ZZ Top has continued delivering performances despite losing their original member, Dusty Hill, in 2021. During a recent interview with Eddie Trunk, Billy Gibbons talked about his late bandmate’s final days before his passing and revealed that Hill was not feeling well, which signaled that something was going on with him.
The band kept on performing with the same lineup for more than five decades until Hill passed away. The late bassist had various health issues, including chronic bursitis, ulcers, a dislocated shoulder, and a broken hip. Although no official cause of death was given, it is estimated that his death was probably due to a complication related to one of his illnesses. ZZ Top replaced Hill with their long-term guitar technician Elwood Francis, who still serves as the new bassist.
In a new chat, Trunk asked Gibbons whether there were any signs that Hill was not doing well in their last show together. The guitarist thinks that his late bandmate had just worn out due to different health issues he had gone through. Yet, he is happy that it was not something protracted. Then, the host also asked Gibbons about their very last performance together.
He revealed they were in Indiana, and Hill said he had not been feeling good. However, he still wanted to perform that night. After the show, Gibbons told him not to worry and see a physician to get better before their upcoming concert. Unfortunately, Dusty Hill couldn’t perform with ZZ Top any more shows. Still, Gibbons is glad they shared great memories during their five-decade together.
Billy Gibbons speaking on Hill’s health condition in his last days:
“Such a great guy. He had his ups and downs; he had bouts with different health issues. I think that he had just worn out, and maybe it was a gift. He went home to sleep, and then the lights were out. So, it wasn’t some protracted weird thing that kept him on the ropes. He played right up till the end. We should be so lucky.”
When asked about their last show together, the guitarist replied:
“Well, we were up in Indiana, and we were getting ready to go on. He said, ‘Let’s do this thing. I will tell you. I’m really kind of feeling out of sorts. I can’t put my finger on it.’ I said, ‘Well, should we try? You know there are 30,000 people out there waiting to hear you blast it out.’ He said, ‘Oh, let’s go on and do it.’ I said at the conclusion of the show, ‘Let’s talk about it,’ which we did.
It was a show before we had a 10-day break. I said, ‘Look, don’t worry about it. We’ve got some time off.’ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ I said, ‘Go see the physician. Let them give you the once-over.’ So again, maybe at that moment, it was a blessing in disguise. Whatever it was ailing him, it was kind of hidden out of sight, but the good news is we’ve got a good five decades of great memories.”
Although Hill was a core member of ZZ Top, the band still didn’t end their career. As Gibbons revealed before, the late bassist also wanted them to go on and even offered Elwood Francis as his replacement, which proved to be the right call considering his harmony with the band.