7 Interesting Career Stories Of Dusty Hill

7 Interesting Career Stories Of Dusty Hill | Society Of Rock Videos

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Bassist Dusty Hill passed away on July 27, 2021. Best known for his inventive bass playing, he achieved legendary status as a member of Texas blues rock trio ZZ Top. Together, they went from obscure to household name thanks to a series of massively successful albums and singles.

Today, we take a look back at Hill’s career spanning five decades. Here are stories which you may not know:

1. The fake Zombies

When The Zombies’ 1969’s “Time of the Season” became a hit, they already disbanded. One promoter had the brilliant idea of gathering four boys from Texas to masquerade as the British psych-rock band. Two of them were Hill and Frank Beard. They raked in around $200 for every gig, and people just bought it.

“I can’t remember how we got the gig,” Hill told BuzzFeed, “but I remember a stage hand, an inmate, who was joking about escaping in my guitar case.”

2. ZZ Top’s debut gig was in front of one person

They would go on to pack stadiums, of course. At the start of their career, however, they were nobodies. So when they played live for the first time at a Knights of Columbus Hall outside of Houston on February 10, 1970, there weren’t enough of a crowd.

“There was one person in the audience,” Billy Gibbons recalled. “So we bought him a Coke and finished the rest of the show.”

3. A classic resulted from “farting around”

“Tush”, the only single from Fandango!, became one of their most popular tracks. But it all began during soundcheck.

“We used to record all of [them] on a little cassette, just in case we came up with something,” Hill explained to UCR. “[Gibbons] started playing that riff, and I started singing. What came off the top of my head, to show you how demented I am, I mean, they’re not exactly Bob Dylan-type lyrics. Only a couple of words were ever changed before we recorded it. It’s just like we did it at that soundcheck.

4. Hill took an unexpected job during hiatus

During a two-year hiatus in the late ’70s, Hill decided to work at an airport to avoid becoming “a rock ‘n’ roll asshole.”

“I had a short beard, regular length, and if you take off the hat and shades and wear work clothes and put ‘Joe’ [Hill’s given first name] on my work shirt, people are not expecting to see you,” he said. “So it’s not that hard to pass yourself off. Now, a couple of times, a couple of people did ask me, and I just lied and I said, ‘No! Do you think I’d be sitting here?'”

5. Hill found it hard to watch “This is Spinal Tap”

The 1984 mockumentary featured a fictional heavy metal band. For Hill, however, it served as a painful reminder to things he preferred to forget.

“I cannot, to this day, watch the movie [This Is] Spinal Tap,” he revealed. “It’s just too real. You know when [bassist Derek Smalls, played by Harry Shearer] gets caught in the tube? Well, that happened to me. We had another tour where we came up in these big tubes, and I’m claustrophobic.”

6. He appeared on King of the Hill

In April 2007, Hill was introduced on the animated sitcom King of the Hill as Hank Hill’s cousin.

“Long before they asked me to portray Hank’s cousin Dusty, I was a big fan of the show,” Hill told UCR. “I‘m from near Dallas, where the show is set, and I told my wife they should ask me to play a relative since the last name was already there.”

“I mean, I know those characters as real people who I grew up with,” he added, “including Bobby – you know: ‘That boy just ain’t right.'”

7. Hill was a huge fan of wrestling

He used to attend WWE events, and along with Gibbons, they hosted the July 20, 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw from Raleigh, North Carolina.

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