Produced in Texas in 1949, Billy Gibbons began his first group in his mid-teen years. Around 1970, Gibbons formed ZZ Top, with the initial record following in 1971. Their breakthrough came after the members parted ways around 1976, subsequently grew long beards and reemerged having a newfound vigor on 1983’s Eliminator, which spawned several hits. Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top continue to create music, and Gibbons has branched out into television and culinary efforts.
Shortly after, he formed his first group, called the Saints, along with his second group, the Coachmen, following several years afterwards.
The Coachmen’s sound was inspired by the Rolling Stones as well as other blues-infused groups of the time, however they started to get interested in the psychedelic movement of the time, shortly switching their name to the Moving Sidewalks. Together with the name change came a challenging turn to the psychedelic sounds of the time, featuring experimental tunes and changing effects. The newest group captured the attention of Jimi Hendrix, and Moving Sidewalks started touring together with the celebrated guitarist in 1968 on the “Are You Experienced” tour.
As the 1960s came into a close, thus did the Moving Sidewalks. In 1969, Gibbons sought to form a more blues/rock-based group, also it was ZZ Top. The group shortly cut its first single, “Salt Lick,” and began playing live shows, with Gibbons the band leader and lead vocalist.
In 1971, ZZ Top released their very first record, appropriated (and humorously) called ZZ Top’s First Album.
Tres Hombres, the group’s 1973 record, was filled with bluesy rock tunes that stuck using the listening crowd, also it set the group on the map. The record made the top 10 on the record chart and in addition included ZZ Top’s first top 10 single, “La Grange.” The achievement of the tour led the group to begin recording songs to get a live album, and Fandango! was released in 1975. Fandango! made the top 10 as an record, as well as the tune “Tush” reached number 20 on the Billboard singles chart.
After Tejas, the group made a decision to take a short break, which turned right into a three-year hiatus. Throughout that time, the group members drifted apart. Using their new appearance, ZZ Top reach the studio and after that released Deguello, which included two big hits: “I Thank You” and “Cheap Sunglasses.” The record was a success, plus it directed ZZ Top into its first-ever European show.
Their 1981 album, El Loco, featured three hit songs but nevertheless proved to be just a warmup for another one: Eliminator.
Eliminator came out in 1983 and reach several music genre graphs with various tunes, propelled by additional exposure for the singles on MTV.
Six more records followed, but none could really ever get to the heights reached by Eliminator. The group continues to record and play, and Billy Gibbons independently has had some intriguing events to enhance his curriculum vitae.
In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as in 2006 Gibbons wed longtime girlfriend Gilligan Stillwater. In 2011, Gibbons was rated at number 32 on Rolling Stone’s list of top 100 guitarists ever.