Dusty Hill and ZZ Top Live

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by NickMarinelli, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. While channel surfing last night, I came across a concert video by ZZ Top on VH1 Classic. I'm not their biggest fan, but having never seen them live I figured it would be interesting to see what they do live.

    The impression I came away with is this: Dusty Hill is one hell of a good bass player! He played a real old Telecaster-type bass (the headstock was upside down) for every song except one, and he owned the stage! His tone was massive with hints of distortion. Although usually quite basic and simple, his bass lines filled up all of the tonal gaps that are inherent in a 3 piece band and complemented what Gibbons was doing on guitar very nicely.

    I always enjoyed ZZ Tops humor; now I have even more respect for what they do.
  2. I saw the same concert on Saturday afternoon.

    Wow, those guys are smoking live.

    He had some great old school tone...very impressive stuff.
  3. MonsterBass101


    Mar 3, 2008
    funny i acctually was at the one of their concerts last month. Yea he plays a G&L Bass until the Fuzzy Bass comes out then yea.
  4. Here is the bass he was playing in the concert video:


    Not sure if it is a Fender or not, but it sure sounded good!:D
  5. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I saw the same thing and was really impressed. I have come to the conclusion that, regardless of their humble beginnings, ZZ Top is a high-concept art piece masterminded by Billy Gibbons. Every tiny detail is completely on purpose. There's not a sloppy guitar cable anywhere, no cups on the drum riser, every song has choreography between him and Dusty and there is absolutely nothing happening on stage that isn't focused and intentional. They didn't even take their matching dusters off after a few songs, they've somehow figured out how to not get their beards sweaty through the course of a show. I was never a big fan, but I have to admire the economy of what they do. Plus, Cheap Sunglasses is a great song.
  6. Thangfish

    Thangfish ...overly qualified for janitorical deployment...

    Here's the cool Tele style reverse that he used at a NASCAR race awhile back (Daytona was it?)


    Took this pic off the tv.
  7. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    Dusty Hill & ZZ Top do what they do...KICK ASS ! ! ! Dusty is such a great player because he knows how to serve the song. Dusty and Frank Beard give Billy a solid foundation. They sound damm big for three guys.
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Dusty has that great tone that can fill a lot of space underneath Billy Gibbons sparse solos
  9. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
  10. JMDT


    Jan 30, 2008
    Louisville, Ky
    I believe all ZZ top's guitars are custom built by a ghost luthier (possibly Ed Roman).
  11. If you really want to hear ZZ Top at their best, get their "Fandango" album on CD. There is a live side and studio side. The live side is totally raw, no overdubs. "Thunderbird" is a good example of Dusty's tone.
  12. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
  13. texasgreg


    Oct 29, 2007
    I believe Dusty and Billy often use Rio Grande pickups in many of their axes. Not all the time, but alot of the time. Rio Grande's are made in Houston, just like ZZ Top!

    I remember seeing ZZ in the Summit (Now the Joel Osteen Lakewood Baptist Church) in my teens in the 70's. Memory escapes as to what song they were playing, but Dusty was playing a guitar/bass double combo and picking a rhythm on the guitar with his right hand and laying down the bass on the bass fretboard with his left hand.

    This is way before they had the big screens at concerts kiddies, but I was pretty close to the stage and could see quite well.

    Even at my young age, I was duly impressed.
  14. Yeah, there was a day when I thought rolling eigths along the whole song was too easy. Its not that easy to keep the time /pulse and do that.
    Larry McQueary likes this.
  15. They got a new live DVD out, has anyone seen it?
  16. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal

    Picked it up yesterday. Dusty's got some great tones going on there.
  17. mad_hatter67


    Oct 4, 2008
    on some of their songs Billy shines through, but on others Dusty comes into his own and, at least me personally, almost hear Billy as a background to Dusty. His tone is impecable.
  18. KPAX

    KPAX Inactive

    Mar 22, 2005
    I saw ZZTOP a couple of summers ago at the Minnesota state fair and loved them.
    Dusty's tone was quite distorted and midrangey. I dug it.
    I once read an interview where he described his tone as sounding like "a fart in a trash-can", which I found humorous and kinda true.
    Dusty and Billy played thru small boutique looking combo amps but I don't remember what they were.
  19. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I believe there Made by a guy named Bolen?
  20. Rob L

    Rob L Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Chilly ND
    I saw them last night in Grand Forks ND and it was a great show! It was a small setting and the sound was great.

    Dusty's tone was thick and dirty..:bassist:

    He played one of the custom reverse basses (white one with gold harware that said Gold Dust on it) all night except for the fuzzy one during legs. I could not see any amps on stage at all. Just 2 Crate stacks (what seem to be 4x12) on each side.

    I could hear everything perfect and they are still on top of their game at what they do. Dusty, Billy and Frank Rock!

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