The lead singer and guitarist for ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons turns 73 today. Certainly, with his hat, cowboy boots, and his beard, he looks like a finely aged wine.
Known for his gravelly bass voice, blues-styled guitar style, and chest-length beard, he is one of the top guitarists in the world. Gibbons is not only a musician. He is a producer, and actor too.
His discography starts with his first album back in 1971. It was followed by ‘Rio Grande Mud’ in 1972 and ‘Tres Hombres’ in 1973. These albums and extended tours helped the band with their reputations. Their biggest albums came after all this. It was ‘Eliminator’ (1983), ‘Afterburner’ (1985), and ‘Recycler’ (1990). He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Billy was also ranked number 32 on the 2011 Rolling Stone list of ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’.
Back in 1976, Billy also commented on how doesn’t want to get eclectic. Let’s take a stroll around this topic on his birthday. It is a part of the interview taken from Blast in August 1976. That’s when he commented,
“I’ve been able to meet a lot of artist/musician types, especially in Paris. Back in 1973, I lived in Italy and Paris for three months and I got a taste for the artist’s life, I used to be fairly active in the visual arts, and some of my old friends are into the mandala formula. You have to understand that the ultimate end, in terms of an artistic exchange, is to impart a consciousness which will elevate the listener/viewer without scaring him. In ZZ Top, we’ve developed a sound which a lot of people can relate to, and I don’t want to even think of altering that too much. We’ve thrown the idea around of adding a musician or musicians, maybe a horn section or a steel guitar, not all the way through but on a cut-by-cut basis – I don’t want to get too eclectic.”
Among that, another questions that were mentioned there is given below.
Q: How are you taking to your more universal success … are you slowing down your work schedule and taking it easy, baby?
A: We’re on the road 250 days a year but we work 365 days a year. We’re always doing something musical.
Q: Frank, what do you do when you’re not on stage?
A: Man, I’m just playing all the time. And Billy, he’s either picking a guitar or his nose.
Q: Billy, how’s the new album coming along?
A: It’s still in the preparation stage – we’re taking a full month off to rehearse. The tunes are things we’ve been working on individually, which we’ve toyed with in hotel rooms and at sound checks but still have a few bugs to work out. But we’ve got a full catalogue of songs to work with this time, and I sort of doubt that we’ll be doing anybody else’s material this time around, even though we won over a lot of fans with our version of Jailhouse Rock. It could happen, but I doubt it.
Last year, Guns N’ Roses members Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke along with Joe Bonamassa were the guests for his birthday live. It was at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. Many fan-filmed footage of the concert also surfaced later that week. They can be watched down below.
And we can only hope for new footage of this year’s celebration.