Trivia for ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas
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- Very early in their career, ZZ Top had a gig in Alvin, Texas, where they went on stage behind a curtain, and when it went up there was only one person in the house. He looked confused or nervous, and started to get up to leave, but they begged him to stay, played an hour set, then bought him a Coke for sticking around - and then played an encore! Hill says that man still comes to their shows, but won't ever tell them his name. He just says, "remember me, I was at that show!" and they say of course they remember him.
- In January 1973, the band had released only two albums and had not yet broken out with the Tres Hombres disc and its single, "La Grange," which came out the following summer, when they were surprised by an invitation to open for The Rolling Stones for three nights in Honolulu. They flew to Hawaii two weeks early, hung out with the headliners at the bar and the pool, and ran up a sizable bar bill, so their manager imposed a two-drink maximum. As Beard recalls, they discovered a specialty drink called "Chimp in Orbit" that was so tall it was served on the floor with a super-long straw, so they ordered those.
- Based in Dallas in their teens, Hill and Beard played bass and drums in The Warlocks and the American Blues (with blue-dyed hair - in Texas! in the Sixties!). Down in Houston, Gibbons remembers being inspired by the psychedelic band, the 13th Floor Elevators, to come up with his local band's name. Elevators go up, but we're going to go forward, he reasoned; so his band was known as The Moving Sidewalks.
- When Gibbons's Houston band was booked to open for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the only way they could fill their assigned 40-minute time slot was to include the two Hendrix songs they knew, "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze." As he revved into the opening chords of the latter, Gibbons spied Hendrix staring at him from the wings. When he came off, Gibbons says, Hendrix told him: "I like you. You got a lotta nerve."
- When Beard auditioned to join Gibbons in a new band (because he had lost nearly all his mates in The Moving Sidewalks to either the draft or going on with their lives), Beard says, "I was jacked up on speed, so I made him jam for eight hours." He urged Gibbons to give his friend Dusty Hill a shot at bass, so at his audition the guitarist suggested they try a "shuffle in C," which, Gibbons recalls, "lasted for three solid, uninterrupted hours." Hill was in.