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Billy Gibbons says Dusty Hill recorded vocal tracks for new ZZ Top songs before his death

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Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

After the sudden and unexpected death of ZZ Top‘s Dusty Hill last week, the group’s frontman, Billy Gibbons, revealed that the late bassist had recorded several tracks, including some vocals, that likely will appear on the band’s next album.

In a recent interview with Variety, Gibbons noted that the recordings were “gonna require some completion work,” while adding that Hill luckily laid down vocal tracks for two tunes.

“I handed Dusty a couple of lyric sheets and I said, ‘Hey, see if you can make heads or tails out of this,'” Billy recalled. “He said, ‘Can I sing it?’ I said, ‘Dusty, you could sing the calendar if you wanted to — people would love it.’ He goes, ‘Hey, that’s not a bad idea. If we ever get back to go to work, can we add the calendar into the show? I know all the words.'”

Gibbons also told Variety that he wasn’t sure about Hill’s cause of death, while noting that in recent years Dusty had broken a shoulder and a hip, and also had suffered from ulcers.  Dusty’s health issues prompted him to leave ZZ Top’s current tour after only a couple of shows, and the band tapped its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, to step in for him. Sadly, just a few days later, Hill passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston.

Gibbons said it was a coincidence that Francis had decided to stop shaving during the pandemic, so that when ZZ Top enlisted him to fill in for Hill, he’d already grown a long beard.

“I was looking over the front row and everybody was kind of giving each other the elbow, and they were pointing up and said, ‘Look, the ZZ Top circus still rolls on,'” Billy noted. “‘There’s another freak up there.'”

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