Like most music artists, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons‘ creative activities have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the long-bearded singer/guitarist tells ABC Audio that he’s still been able to work on multiple projects during the health crisis.
Gibbons says a “real bonus” of having some extra downtime is that he’s been able to focus on “ongoing recording projects” by ZZ Top and his own solo record. “Loads of cool grooving going on,” he declares.
Billy also notes that he recently released a newly revised edition of his Rock & Roll Gearhead coffee-table book, which offers “a host of new cars, some new guitars and enough slang to send one back to the dictionary.” In addition, Gibbons points out that he recently appeared on an episode of the CNBC program Jay Leno’s Garage. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer reports that the episode showcased “our latest little ’34 Ford hot rod called the Whiskey Runner,” which he says is “the bad little sister of the Eliminator,” the car featured in several of ZZ Top’s classic 1980s videos.
Meanwhile, Gibbons admits that he’s really missing performing live with ZZ Top. As for what the first songs the band might play when they’re able to get back on the road, Billy says “a ZZ Top favorite” and perhaps a tribute to Roky Erickson, late frontman of the Texas psychedelic-rock group The 13th Floor Elevators. He also says doing a cover of Wilbert Harrison‘s “Let’s Work Together” would be “a fitting homage to the frontline workers we all depend on.”
ZZ Top’s current schedule includes two 2020 dates — November 27 in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and November 28 in Lake Charles, Louisiana — an April 2021 Las Vegas residency, and a spring Canadian tour with Cheap Trick.
By Matt Friedlander
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