Billy Gibbons Is Following The Footsteps Of Keith Richards
Billy F Gibbons / Youtube
Billy Gibbons, who continues to tour nonstop in 2023, asserts that ZZ Top, with recent solo tour dates and an upcoming tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, won’t be disbanding. Despite speculation about a farewell tour, he firmly states that it’s not on his radar. He shares that a conversation with Keith Richards gave him a new perspective on the idea of retiring from music.
Gibbons also discusses his long-standing friendship with Skynyrd, the rumored upcoming ZZ Top record, and other projects that will keep him busy through the rest of the year.
Billy Gibbons’ Take on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Music
When asked about some of his earliest memories of Lynyrd Skynyrd, he mentioned that he and his group had a strong appreciation for the compositional elements that Lynyrd Skynyrd put together. Being a trio themselves, they noticed the distinct approach Lynyrd Skynyrd had with three guitar players and the addition of piano. He stated:
“Through the years, their lineup has maintained what I call a real sophisticated complexity. I don’t know if those two words go together, but they certainly pull it off.”
He also contributed to the honoring of Gary Rossington and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the CMT Awards. The tribute highlighted the band’s lasting legacy, with a powerful performance of “Simple Man” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” It was a fitting celebration after the passing of Rossington, the last surviving member. The event brought attention to the enduring impact of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music worldwide.
Transitioning Between Tours and Lynyrd Skynyrd
Less than two weeks prior to the tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, he had just finished an overseas tour with the BFG’s. When asked how he changed gears, Gibbons remembered speaking with their drummer, Matt Sorum, said:
“Well, I’ve successfully returned from a nice run across Europe, which included some dates in England.”
Interestingly, “More-More-More” and the more current song, “The Devil Is Red,” which he co-wrote with Sorum, off the BFG’s most recent album, Hardware, received very positive feedback. Later, his associates Frank Beard and Elwood Francis expressed interest in using a few of the BFG’s songs in a ZZ Top performance, showing that his work was having a significant impact. They thought this was a cool development.
Approaching Farewell Tours
In the interview, he was asked about their perspective on approaching farewell tours, and they responded by sharing a conversation they had with Richards. According to them, Richards suggested following the words of Muddy Waters, who said, “Do it until you die.” They acknowledged that Muddy Waters was fortunate enough to keep performing until the end, so they consider themselves fortunate if they can do the same when the time comes.
Regarding the new ZZ Top album, the subject mentioned that they have some ZZ Top sessions, including about half a dozen tracks from recent rehearsals with BFG’s (Austin Hanks on left-handed guitar and Matt Sorum on drums). Additionally, they have some tracks that were developed, some going back over two years. They teased that there is some BFG stuff in the works alongside the ZZ Top material, and they urged fans to get ready for it.