1. My question is this… With such a big catalog of songs to choose from, how do you decide which songs make the setlist for a tour? Thanks and keep grinding Rev !
Señor Dave… Great question as the band takes written request through the BFG website as well as the ZZ Top official sites to keep the live appearances fresh and entertaining. We also have a few inside favorites which vary from time-to-time, yet we truly enjoy playing anything and everything from the vast ZZ Top catalog…especially the weirdly unexpected deep tracks from the beginning to the present and all points in between…! Send in you personal fave and we’ll see you in your town, pronto.
2. What’s your take on “Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll”?
Señor Z… Well, as timeless as that simple phrase may be, it still gets heard quite often, even in these fussy days of “gotta be correct” to avoid lighting up the masses with attitude. We don’t really have much regard leaning in any particular direction as it’s still heard all the time. Rock on…!
3. Was interested in what it was like meeting johnny Cash what impression did he leave on you if any?
Johnny Cash and I met quite by a planned surprise arranged by our pal, producer Rick Rubin. Rick was in the process of producing one of his the great return to the studio albums and asked if I would write a special song aimed directly with Johnny Cash in mind. Johnny heard the song and immediately set about working up an arrangement which was on hand during our “surprise” encounter. The added bonus appeared when Johnny’s lovely and talented bride, June Carter Cash also made the showing to make for a warm and lively gathering resulting in an impromptu studio recording session delivering a memorable interpretation of the song created especially for Johnny. The entire affair remains a standout! Needless to say, a moment not soon forgotten. The song, “I Witnessed A Crime” sometimes appears on YouTube. Check it out…!
4. I noticed you wear alot of accessories and jewelry that intrigued me. The leather pouch around your neck, for instance, is that a gift from someone or is it symbolic of a belief? I am interested in the meaning,.if any of the unique adornments that you wear.
Thank you & good vibes
Sheryn…! Yes, the medicine bag is a gift from a Native American Indian long-time friend who I met while living between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. The time spent created a deep sense of appreciation of the vast desert Southwest and the strident presence of the original inhabitants of our great land. It’s something of a treasure and the contents…well, we’ve kept that our secret to be shared with friends when we get to enjoy hanging out on those rare occasions with our fans, friends and followers.
5. Who are the blues artists who had the biggest influence on you?
Paul, No doubt, the top 5 would certainly include Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Eddie Taylor, Bo Diddley, One String Sam, Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mike Henderson, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hop Wilson, Lazy Lester, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Keith Richards, The Black Keys, The Staple Singers, Elmore James, Flaco Jimenez, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Gary Clark, Jr., Frankie Lee Sims, Jeff Beck, Lil’ Son Jackson, The Bluesbreakers 1-2-3, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Winwood, The Kingsmen,
Little Richard, Little Walter, Little Willie Littlefield, Long John Hunter, Magic Sam, Mike Flanigin, The Red Devils, The Nightcaps, Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band, Ray Charles, Robert Johnson, Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, and…. Oh, yeah, did I say the top 5… We can continue at a later date to spotlight the next “Top 5″…!
6. Do you have a post where you regale us with tales of your time off in the late 1970’s, the four years between albums? I understand you kind of went off on a “music pilgrimage” for four years
T-Ray, True enough…! Some exotic excursions through Europe and points beyond that led us toward a most appealing surge of off the wall sonic sounds that really expanded the appreciation of a wide range of tones and compositions which lent opening up to thinking and performing way outside the former “box”. We, as a band, regathered with a new found approach to the enjoyable manner of making the fave-rave expression of interpreting the great American art form, “the blues”…!
7. 1996 superbowl was the last time we heard your mistress Pearlie scream. Have you considered putting her in the Smithsonian institute?
Mr. B, Ironically, our connections with the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum brought us into focus with various other departments including conducting some unexpected discussions highlighting the specialness found in the remarkable playability and robust sound of the most strident sound maintained within “Pearly Gates”. We still hold on to “Pearly” as there’s sessions more left to call that high-powered impact of “Pearly’s” sonic explosiveness. Rock!
8. How did you get the part of Angela’s dad on the tv show BONES? The episodes that you’re on are some of my favorites!!
Shelia, Thanks for the compliment. We, too, enjoyed a lengthy standing run following the choice story lines from the legion of writer’s under developer, “Mr. Hart Hanson’s” team of storytellers, putting yours truly, BFG, in the hot seat to become Angela’s super-protective Dad. Over the course of the series, all seems to have worked out well in the long run. In actuality, our real-life relationships remain friendly and totally on solid ground. A great experience with cast and crew…!
How did ever start using .007s. I use .009s I wish i could use .oo7s, but they bend out of tune when I do chords. How do you avoid that?
Mr. B… The real discovery of using light gauge strings sprang from the directive from B.B. King who encouraged the use of super slinky’s, starting with, .008’s, and ultimately sampling the marvels of going it one step deep into the realm of the newly created, .007’s from Jim Dunlop Musical Products. They’re great. Super stretchy that defies breakage and with that in mind, they hold tune exquisitely. Feel free to try lowering the action to allow the strings to lay closer to the fingerboard which reduces the tendency to stretch the strings beyond a flat plane. Keep in mind, the smaller, ’50’ era skinny frets also play a handy way to avoid pressing strings out of tune. Play on, brother. And, slither down them strings with ease…!
For more and to submit your question or song request visit the “Ask BFG” section of the site