Dusty Hill’s Final Wish About ZZ Top

Dusty Hill was the successful bassist of ZZ Top for more than 50 years of his life. After Hill debuted with the band in 1971, the first single ‘Francine’ was charted from the second album entitled ‘Grande Mud.’ The 1973 album called ‘Tres Hombres’ brought commercial success to the band. While the album was in the top ten list in the United States, the single ‘La Grange’ reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. When the band took a break in the mid-’70s, Dusty Hill continued his life by staying away from stages.

Hill faced a few health problems after the group reunited and continued to create successful works. The bassist was initially diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000. Then Hill had an operation because of the injury in his hip that emerged after he fell from the tour bus in 2014. In 2021, he had to leave the tour because of problems with his hip again. ZZ Top had to continue the tour without Hill. On July 28, 2021, he suddenly passed away at his home. Before his passing, the rocker had a final wish from the ZZ Top members.

What Was Dusty Hill’s Final Wish?

After Dusty Hill passed away in 2021, the frontman Billy Gibbons announced that the band would hit the road for a tour. As Gibbons informed the audience, the new bassist replacing Hill would be the group’s long-time guitar tech Elwood Francis. The real reason was the band’s continuing with a tour and having Francis as the new guitarist based on a wish of Dusty Hill.

In a previous interview with Variety, Gibbons revealed that he and Hill had a conversation when he took a break from the band because of health problems. Gibbons stated that Hill wanted them to continue their shows as a band during the discussion.

Billy Gibbons said in his words:

“He said, ‘I’m going to go down and see what’s up.’ ‘In the meantime,’ he said, ‘the show must go on. Don’t forget it.’ And he was pointing his finger and shaking it.”

When the interviewer asked about guitar tech Elwood Francis, Gibbons stated that it was Hill’s wish before passing away. Hill told him that he wanted Francis to fill his void while dealing with his health problems. Then, they recruited Francis as the new guitarist out of respect for Hill.

Gibbons explained when he was asked about the Elwood Francis joining the band:

“Well, it was a direct directive from Mr. Dusty Hill. When he grabbed my arm and said, ‘I think I’m due to go visit the physician to see if I can bounce back.’ He said, ‘In the meantime, I want you to grab our guitar technician, Mr. Elwood, and take him out of that tech station and strap him up with my guitar and make him carry on with every single note.’ And I said, ‘Well if that’s your wishes, I’ll respect that.’ And sure enough, we’ve been very, very fortunate to have a stalwart standby to fill in.”

The band members decided to continue their music career with Elwood Francis by fulfilling the last wish of Dusty Hill. Like other band members, Francis grew his beard to keep up with the ZZ Top’s stage presentation and debuted as the band’s new member in 2021.