- Billy, you’re one of the most recognizable guitarists in history and have earned that distinction for nearly 50 years. What’s the special secret to ZZ Top’s longevity?
The not-so-secret secret is we continue havin’ a good time doing what we do and that thing we do is playing what we want to hear. It’s an excursive in mutual gratification, on the party train, havin’ a ball, especially after all this time.
- Who or what has provided musical inspiration along the way and who or what keeps providing motivation as an artist?
The original inspiration is still there: Great American Art form, the blues. We heard Long list of bluesey suspects, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed and BB, and Freddie, and Albert, and decided that’s what we not only wanted to do but needed to do. The fact that all of these giants continued to keep on keepin’ on is totally satisfying. And, the motivation remains letting the good times rock ‘n roll and those who hear that ZZ sound understand we have something to offer so the continuum, er, uh, continues!
- What is one of the most notable or most memorable moments while being up on stage?
That was probably when we played Texas Stadium in Austin with 100,000 of our most enthusiastic Texans. We showcased that small gathering with a carnival-like menagerie which included a live bison, a tamed longhorn steer, a live vulture and a couple rattlesnakes just to keep things interesting. They’ve yet to allow another rock show inside the revered stadium after all these years. No need to wonder why.
- What is a favorite ZZ Top song to perform live?
The band’s catalog is vast yet we get to cheat when asked this question and opt for two faves because, “Waitin’ For the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago” have been conjoined into one grand combination since “birth.” A key splicing of the tape by our trusty engineer created the space between the two songs, cut 1 and cut 2 on side one of “Tres Hombres”. A minimalist’s move along the lines of Madame Curie’s discovery of radium turned two songs into one and that’s the way the two continue to be performed.. Seems like the hand of fate intervened making a tasty tune of the two!
5-6-7. OK, this one is where it gets fun for us… please give us 4 top restaurants recently visited from the 4 corners of the country that could be considered, must visit”.
Ah-Ha…Good one! I am guessing we can go ‘fast-or-five’, as in, ‘fast food’ or ‘five star’… for this round, let’s go from East to West
- Santarpio’s Pizza on Chelsea in East Boston. Nothing compares and it’s always a pilgrimage we make when we’re in the hood.
- H&H Carwash & Tacoria out in the West Texas town of El Paso. I mean, what could be better? A tasty taco while sudsing-up the whip for a clean cruise down the Boulevard.
- And back in Los Angeles, well… if the dining experience is aimed at favoring Mexican fare, let’s say you could aim in just about any direction in that wacky town and discover what might be a new all-time favorite café! But… just in case… Better add these to the list…
* Los Tacos on Santa Monica Blvd.… Open 24 hours * El Compadre on Sunset Boulevard directly across from Guitar Center in Hollywood – flaming margaritas! * Take your pick between these two… El Cholo or El Chavo… there’s loads ‘o trouble awaiting trying to decide which menu items will be for the table and which menu items for the takeaway bag.
- And now, up in the Pacific North West, smack dab on the outskirts of downtown Portland, Oregon… it’s got to be Ryk Maverick’s “Bible Club”. A tastefully lit and faithfully appointed, full service, re-creation of a behind-closed doors ‘20’s speakeasy. A true to style, antiques-filled PDX serving inventive & classic cocktails plus small bites in stylish digs. Go check it out at 6716 SE 16th Ave… ask for Ryk or Kimo. They’ll take good care to insure the experience is one that lasts from the setting sun ‘til way into the wee, wee, hours.
That’s a wrap for another “7 MORE”, I do believe.
Wow! Thanks again, Billy!!