ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dies at 72

by Evan Reier

One of the greatest classic rock groups of all time has lost a dear member. Dusty Hill, longtime bassist for ZZ Top, has died.

According to outlet TMZ, the longtime bassist, singer and songwriter passed away in his home. The ZZ Top star was residing in Houston, Texas before his death on July 28.

Dusty Hill is the brother of Rocky Hill, a guitarist also in the band. Alongside Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons, the group went on to reach major success on the back of hits like “La Grange,” “Tush,” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”

With Gibbons and Beard, Hill has many songwriting credits for many of the band’s biggest tracks like the three mentioned above, as well as classics like “Legs” and “Gimmie All Your Loving.”

As for his voice, his combination with Billy Gibbons was legendary. The two’s knack for maverick songwriting was matched by the distinct sound of their voices intertwined.

Besides ZZ Top, Hill also played in the band American Blues, which was a precursor to the group’s work in ZZ Top.

Beyond music, the musician also appeared in several films and tv shows. Back to the Future Part III, WWE Raw and King of the Hill all saw the bassist either make a cameo or take on a role.

Hill had recently celebrated his 72nd birthday on May 19.

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Was Battling Health Issues

As TMZ points out in its initial report, the bassist was struggling with a hip issue recently. The band posted on Facebook to say that Hill was headed back to Texas in order to get assistance with the issue. The post was made on July 23 and you can view it here.

“The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas to address a hip issue,” the post read. “They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.”

The band also said that Elwood Francis would shift over into bass. Francis has been a guitar tech for ZZ Top for the past two decades. As the band writes, this was a “directive” from Dusty Hill himself, who said “the show must go on.”

“And with Elwood to our right, rest assured ZZ Top will deliver their good time, signature show”, said Billy F Gibbons. “Billy’s big guitar, crushing drums from Mr. Beard, and Elwood securing the bottom end continues the delivery with those famous three chords we all dig”.

The iconic rock group was eager to get back to touring in 2021. The band has scheduled tour dates across the country for July and August, including a headlining spot in September at Oklahoma festival Born & Raised.