Recently, ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons appeared on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk and stated that Dusty Hill’s suggestion to hand over bass duties to Elwood Francis was an excellent one. As one of the most enduring rock bands in history, ZZ Top maintained the same lineup for more than five decades until their bassist Dusty Hill died on July 28, 2021, after struggling with a variety of health issues just prior to his passing. Elwood Francis, the band’s long-time guitar technician, performed on bass during Hill’s absence from certain performances due to his deteriorating health condition.
Just prior to his passing, Dusty Hill assured Billy Gibbons that they could always rely on Elwood Francis as a bass replacement. Gibbons listened to his deceased bandmate and decided to move forward with Francis on bass despite the difficulty of losing Hill. Gibbons stated in a recent interview that Elwood was a perfect fit for the band due to his familiarity with the songs and arrangements as a longtime member. The guitarist also praised Francis’s energy and musicianship, remarking that he exceeded their initial expectations. According to Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill demonstrated his wisdom by suggesting a very suitable replacement name. In a sense, the deceased bassist secured the band’s future by recommending Elwood Francis, which proved to be the correct choice given Francis’ perfect compatibility with the rest of the band.
Billy Gibbons on his decision to hire Elwood Francis: “I responded, ‘No, he had a beard,'” Believe it or not, that’s your man, Elwood, he said. So, not only is he a great guitarist with raucous antics, but also with the way he plays the guitar. When he said, “Hand the guitar to Elwood,” Dusty displayed a sliver of his wisdom that exceeded our wildest expectations. Here we are, then. Elwood volunteered for the position and accepted it. It’s great to know that Dusty is leading the charge here in spirit.” You can view a portion of the radio program below.