Dusty Hill / ZZ Top bass maestro dies aged 72

Dusty Hill, who played with ZZ Top for over 50 years, has passed away in his sleep in his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 72.

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” a statement from Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard read.

“We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’.

“We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”

Dusty Hill, ZZ Top
Dusty Hill. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

A recent hip injury had meant that Hill was forced to miss performances as part of the band’s summer tour, however Gibbons and Beard did not give further details.

Born Joseph Michael Hill, Dusty played guitar with his brother Rocky in Dallas before moving to Houston and joining Beard. They founded ZZ Top in 1969, with their first live gig coming a year later.

The trio of Gibbons, Hill and Beard went on to make 15 studio and four live albums and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Hill also played keyboards and sang lead vocals on some songs.

He also played a cameo in the Back To The Future Part III film, appeared in Deadwood, and played himself in King Of The Hill.

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