RIP Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, the Texas Band that Reinvented Blues-Rock and Led the MTV Era

RIP Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, the Texas Band that Reinvented Blues-Rock and Led the MTV Era
July 29, 2021
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ZZ Top at Glastonbury in 2016 – Photo by Brian Marks


















By DONNA BALANCIA

Dusty Hill, bassist and a founder of ZZ Top has died at the age of 72. Tributes poured in from around the world mourning the loss of the beloved musician.

Hill whose name is Joe Michael Hill, was born in in Dallas and was one-third of the blues-rock band long considered the pride of Texas.

Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard formed ZZ Top in 1969 in Houston. The first album for the group was, appropriately, called ZZ Top’s First Album, released in 1970. The bluesy “La Grange” was the band’s breakthrough hit. 

But it was the MTV video era when ZZ Top and Hill took center stage. It was then that audiences around the world finally got a visual of the sunglass-sporting Texas blues-rockers, with their long beards, spinning guitars and cool cars. 

ZZ Top had its ups and downs in popularity over the years, but the band catapulted to fame with the video “Legs,” off their Eliminator album. The classic video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video in 1984.

Joe ‘Dusty’ Hill – Photo Courtesy Blain Clausen

Prior to his passing, Hill took a off from the current ZZ Top tour following a hip injury and his guitar tech Elwood Francis has been filling in on bass. 

Hill was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004. 

 

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