R.I.P., Dusty

Dusty Hill, bassist for legendary Texas rock band ZZ Top, passes away at 72

Dusty Hill, bassist for iconic Texas band ZZ Top, passes away at 72

Dusty Hill ZZ Top
Dusty Hill was a founding member of the legendary Texas rock band. Photo by Emily Jaschke

Dusty Hill, a native of Dallas best known for being ZZ Top's bassist, died on Wednesday, July 28 at the age of 72.

Hill died in his sleep at his home in Houston, according to a post published on the band's Instagram page. A Facebook post on the band's official page said:

We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top'. We will forever be connected to that 'Blues Shuffle in C.'

The musician, whose given name is Joseph Michael Hill, was born May 19, 1949 in Dallas and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of ZZ Top.

He played cello as a student at Woodrow Wilson High School. He played guitar with his brother, Rocky, in bands around the Dallas area before moving to Houston along with Frank Beard in the late 1960s.

Together, they joined Billy Gibbons and released their first record as ZZ Top in 1969.

Hill and his ZZ Top bandmates recorded nearly 20 albums, including four live recordings that produced two top 10 singles, including 1984's "Legs" and "Sleeping Bag" from the now legendary album Eliminator.

The band's 1973 song "La Grange" from the Tres Hombres album paid tribute to the Chicken Ranch brothel made famous in reports in Houston by ABC13  — then known as Action 13 — icon Marvin Zindler.

ZZ Top is scheduled to be the headliner at the 2021 Legends Concert Series benefiting the University of North Texas Health Science Center, scheduled for October 4 at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena; pre-sales are to start Friday, July 30. As of press time, a cancellation had not been announced.


For more on this breaking news story, visit CultureMap news partner ABC13.