Billy Gibbons Opens Up About ZZ Top’s Retirement Plans

Billy Gibbons Opens Up About ZZ Top’s Retirement Plans | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Billy Gibbons, the legendary guitarist of ZZ Top, recently discussed the band’s future and the significance of original members in iconic bands. During a conversation aboard the Rock Legends Cruise, Gibbons reflected on the longevity of bands such as ZZ Top, Aerosmith, U2, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, who have managed to stay together with their original lineups for an extended period.

Camaraderie and Support

When asked about his perspective on bands continuing to perform under their original name after the loss of key members, Gibbons shared an interesting story about Lynyrd Skynyrd. He recounted how the band made the decision to press onward after the passing of guitarist Gary Rossington, one of the last surviving original members. Gibbons received a phone call from Johnny Van Zant, the current lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, shortly after Rossington’s death.

Gibbons expressed his surprise and condolences, but Van Zant had a different request. He asked if Lynyrd Skynyrd could join ZZ Top on tour. Gibbons replied, “Well, we, ZZ Top, hired Lynyrd Skynyrd as our opening act. We gave them their first paying job, and they’re still doing it. So, yeah, it’s a good thing.”

This exchange highlights the importance of camaraderie and support within the music industry. ZZ Top’s gesture of giving Lynyrd Skynyrd their first break forged a connection between the bands. Even after facing the loss of members, they continue to support each other and collaborate to honor their musical legacies.


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Honoring Legacies and Moving Forward

The passing of Dusty Hill, ZZ Top’s bassist, in July 2021 marks a new chapter for the band. In June 2023, Gibbons shared heartfelt memories of Hill, emphasizing his significant influence on ZZ Top. To carry on Hill’s legacy, Elwood Francis joined the band as his replacement, bringing a fresh dynamic to their performances.

In addition to paying tribute to Hill, Gibbons played a vital role in organizing a tribute for Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd. After Rossington’s passing, Gibbons was approached to help put together a tribute at the CMT Awards, showcasing the deep respect and admiration among musicians within the industry.

Looking ahead, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd are preparing for the Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour. This co-headlined North American tour will cover 36 cities in 2024, commencing in Savannah, Georgia, on March 8. The tour promises to be a memorable experience for fans, with special guests Black Stone Cherry and the Outlaws joining the lineup.

Billy Gibbons’ insights into the future of ZZ Top and the importance of original members shed light on the resilience and unity within the music community. Despite facing loss and challenges, these legendary bands continue to create music and support one another, ensuring their legacies live on.

Watch Billy’s full interview below: