Dusty Hill, Long-Bearded Bassist for ZZ Top, Dies at 72 - The New York Times
Jul 29, 2021 1 min, 21 secs

Dusty Hill, the quiet, bearded bass player who made up one third of ZZ Top, among the best-selling rock bands of the 1980s, has died at his home in Houston.

But the band really took off in the 1980s, when Mr.

Hill grew their signature 20-inch beards and the band released a series of albums that added New Wave synthesizers — often played by Mr.

Hill — to their hard-driving guitars, producing MTV-friendly hits like “Legs” and “Sharp-Dressed Man.”.

And he gladly accepted his supporting role for his bandmate’s masterful lead guitar playing.

He started his musical career singing and playing cello, but he switched instruments at 13, when his brother, Rocky, who played guitar, said his band needed a bassist.

“I started playing that night by putting my finger on the fret, and when the time came to change, my brother would hit me on the shoulder,” he said in a 2012 interview.

In 1976, after a string of hit albums and nearly seven years of constant touring, the band took a three-year hiatus.

Hill returned to Dallas, where he worked at the airport and tried to avoid being identified by fans.

The band reunited in 1979 to release “Degüello,” their first album to go platinum, and the first time Mr.

Hill grew out their beards.

Hill also playing keyboard.

The band’s success continued through the 1980s, and while later albums — in which they returned to their Texan blues roots — didn’t climb the charts, the trio still packed stadiums.

Hill’s subtly masterful bass playing.

“Someone once asked me to describe my tone, and I said it was like farting in a trash can.


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