1969–1972: Early Years

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Posted on Tue, 11/11/2014 - 7:43pm
by John MacMillan

Member since: Tue, 01/07/2014

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The original line-up formed in Houston, by Billy Gibbons, organist Lanier Greig (died February 2013) and drummer Dan Mitchell. There were longstanding rumors that, at the end of a tour, Hendrix gave Gibbons the pink Stratocaster he had been playing as token of his appreciation for Gibbons' level of talent. ZZ Top was managed by Waxahachie-native Bill Ham, who had befriended Gibbons a year earlier. They released their first single, "Salt Lick", in 1969, and the B-side contained the song "Miller's Farm"; both songs were credited to Gibbons. Immediately after the recording of "Salt Lick", Greig was replaced by bassist Billy Ethridge, a band mate of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mitchell was replaced by Frank Beard of the American Blues. Due to lack of interest from record companies, ZZ Top was presented with a record deal from London Records. Unwilling to sign a recording contract, Ethridge quit the band and Dusty Hill was selected as his replacement. After Hill moved from Dallas to Houston, ZZ Top signed with London in 1970. They performed their first concert together at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Beaumont on February 10.

In addition to assuming the role as the band's leader, Gibbons became the main lyricist and musical arranger. With the assistance of Ham and engineer Robin Hood Brians, ZZ Top's First Album (1971) was released and saw the inclusion of the band's humor, with "barrelhouse" rhythms, distorted guitars, double entendres and innuendo. The music and songs reflected ZZ Top's blues influences. Following their debut album, the band released Rio Grande Mud (1972), which failed commercially and the promotional tour consisted of mostly empty auditoriums.

 

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ZZ Top - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZZ_Top

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