Avatar feed
Responses: 6
Lt Col Charlie Brown
Love their music.
Avatar small
LTC Stephen F.
Edited >1 y ago
Thank you my friend SGT (Join to see) for making us aware that on May 19, 1949, Dusty Hill, bass, keyboardist, and co-vocalist with ZZ Top was born.

ZZ Top's Dusty Hill: The Complete UCR Interview, 2019
Ultimate Classic Rock. Here's an extended UCR interview from 2019 with ZZ Top bassist and vocalist Dusty Hill, who died this week at age 72.

1. 1982 Joseph Michael 'Dusty' Hill ZZ Top bassist
2. ZZ Top's Joseph Michael 'Dusty' Hill (bass and vocals) performing on stage at Olympia concert hall in Paris, France, on July 27, 2012
3. Joseph Michael 'Dusty Hill' with long time girlfriend Charleen McCrory married in 2004
4. It appears that for a period of time in the '60s, two future members of iconic Texas trio ZZ Top, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard (the two fellas on the right), toured as British rockers The Zombies, more than a year after the real band split in the UK.

Joseph Michael "Dusty" Hill (May 19, 1949 – July, 2021) was an American musician who was the bassist of the rock band ZZ Top. He also sang lead and backing vocals, and played keyboards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004. Hill played with ZZ Top for over 50 years; after his death, he was replaced by the band's longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis, in line with Hill's wishes.

Background information
Birth name Joseph Michael Hill
Also known as Duster, The Dust, The Dustbunny
Born May 19, 1949
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Died July 2021 (age 72)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres Hard rockblues, rockrock
Occupation(s)Musiciansinger songwriter
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals
Years active 1966–2021
Labels Rhino WEARCA Warner Bros. London
Associated acts ZZ Top Willy & the Wolves, Freddie King, The Warlocks, The Cellar Dwellers, American Blues

Early life
Hill was born in Dallas, Texas, on May 19, 1949.[1] He and his older brother Rocky Hill (also a musician) were raised in the Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas) where he played the cello.[2] Like his future bandmates, Hill grew up listening to blues music, which was uncommon in white families; he recalled shocking the parents of his childhood friends when he brought records by Muddy Waters or Son House to their houses.[3]
Hill began singing for money with his brother Rocky at the age of 8. After Rocky formed a band with a drummer, Dusty took up bass at the age of 13. Unlike many bassists, he did not learn to play guitar first.[4] He said, "I kind of learned how to play on stage and whatnot, and embarrassment is a great motivator. If you don't play well, standing up there with lights on it really stands out, so it behooves you to get your shit up pretty quick."[4]

Hill, his brother, and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues.[5] From 1966 to 1968, American Blues played the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston circuit. In 1969, Hill was a member of a fake version of the British band the Zombies with Beard.[6] Hill recalled, "Being a musician in Texas had its own set of risks ... and at that time we had long, blue hair – in the 60s in Texas. I got probably less shit about having blue hair than about having long hair, because I believe they thought I was crazy."[3]
In 1968, American Blues relocated to Houston. At this time, Rocky wanted to focus on "straight blues", while Dusty wanted the band to rock more. Rocky left the band and Dusty and Beard moved to Houston, joining guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons of Houston psychedelic-rockers Moving Sidewalks, in the recently formed ZZ Top, just after they released their first single "Salt Lick", in 1969.[7]
With the band's leader, Gibbons, as main lyricist and arranger, Hill played bass and keyboards and sang lead on some songs.[8][9] With the assistance of manager Bill Ham and engineer Robin Hood Brians, ZZ Top's First Album (1971) was released and exhibited the band's humor, with "barrelhouse" rhythms, distorted guitars, double entendres, and innuendo. The music and songs reflected ZZ Top's blues influences. Following their debut album, the band released Rio Grande Mud (1972), which produced their first charting single, "Francine".[10]
On 1973's Tres Hombres, ZZ Top perfected its heavy blues style and amplified its Texas roots. The boogie rock single "La Grange" brought the band their first hit, with it just missing the Billboard Top 40. In 1975 Hill sang lead vocal on "Tush", the band's first Top 20 hit and one of its most popular songs.[11][12] On the 1976 album Tejas Hill took the vocal lead on "Ten Dollar Man" and duetted with Gibbons on "It’s Only Love".[12]
The mid-1970s saw the band busy recording and touring extensively and toward the end of the decade the band took a break, during which Hill worked at Dallas Airport to keep himself active and grounded.[13] In 1979, when the group returned with the album Degüello in 1979 Gibbons and Hill revealed their new image of matching massive beards and sunglasses. Their hit singles from this period, "Cheap Sunglasses" and "Pearl Necklace", showed a more modern sound.[12]
Hill's on-screen appearances include Back to the Future Part III, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme, the July 20, 2009 episode of WWE Raw and Deadwood, and as himself in the 11th-season episode of King of the Hill, "Hank Gets Dusted", in which Hank Hill is said to be Dusty's cousin.[3] He also made an appearance on The Drew Carey Show as himself auditioning for a spot in Drew's band, but was rejected because of his attachment to his trademark beard which he refers to as a 'Texas Goatee'.[12][14]
In 2000 he was diagnosed with hepatitis C and so ZZ Top canceled their European tour.[15][16] Hill resumed work in 2002.[15]
Hill was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004.[17]
In 2019, Netflix released a documentary, ZZTop: That Little Old Band from Texas.[18]
In July 2021, Hill was forced to leave a ZZ Top tour after a hip injury. The band performed without him at the Village Commons in New Lenox, Illinois, with the band's guitar tech Elwood Francis on bass.[19]

On July 27 or 28 of 2021, Hill died at his home in Houston, Texas, at the age of 72.[17][20] The cause of death was not announced.[21] Gibbons confirmed that ZZ Top would continue with Francis, per Hill's wishes.[19] According to Gibbons, "Dusty emphatically grabbed my arm and said, 'Give Elwood the bottom end, and take it to the Top.' He meant it, amigo. He really did."[19] Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote on Twitter: "Today we lost a great friend and a remarkable Texan."[12]

Hill cited Cream bassist Jack Bruce and jazz bassists Stanley Clarke and Charles Mingus as early influences.[3] He said he used to play more complicated bass parts, but came to prioritize composition over complexity: "Sometimes you don't even notice the bass — I hate that in a way, but I love that in a way. That's a compliment. That means you've filled in everything and it's right for the song, and you're not standing out where you don't need to be."[4] Michael Hann of The Guardian wrote that Hills' bass tone was "every bit as crucial to their sound as Gibbons' guitar".[3] Hill sang lead or co-lead on several ZZ Top songs. The Guardian described his vocals as a "high, true" tenor contrasting against Gibbons' "radioactive growl".[3]
Preferring the Fender Telecaster Bass, Hill used many different basses and amplifiers in different combinations. He maintained a large collection of vintage and custom basses by luthier John Bolin of Bolin Guitars USA. Hill designed uncomplicated basses with a single pickup with a single volume knob, with the occasional addition of a specially powered knob for tone control.[22][23]

1. ^ Lavin, Will (July 28, 2021). "Tributes paid to ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, who has died aged 72". NME. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
2. ^ "ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill dies at 72". ABC7 Los Angeles. KABC-TV. July 28, 2021.
3. ^ a b c d e f Hann, Michael (July 29, 2021). "Dusty Hill's voice, tone and passion for the blues lifted ZZ Top into greatness". The Guardian. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
4. ^ a b c "ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill talks on his long not so strange trip". For Bass Players Only. September 2, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
5. ^ "American Blues | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
6. ^ Hlavaty, Craig (June 3, 2016). "ZZ Top's Dusty Hill and Frank Beard once masqueraded as British rock act the Zombies". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
7. ^ "The Moving Sidewalks: Where The British Invasion Met Texas Blues". NPR.org. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
8. ^ Koda, Cub. "ZZ Top". Allmusic. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
9. ^ "Dusty Hill | Credits". AllMusic.
10. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (April 4, 2015). "Revisiting ZZ Top's Second Album, 'Rio Grande Mud'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
11. ^ "ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dead at 72". Ultimate Classic Rock.
12. ^ a b c d e Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (July 28, 2021). "MUSIC: ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill dies at 72". Los Angeles Times.
13. ^ "ZZ Top's Dusty Hill: The Complete UCR Interview, 2019" – via http://www.youtube.com.
14. ^ "Slash, Dusty Hill, And Many More All Share This Hilarious TV Moment That You Have To See!". Society Of Rock.
15. ^ a b "Musicians with Hepatitis C". Hep. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
16. ^ "The Top Forced to Stop". NME. May 15, 2000. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
17. ^ a b Moore, Sam (July 28, 2021). "Dusty Hill death: ZZ Top bassist dies aged 72". The Independent. Archived from the original on July 28, 2021. RetrievedJuly 28, 2021.
18. ^ ZZTop: That Little Old Band from Texas. (2019) Netflix.
19. ^ a b c Wilkening, Matthew (July 28, 2021). "Dusty Hill Insisted ZZ Top Not Break Up Following His Death". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
20. ^ Greene, Andy (July 28, 2021). "ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dead at 72". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
21. ^ Dusty Hill Dead (July 29, 2021) New York Times
22. ^ "Dusty Hill Biography". Archived from the original on June 22, 2012.
23. ^ "Hollowbody Bass Archive » Dusty Hill of ZZ Top". Hollowbody Bassist. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved December 26, 2010.

FYI COL Mikel J. Burroughs SMSgt Lawrence McCarter SPC Michael Duricko, Ph.D GySgt Thomas Vick SGT Denny Espinosa LTC (Join to see)Maj Bill Smith, Ph.D. MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D. PO1 William "Chip" Nagel PO2 (Join to see) SSG Franklin Briant SPC Michael Terrell SFC Chuck Martinez CSM Charles HaydenMSgt James Clark-Rosa SMSgt Tom Burns MGySgt (Join to see) SFC Ralph E Kelley COL Lisandro Murphy
Avatar small
Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen
Nothing like a little ZZ Top to get your blood flowing!
Avatar small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.