Rebecca Berman Chatting With Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top:
I still remember dancing in my room to the song Foot And Give Me All Your Love by ZZTop. Since 1984 I’ve been in love with this band. I remember in 2004 when ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I wasn’t surprised when Gibbons was ranked number 32 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 100 guitarists of all time. And who could forget his recurring role on the hit series Bones. He made me love television again.
In breaking news, Gibson is releasing a new solo album in the spring. It is a Cuban influenced album with a Latin twist. And last, but not least, The Billy Gibbons ‘Pearl Gate’ The Les Paul Standard guitar is now available from authorized Gibson Custom dealers. If you have loved his music over the years, you will want to buy one today!
When I was offered the opportunity to ask Billy Gibbons a few questions, I jumped at the chance.
Here’s a snippet:
Rebecca: How did this band initially form?
The Moving Sidewalks were up and running while Dusty and Frank played together in a band called American Blues. The Sidewalks turned in 1969 thanks to the keyboardist and bassist’s military conscription leaving the band trying to find a solid rhythm section. Frank and that I found one another and things went like a rocket when he proposed we get his former bandmate, Dusty Hill, to play bass. We got together to see what might shake things up and instantly knew it was the perfect combination—we just locked in and took it from there. First real show: Knights of Columbus Hall in Beaumont, Texas, marks February 10, 1970 as that early moment. The rest, as they say, is history or, say, hysterics.
Rebecca: How old were you when you first grew your signature beard?
We never turn down some chin fluff, but the long mustache types found their way around 1972 or ’73. They are good to us, so we do our best to take care of them.
Rebecca: Tell us about being inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
What a night! Keith Richards, our Rolling Stones friend, inducted us and it was great. We got to play with Keith and the entire Paul Schaffer crew and it was so memorable. If they invented a time machine, we’d set it on March 15th, 2004 and point it straight at the Waldorf Astoria in NY to do it all over again.
Rebecca: How has your music changed over the years?
That’s hard to say because we’re still the same three guys playing the same three chords but technology is changing and, obviously, we’re continually chasing new ideas to put in “whatever.” People might say we’re still funky after all these years but, Of course, we’re most likely better now that we have been practicing.
Rebecca: If 3 other artists could join your band to play a gig, who would you choose and why?
Keith Richards because, you know, he is Keith. His passion and good nature are infectious and the man can play. Jeff Beck because we have toured with him; he is just a musician beyond compare… as innovative and loose as he wants to be. He made it radically “go beyond”. You did not say live or not, so this is where we’ll give a nod to Jimi Hendrix who we toured with on our Moving Sidewalks days. He was a really warm man, a little shy but far ahead of anyone who had come before or since. We owe him a lot; we want to get the chance to pay it back in some way. Spirit…!