ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, one of the bearded figures of the Texas blues trio, has died at his home in Houston, the band announced. He was 72 years old.
- Hill has given no cause of death
- He was one of the three members who founded the band in 1969
- The trio was recognized worldwide for their distinctive looks: long beards, sunglasses and Stetson hats
On Wednesday, in a Facebook post, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died asleep.
“We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steady presence, your good nature, and your tough commitment to providing this monumental fund to the‘ Top, ’” his bandmates wrote .
They did not give any cause of death, but a July 21 post on the band’s website said Hill was “on a short trip to Texas, to treat a hip problem.”
At the time, the band said their longtime guitar technology, Elwood Francis, would occupy bass, slide guitar and harmonica.
Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard formed the ZZ Top in Houston in 1969.
The band released their first album, titled ZZ Top’s First Album, in 1970.
Three years later he achieved his breakthrough success, La Grange, an ode to Chicken Ranch, a notorious brothel outside a Texas town of that name.
The band continued with the hits of Tush in 1975, Sharp Dressed Man, Legs and Gimme All Your Lovin ‘in 1983 and Rough Boy and Sleeping Bag in 1985.
The band’s 1976 Texas world tour, with its iconic Texas-shaped stage adorned with cactus, snakes and long cattle, was one of the most successful rock tours of the decade.
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
“These cats are imbued with blues, me too,” Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards said when he introduced the band to the Hall.
“These cats know their blues and know how to dress it.
This look, with the three members wearing dark sunglasses and the two men in the home with long, heavy beards and Stetson hats, became so iconic that it appeared in a New York drawing and as a joke to the Simpsons.