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Aug 30

ZZ Top Hanging Out In SLO County

Frankly, I would have never guessed that Billy Gibbons, the guitarist for ZZ Top, was a surfer. If you Google his name plus “surfing,” the only thing you see is that he once purchased an artsy-looking surf board.

But a question about the song “Tube Snake Boogie” Monday led to a fairly long discussion about The Stoke, which the singer/guitarist has been obtaining since he was 13.

If you don’t know already, Gibbons’ band is performing at Avila Beach Thursday in a show that will benefit Options, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities. The band arrived in town a couple of days early, so they have time for sightseeing, which, of course, begs the question: Will Gibbons catch the Stoke in Pismo Beach?

We’re going to feature an interview with Gibbons in Thursday’s Ticket. But just to give you a head’s up, the three members of ZZ Top actually met backstage at a Doors concert. Formed in 1969, the 3-person lineup (Dusty Hill, the bass player and Frank Beard, the drummer) has remained constant through the years. Early hits included “La Grange” and “Tush.” But the band had its biggest success, thanks to MTV, in the mid-80s.  Memorable videos included “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Sleeping Bag” — all leaving us with those iconic images of ZZ Top with their lonog beards, shades, furry guitars and the Eliminator car.

When the Texas trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, Rolling Stone gjuitarist Keith Richards introduced the band, which made sense since ZZ Top had opened for the Stones decades earlier.

During my interview with Gibbons, we talked about surfing, the bordello that inspired “La Grange” and, of course, those groovy beards. For more info on the concert, check out this site.

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