Hey, Billy… Hey…!
- When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
I must have been 5 or 6 years old. My Dad, a and band leader and one of the music directors the MGM pictures lot, let me tag along to attend a B.B. King recording session with his orchestra. I was actually mesmerized with the entire goin’ ons. I don’t think I said it out loud but I certainly recall saying to myself, “This is what I want to do.”
- ZZ Top has been together for a long time. How do you maintain the onstage magic that fans love?
That “magic” is just us having a good time. We get a kick out of getting out there and playing for the audience and they, in turn, return that excitement so things just kind of ramp up. It’s a natural, organic process that fuels itself.. and us.
- What is your favorite thing about performing as a band?
We have this kind of telepathy between us. We don’t have to necessarily speak, glance or nod to each other but we seem to instinctively know that the other guys are about to do. Yes, we rehearse but this is something beyond being well prepared. It’s beyond preternatural.. it’s supernatural and a case of the sum being greater than the parts.
- Does the band have anything in the works you can share with our readers?
We’ve been spending time in the studio of late as the tour schedule allows. We’ve got a few sides down and anticipate doing some in a sequence of releases. There’s definitely a continuum of that bluesy thing going on.
- Which do you enjoy more – writing songs or singing them?
That question is a new one so… gotta ponder for a second. It’s really The age old “chicken and egg” thing, when you think about it. We’d having nothing to sing if we didn’t write yet singing (and playing) are at the core of the band’s writing. Is there a third choice?
- What is your favorite song?
Meaning a ZZ Top song? That’s really two songs: “Waiting For The Bus,” together with “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” They have been juxtaposed since the very beginning when the engineer masterminded cutting out the space between the two songs when they were originally intended as the 1st and 2nd tracks (side 1, cuts 1 and 2) on “Tres Hombres.” We have always performed one with the other ever since. Let’s say both of ‘em — together — are certainly a couple of our favorites. Beyond favorite ZZ Top numbers, I’d have to go with Muddy Waters’ “Standing Around Crying”… You just can’t beat a song that starts “OH, BABY…! ”
- Who/what inspires you?
Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf for starters. and Jimmy Reed as the end all. Then again, we gotta stack the deck with none other than the tops from the UK …Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, and of course, Peter Green. Texas lends us Jimmie Vaughan. Eric Johnson is also a stand out and the wicked wanderings of Pete Anderson out in Hollywood.
“Them’s all Mount Rushmore-worthy“.
Thanks so much for your time.
You’re more than welcome!