Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top has fronted the same rock trinity for 50 years. Maybe it’s time to juggle the roster, even for one song.
The new tune from this tres hombres lineup is currently in a holding pattern until they can return to the studio.
“Being an acquaintance and huge fan of both Morris Day and Snoop Dogg, there’s a lot to like when the two collaborate,” Gibbons says. “Just about everything they do has a spirited energy, inviting the visitor to get ready for an auditory and visual treat. And if ya’ like to get a foot tappin’ and lyrics rappin’, this is the duo that can’t be outdone.”
The back story: Snoop and Day had planned a new song last fall. At about that time, Gibbons happened to run into Will Luke and Courtney Benson of Morris Day Management in January, during the Grammy Awards show after-party at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Gibbons, a Las Vegas resident, has known both execs for years. He asked how Day was doing, and Benson told him that Snoop had just agreed to rap on Day’s new song. But that song had not been determined.
Benson then asked Gibbons, “Do you have a song?” Gibbons answered, “I always have a song.”
Gibbons then recalled something an acquaintance had said earlier in the day, when asked about his girlfriend. The gentleman said that they had broken up, explaining, “She was too much girl for me.”
“A bell went off,” Gibbons said.
That line would become the song’s refrain. Gibbons contacted his frequent writing partner, Tom Vickers, famous for his work with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Parliament-Funkadelic, and the song was in motion.
Gibbons soon met Day and Snoop at Snoop’s recording studio near Los Angeles International Airport. The first section of the song was completed on Feb. 4-6, as Gibbons says “in three very streamlined, short afternoon gatherings.”
Always in threes.
Further work has been suspended until the trio can reunite. But having heard what is done, this song moves. It’s the vibe of the Time’s “Jungle Love” mixed with “She’s Got Legs” and a hint of Snoop’s “Head Doctor.”
The entire collaboration was teased on social media, as this month Day posted a photo of himself and Gibbons at a store near the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. The photo is from those February sessions. Gibbons is handing the cashier his credit card, recalling that he was picking up a six-pack of beer and Day cigars.
Friday, Day posted a video of he, Gibbons and Snoop posing for a promotional clip. Day says, “We’re gonna call it the overhand right. They ain’t seein’ this one comin’.”
Gibbons saw the video for the first time Monday. He smiled at Day’s message and said, “That’s about right.”