Reporter Jim Axlerod of CBS Sunday Morning sat down with ZZ Top, the hard-rocking, country blues trio who have been together for 50 years. Band members Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons, and Frank Beard quite fondly remembered their early days of excess and their MTV heyday, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) recall how the band got its name, preferring to leave the story to rumor and exaggeration.
The band ZZ Top is marking 50 years together, with a new remastered collection of their greatest hits, “Goin’ 50.” Jim Axlerod talks with guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard (the one without a beard) who are still working hard to make their pedal-to-the-metal, bluesy country-rock seem so easy.
What was most touching about the interview is how loyal the three musicians are to one another, particularly when one is down. When Beard had to go to rehab, Gibbons and Hill waited for him get better and re-join the band.
Beard: In the late 70s, I’m in rehab somebody asked Dusty what he was going to do…and Dusty said, ‘I’m going fishing’.
Host: Billy, you never thought about getting another drummer?
Gibbons: No, There is no other drummer. There is just one guy.