Spencer Kaufman July 29, 2021 | 9:55am ET
ZZ Top are mourning the sudden death of bassist Dusty Hill at the age of 72, but it appears that the legendary rock act will continue on without their longtime compadre. Singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons noted as much in a text to radio host Eddie Trunk.
On Wednesday (July 28th), ZZ Top announced that Hill passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston. He had recently taken leave from the band’s US tour with a “hip issue” cited as the reason. The band canceled one show, but then had longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis fill in on bass for the past three concerts. As it turns out, Hill’s last show with ZZ Top occurred on July 18th in Louisville, Kentucky.
While ZZ Top canceled last night’s show in Simpsonville, South Carolina, in the wake of Hill’s passing, the rest of the band’s extensive itinerary remains intact thus far. As of now, the tour is set to resume tomorrow night (July 30th) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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Trunk, who hosts “Trunk Nation” on SiriusXM, tweeted last night that he had just received a text from Gibbons, who told him, “As Dusty said upon his departure, ‘Let the show go on!’ And… with respect, we’ll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes.”
The singer-guitarist added in the text, “Dusty emphatically grabbed my arm and said, ‘Give Elwood the bottom end and take it to the Top.’ He meant it, amigo. He really did.”
By “departure,” Gibbons is likely referring to Hill’s statements to him at the time that he had to step away from ZZ Top’s tour, not at the time of his passing. However, the rest of the sentiment expressed in the text (“we’ll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes”) refers to the band’s future without Hill, as Gibbons texted Trunk after the news of Hill’s death.
Rock World Reacts to the Death of ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill: “What an Icon”
As of now, there’s been no official announcement from ZZ Top regarding the status of their current tour, which runs all the way through December 12th, and then picks up again with a Canadian leg in 2022. Tickets are currently available via Ticketmaster for all shows beginning with Friday night’s concert in Tuscaloosa.
See Eddie Trunk’s tweets mentioning Billy Gibbons’ texts below.