You might remember ZZ Top’s “Legs” not just for its superb arrangement and sexually charged lyrics, but also for its music video with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill’s spinning fuzzy guitars. Dean Zelinsky, the creator of Dean Guitars, also created these custom guitars under his own label.
Zelinsky opened up about how he and Gibbons crossed paths, the role of the Dean Guitars for the production of ZZ Top’s Eliminator album, and how he created the customized white Dean Z guitar and bass for Gibbons and Hill to use.
“[ZZ Top’s] Billy Gibbons and I were introduced in the late Seventies through a mutual friend,” Zelinsky wrote. “One day I said, ‘How about I build you a guitar?’ Billy was receptive and we worked out the details for a custom Wine Red ML. Yes, in the early Eighties even Billy Gibbons had a Dean ML”
Gibbons wanted a customized guitar while preparing for the tour in support of the then-released album, Eliminator. “I made a matching pair—a Dean Z guitar and bass—painted them white, including the fingerboards, painted the Eliminator logo down the necks, and applied the sheepskins,” Zelinsky added. “I cleared a path down the center with electric horse sheers to accept the pickups, tailpiece, and strings. I remember we were still gluing the fur on the tuning keys when the FedEx driver showed up to pick up the guitars. He waited while we boxed them up; they had to make it to the video shoot the very next day.” The video mentioned would in turn be ZZ Top’s “Legs” MV, in which the matching bass and guitar were used.
The guitar was still in Gibbons’ and the late Dusty Hill’s possession; in fact, they once again used these fuzzy guitars during a 2018 performance of “Legs” presented below.