bearded bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72 – .

bearded bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72 – .

HOUSTON – ZZ Top’s long-bearded bassist Dusty Hill of the million-selling Texan blues rock trio known for hits like ‘Legs’ and ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ has died at age 72 years old.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. They did not give a cause of death, but a July 21 article on the group’s website said Hill was “making a little detour to Texas, to sort out a hip problem.” Around this time, the band said their longtime guitar technician Elwood Francis would replace bass, slide guitar, and harmonica.

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

The group 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 group’s “Worldwide Texas Tour” in 1976, with its iconic Texas-shaped stage adorned with cacti, snakes and longhorns, was one of the most successful rock tours of the decade. Their million-selling albums included “Eliminator”, “Afterburner” and “Antenna”.

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

“These cats are steeped in the blues, too,” said Richards. “These cats know their blues and they know how to dress it. When I first saw them I was like, ‘I hope these guys aren’t on the run, because this disguise won’t work. ”

This look, with all three members wearing dark sunglasses and Gibbons and Hill sporting long wispy beards, has become 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 about “The Simpsons.” “


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


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