Dusty Hill wasn’t his usual self the last time ZZ Top performed on stage.
The music world still is stunned by the bearded bassist’s death. TMZ obtained video of Hill’s final appearance on stage with the legendary rock band and published the clip, Sunday. If anything, it explains that the ZZ Top bassist was feeling poorly in the days before his death.
You can watch it below. Hill spent the concert sitting or leaning on a large speaker.
On July 28, ZZ Top announced that Hill died in his sleep. No cause of death was issued. We only know that Hill died in his sleep while home back in Houston.
Hill’s final concert was a ZZ Top stop at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, KY, July 18. That’s 10 days before he died. Hill already had missed time on stage because of a painful hip.
ZZ Top Postponed One Concert, But Returned to Stage in Alabama
ZZ Top was scheduled to perform July 28. Instead, they postponed the show to mourn the loss of their friend. Hill, Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard formed the band in 1969. They were as close as brothers. Gibbons, in an interview with Variety, said the group needed to postpone the gig “to get our wits together.”
But two days later, ZZ Top did manage to gather their wits. The show went on in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Before he died Hill made his friends and bandmates promise they’d continue without him.
Gibbons talked about Hill several times as the band played. It had to be difficult on stage knowing Hill never would be there again.
“We’re gonna have a good time in here tonight,” Gibbons told the Tuscaloosa audience. “Got a new guy up here, as you know. Dusty gave me the directive. My friend, your pal, Elwood Francis is gonna hold it down behind me.”
Elwood Francis is ZZ Top’s long-time guitar tech and was Hill’s choice to step in for him when Hill was having hip problems.
Gibbons gave props to Francis during the show: “How about that Elwood, tearing up that bottom there for Dusty.”
TMZ reported that Hill’s health took a bad turn when he went home because of his hip issue.
Gibbons told Variety that when Hill was back in Houston, he urged ZZ Top to continue touring. After all, this was a continuation of their 50-year anniversary celebration.
“I think everybody was relieved that we had a little bit of time to regroup and think things through,” Gibbons said. “But at the same time, everybody was ready, standing on point. And they said, ‘Come on. You heard Dusty’s directive as he was bowing out to go off the deck. He turned and pointed and he said, ‘Come on. The show must go on.’”