ZZ TOP Première partie: THE RUNNING BIRDS

ZZ TOP Premiere partie: THE RUNNING BIRDS

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    Pearly gates
    Billy Fredericks Gibbons first wanted to start learning the drums but was considered too small at the time and so, the guitar seemed like the best option. His wealthy parents treated him with a Gibson Melody Maker at Christmas 1963. With drummer Coachmen and the other locals, they start off The Moving Sidewalks group. A common tour allows Billy Gibbons to meet future friend Jimi Hendrix that we calls “his favorite guitarist” during a TV interview during which he even offers him his guitar: A pink fender Stratocaster. Armed with this guitar and a 58 Gibson Les Paul that he calls “Pearly Gates”, Billy Gibbons start being famous in his region. The 20th of June 1969 is the beginning of the ZZ Top. Lee Beard as the drummer and Joe “Dusty Hill” Michael at the bassist complete the group for their first concert in Beaumont Texas the 10th of February 1970.
    La Grange
    Bill Ham manages to help them sign a contract with the label London, linked to Decca Angleterre. The first ZZ Top album will not be the one to make a break through. Within the album we may find some blues like “Brown Sugar” with a very slow introduction at the guitar and vocals directly inspired from John Lee Hooker. “Rio Grande Mud” in April 1972, far more solid with its “Francene” anthem fitted for radio, is a small hit. “Just Got paid” has become a classic in the trio’s directory. From summer 1973, their success accelerates with single “Tres Hombres” and hit “La Grange” (a tribute to a whorehouse of the region) modeled on John Lee Hooker’s song “Boogie Chillun”.
    Show no mercy!
    The 1976 Tour is an extravagant show on a stage representing Texas in its whole called ZZ Top’s Worldwide Texas Tour: Takin’ Texas To The People. This operation nearly ruins the group financially but in the end is really a great success by beating records in New Orleans and Nashville. With more than one million spectators for eleven million dollars of profit, the group allows themselves to release a new album Tejas before going on holiday and signing with Warner Bros.
    The trio reconnects in 1979 and release the excellent single “Degüello” (Show no mercy in Spanish) and the great trilogy that starts it: “I thank you” of Sam and Dave, “She loves my automobile” and “I’m bad, I’m nationwide”.
    MTV
    ZZ TOP will be the first group to benefit of the huge MTV promotion.

    Live from Texas
    The 17th of September 2006, ZZ Top stops his contract with BMG and his collaboration with manager Bill Ham. Two years later, they sign with producer Rick Rubin.

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