Music

Dusty Hill dead: ZZ Top bassist’s mother had an encounter with Elvis that inspired her son

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas sneak peak preview

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ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard announced the sad news today that the band’s bassist of over 50 years, Dusty Hill, had died aged 72 in his sleep. Express.co.uk had the pleasure and privilege of seeing ZZ Top headline Ramblin’ Man Fair in 2017, in which their encore saw Dusty lead the band in a rendition of Jailhouse Rock. The bassist would go on to speak warmly of his Elvis Presley fandom in the 2019 documentary movie, ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas.

At home in Texas, Dusty showed the documentary film crew around some of his Elvis Presley memorabilia.

The ZZ Top bassist said: “I’m a huge Elvis fan, always have been. I have Elvis things all over the house.

“I used to carry so much on the road, I had to start getting a separate dressing room… it started becoming a little strange!”

And it turns out Dusty’s mother personally knew Elvis before he was famous and their encounter would inspire her son to be a rock star too.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ixtDEKMGJ8w

Dusty shared: “When I was a kid, my mother was a waitress and Elvis used to come into where she worked. He was not that well known outside of Memphis at that time.

“He had a record, it was on the jukebox. She brought it back with her when we moved back to Dallas and I used to sing to it.”

From the age of eight, Dusty would start singing in public and found people would throw quarters to him – the rest was history.

The bassist’s death was announced on the official ZZ Top social media pages today.

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The statement by his two surviving bandmates read: “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX.

“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. Frank & Billy.”

ZZ Top had been due to perform tonight in South Carolina, before Dusty’s death was announced.

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Last week Dusty was replaced on bass by Elwood Francis, ZZ Top’s long-time guitar tech, for several shows as the star was recovering from a hip injury.

It remains unclear if this physical issue was related to his sudden death today.

Joseph Michael “Dusty” Hill was born on May 19, 1949 and died today aged 72.

ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas is streaming on NOW.

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