ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dead at 72
ZZ Top bassist and vocalist Dusty Hill, who played with the blues-rock trio for more than 50 years, died Tuesday night at the age of 72.
Surviving ZZ Top members, singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard, confirmed Hill’s death and paid tribute to the bassist in a brief statement on Wednesday.
“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston,” they said. “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.”
Gibbons and Beard performed without Hill last week at the Village Commons in New Lenox, Ill., as the bassist reportedly sought medical attention for a leg injury. Longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis filled in for Hill at the show.
“The members of ZZ Top, Billy and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas to address a hip issue,” the band said at the time. “They await a speedy recovery and [to] have him back pronto. Per Dusty’s request the show must go on!”
Hill was born on May 19, 1949, in Dallas. He played in several local blues-rock bands in the late '60s, during which time he met Beard. The bassist and drummer relocated to Houston in 1969, teaming up with Gibbons in his newly founded ZZ Top. Hill shared vocal duties with Gibbons and sang lead on "Tush," the band's first Top 20 hit and one of its most popular songs to date.