Given the events of the past 48 hours, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that the rock and roll community is suffering blow after blow, but the reality is that there’s never a good time for bad things to happen. This morning, news has broken that ZZ Top bassist, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and general icon Dusty Hill has passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston. His bandmates, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, have since confirmed the reports.
“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that “Blues Shuffle in C.
You will be missed greatly, amigo.”
ZZ Top appeared to be going strong, with a recent run of live tour dates and more on the horizon, however news of Hill’s passing comes after he was forced to depart from the recent tour on account of “hip issues.” As a result, the band performed one of their only shows without him in 50 years, tagging in Elwood Francis to fill in.
Hill joined his Blues Brothers in arms back in 1969 and during his tenure, ZZ Top would release 15 studio albums, culminating in a head spinning 50 million album sales. Their legacy was further immortalised in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Using the power of blues to add to the world of rock and roll, the impact of ZZ Top on contemporary music simply cannot be understated, or for that matter, quantified. Though the band hadn’t released any new material since 2012, they remained an important presence in rock and roll, and will remain one for eons to come.