“ZZ TOP, THAT LITTLE OL’BAND FROM TEXAS” ON ARTE: When Tesan Barbus Bards become global icons

In tribute to the Bassist Dusty Hill, dead in 2021, Arte rebroadcast a documentary showing how the three musicians played with an intact pleasure, half a century after their first concerts.


Half a century after their first concerts, they are always there. Finally almost: July 28, 2021, the band Zz Top lost one of its members, the Bassist Dusty Hill. A good reason to review this film from the Canadian Sam Dunn, anthropologist, himself a musician, whose quality of work was noticed on Iron Maiden, in 2008, and Alice Cooper, in 2014.

The most remarkable is to note that since 1969, Billy F. Gibbons, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill played together with an intact pleasure – Zz Top A, moreover, gave a concert early August 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, A few days after the death of the bassist.

Beyond their barbs, tubes and globally famous clips, the Top Zz are part of the heritage, with this sound immediately identifiable, this straight rhythm, this well-dosed mixture of blues and rock. Sam Dunn reaches, in this dive in the heart of the phenomenon that Zz Top, That Little Ol’Band from Texas, to make half a century of a musical history of America. The Three Hurluberlus have always claimed their Texan heritage, with pride, humor and tenderness.

The quality of the testimonials (musicians, producers), the profusion of filmed archives, including concerts dating back to the 1970s, and even the appearance of some animated scenes, make this documentary a delight to taste without soaking his beard. In its bud (Weiser) …

anecdotes by tens

It is in Houston (Texas) that the three musicians at the nascent beard meet, after various experiences with random success. In 1969, Shuffle in C, Blues Instrumental, marks the true birth of the trio, which almost called Zz King – but it sounded less well … Spaded, Bill Ham, producer and manager, their spear: “I will make you from Stars! “

More? Anecdotes by dozens, including that of this mythical concert in Alvin, at the end of Texas, in front of … a single viewer! These three memorable concerts given in Honolulu, in the first part of the Rolling Stones. Or this faded tour entitled “Texas Tour”, during which the trio was accompanied by some local beasts: Bison, cow to long horns, snakes, raptors …

After the colossal success of this tour, “we had all needed to rest, take a step back,” they will explain. A three-month break that will last … Two years. Frank, addicted to drugs, share in detoxification. Billy discovers the punk in England and strange beliefs in India. “Success is a great thing, but it can also fuck you,” Dusty summarized. Capillary detail that is important: Billy, Dusty and Frank did not shave during this break. Their long barbs will become mythical. Just like the small Texan group became a global icon.

/Media reports.