes, ‘Hey, that’s not a bad idea. If we ever get back to go to work, can we add the calendar into the show? I know all the words.’
“I said, ‘Get in there. Go sing.’ So, yeah, we’ve got a couple of things [with Dusty singing lead] that’ll make sense.”
Speaking with Classic Rock in May, Billy said of ZZ Top’s first album since 2012’s La Futura: “The last laugh has yet to be heard.”
Billy and drummer Frank Beard’s statement read: “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX.
“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. Frank & Billy.”
The band’s 50th anniversary documentary film ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas is streaming on NOW.
READ THE VARIETY ARTICLE HERE