ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, who played with the Texas blues-rock statesmen for over five decades, died Tuesday July 27th. He was 72.
The musician’s death was confirmed in a statement from his bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard.
“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, Texas,” the statement read. “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.”
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No cause of death has been revealed.
ZZ top formed in 1969, with Hill joining the act a year later in 1970. The band cut their debut record, ZZ Top’s First Album, in 1971. Over the next 50 years, bassist Hill, singer-guitarist Gibbons, and drummer Beard would go on to release fifteen records.
The band first found widespread success with its third album, 1972’s Tres Hombres, which featured the ubiquitous ‘La Grange.’ Though it was in 1975, with the release of ‘Tush’ from Fandango! that the band found its stride. In 2004, all three members were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The last few years of his life saw Hill endure a hip replacement surgery and a shoulder injury, forcing the group to cancel a few shoes. ZZ Top kicked off their extensive U.S. tour two weeks ago, where they played with a replacement bassist after Hill was required to head back to Texas to deal with a hip ailment.
As Rolling Stone note, back in 2010 Dusty revealed what he’d like engraved on his tombstone. “It may sound morose, but you never get younger,” he said. “I’ve come up with some ideas, and then rejected them all. There’s an inscription on a wooden marker over a grave in Boot Hill that says: Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs from a .44. No Les. No more. I like the humor in that.”
WOW! Dusty Hill. What an icon. @ZZTop ’s bassist forever. So unique. Always a gentleman from the days of us opening for them through the recent days of them opening for us. I don’t know what to say but “Thank you” and “Rest however you damn well choose!” https://t.co/tHfjLy1xbj
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) July 28, 2021
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) July 28, 2021