When you do what you love for more than 50 years, it only makes sense that you continue to do what you love even when one of your brothers has passed on. Im not sure Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard got the initial support to continue ZZ Top after the passing of the third amigo that was Dusty Hill passed away 15 months ago. But then again for more than 50 years, they were the only band that lasted with original members! Who could possibly fill those Texas style boots with that Texas style only Dusty could muster?
The first time I had the opportunity to meet Dusty was in my casino days. We were in the process of finalizing the stage for that night’s performance and I noticed Dusty, sitting in what appeared to be his pajamas, outside the equipment storage location near the rolling door. He had gathered a small round table where he enjoyed his afternoon tea. As I walked by, I cordially said “Hello Dusty”. He didnt make a sound, just kept on about steeping his tea.
I later told the Tour Manager about my run in with Dusty to which he snickered and told me “Dusty’s practically deaf, dont take it personal, he’s really a very nice guy, Im sure he just didnt hear you.”
So who’s gonna fill those Texas sized boots and provide the Texas size low end? A guy who’s been with the band for more than 30 years, thats who! Elwood Francis was more known for being Billy Gibbons guitar tech, when Billy toured solo Elwood sat in on harmonica while manning the guitars. So you could say he knows the band in and out! And boy what a job he does!! Not only that but he actually grew out his beard to fit in more with the ZZ Top brand. Of course Frank is Beard by name only!
Here are a few choice shots from their performance at The Paramount in Huntington NY!
Thanks to Adam Ellis for the credentials!!