ZZTop "playing" live to bass tracks !?!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by HUnt49, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. HUnt49


    Jan 14, 2008
    Okay, I want to believe I'm mis-understimating these guys. :)

    Check out this video at around 1:37 and again at around 2:05 -- and see if what you're seeing is what I'm seeing. I want to be wrong. Dusty wouldn't.


    he stops playing -- and what I'm interpreting as the bass line (listening with small speakers, but they're Bose) continues.

    Please, someone say it ain't so.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    it ain't so.

    just kidding...it's so.
  3. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    +1 :rollno:
  4. Datsme


    Aug 13, 2010
    Nice catch. First time thru I thought I could pick up when he continues. Like there was a second bass (recorded or live?). Additional listenings, there's no break in the bass line (tho obvious finger stoppage). Lead and drums seem to be 'live' tho.
  5. bassfart


    May 5, 2008
    The note is just sustaining, there is no question, Dusty is playing his part.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
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    As shameful as it might seem for the once dirtiest southern blues rock band turned money machine, it's so.
  7. HUnt49


    Jan 14, 2008
    Yep, lead is live for sure. Didn't watch the drums...

    I guess Dusty couldn't sidestep and play...

    It's not just sustain, the lime keeps moving. That said, he's got more going on with his right hand than I would have thought for that song. Have to revisit that one.
  8. Dominic D

    Dominic D DiCosimo Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Winter Park, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    My guess is that they overdubbed recording where he took his right hand off the bass to keep the recording sounding fluid. Bands do this all the time with live recordings because they assume people wouldn't be able to handle hearing flubs because that would mean their heros are actually human. Look at any of the Kiss Alive albums. Probably 75% of each of those albums were rerecorded in a studio. I hate it, and it's driving me to become a huge fan of bootleg recordings. I want to hear how the concert actually sounded, not an interpretation of it.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, I saw ZZTop over the summer and was all the way up to the stage and in front of Dusty. He was definitely playing live that night so I don't see why he'd be faking it any other night.
  9. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    That's what I'm hearing / seeing. If there were any notes besides the initial sustained, it looks like he was also hammering on hard with his left hand while trying to signal with his right.

    In any case, I'm not seeing any miming.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    To be fair though, they've been touring with pre-recorded backing tracks ever since "Eliminator". There were lots of times the recorded track had rhythm guitar, keyboards, extra percussion, and a 3-piece horn section, but they never brought that size of a band onstage. In fact they claim in their box set notes that they made a commitment not to have any other musicians playing the music onstage, and by necessity that meant the three of them recording lots of backing tracks. For the horn section, they learned how to play the horn parts, and projected video footage of themselves as "the horn section" on the big screen of the stage, while the "real live" band was playing their bass, guitar, and drums.

    They are great players, no disrespect from me on that count, but hells yes they do use pre-recorded backing tracks, and they say so themselves.
    mbelue, IamGroot and rockinrayduke like this.
  11. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    Man that was complete garbage. I don't care how legendary they are, and I used to like them. Who cares about the beards and outfits at this point in time? Looked to me that both guitar parts were dubbed to be honest. God I need to watch that just to make me sleepy.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i saw them on that tour...that was for their comeback album "deguello." the guitar player article on them at the time said dusty triggered samples of the horns with foot pedals.
    IamGroot likes this.
  13. Datsme


    Aug 13, 2010
    Another good call. This has probably been taken from something produced for airing later, not a 'live' track necessarily.
  14. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    I can't tell around 2:05 but at 1:37 that note is not sustaining! Not a ZZ Top fan but I had planned to see them open for Petty in a few weeks. If your job is to play a very simple bass line for millions of dollars you should be able to do it. So he stands up there and pretends to play like guitar hero? This is sad.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    zz top doesn't make millions of dollars for a show anymore.
  16. DBTOYS


    Sep 22, 2009
    Bend Oregon
  17. it looks to me that he stopped plucking but kept it going with the fretting hand
  18. I'm sure they make that on an entire tour though.
  19. After watching it several times, that is what I'm seeing too. After watching his fingers the entire video, I can't imagine him fake playing to a track. Besides, why would he do that. He obviously can play.
  20. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Tacoma WA
    Stop the conspiracy.
    bassfart got it right.
    Dusty's sound is high gain and compressed. He could probably hold any note for quite a while with little or no volume degradation.
    aldaa and bobyoung53 like this.

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