Let your beard tell you when things are amiss.
  • Ross Halfin
  • "Let your beard tell you when things are amiss."

For ZZ Top's Worldwide Texas Tour in the mid-1970s, there was a live buffalo onstage, along with a longhorn steer, buzzards, and rattlesnakes. How sweet is that? I mean, wait, that's an outrage. Where was PETA? Were the animals given earplugs? I bet they were scared shitless. Or how about the guy in the front row on extremely pure pharmaceutical-grade Sunshine LSD? How was that longhorn steer lookin' to him? Animal-rights outrage aside, we can at least agree that ZZ Top have stretched the barriers of blues-based music. Boogie, swing, rock, and pop are also considerable ingredients to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sound. In 1983, MTV put ZZ Top's women-empowering video for "Legs" into heavy rotation, and it blew the band worldwide. "She's got leeegs, she knows how to use them." (That's empowering, right?) To date, the Little Ol' Band from Houston, Texas, has sold 50 million albums globally. Guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and beardless drummer Frank Beard have had hit songs about Velcro flies, sleeping bags, brothels, cheap sunglasses, and sharp-dressed men. After 40 years of making music, they've still got the pizazz, and the beards. In 2012, they released their 15th studio album, La Futura, produced by Rick Rubin. Billy Gibbons spoke from his own tour bus rolling somewhere outside Kalamazoo.

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