ZZ Top’s bassist, Dusty Hill, passed away yesterday. Before he passed, the band canceled at least one show earlier this month due to a health issue within the band. His passing left many fans wondering if the band would slip into the grave along with Hill. Billy Gibbons said that that is not the case.
Eddie Trunk, a SiriusXM radio host delivered the bittersweet news to fans in a pair of tweets yesterday. Shortly after the band announced Dusty Hill’s passing, Trunk passed on what Billy Gibbons told him. In the first tweet, he said that Gibbons had sent him a text message with news to share with his followers and fans of ZZ Top. “As Dusty said upon his departure, ‘Let the show go on!’,” Gibbons wrote in the message. Then, he added, “and…with respect we’ll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes.”
Still, many fans were left wondering who would take over Dusty’s duties in the band. However, they didn’t have to wonder for long. In fact, the second tweet let everyone know who would be stepping in. Elwood Francis, the band’s long-time guitar tech will fill out the band’s rhythm section per Hill’s wishes. In another text, Billy Gibbons said that Hill “Grabbed him by the arm, ” and named Francis his replacement. “Give Elwood the bottom end and take it to the top,” Hill urged before his passing. Gibbons ended his message with assurance. “He meant it, amigo. He really did.”
Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Elwood Francis Carry the ZZ Top Torch
Fans who attended the July 23rd show in New Lenox, Illinois got their first taste of the new ZZ Top lineup. That might be the first time that the band has taken the stage without Dusty Hill in their five-decade run. However, fans didn’t seem to mind. Watch a fan-shot video of Billy Gibbons introducing him below.
The band released a statement before the New Lenox show. The statement said that Dusty Hill was taking a “short detour” back to Texas to deal with a hip issue. It went on, saying, “Per Dusty’s request, ‘The show must go on!’.”
ZZ Top’s statement then said that Francis, who has been their “trusted guitar tech,” for the past two decades, would fill in on bass, slide guitar, and harmonica.
Billy Gibbons personally added to the statement. He wrote, “…with Elwood to our right, rest assured that ZZ Top will deliver their good time, signature show.” Gibbons went on to say that with Elwood on the bass they would continue to deliver “those famous three chords we all dig.”
ZZ Top is still on tour, just like Hill wanted. Their next show is August 30 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Head over to their website to see other dates and get tickets today.