ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Thinks Hiring Elwood Francis Proved Dusty Hill’s Wisdom

ZZ Top icon Billy Gibbons recently appeared as a guest on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk and stated that handing bass duties to Elwood Francis was a very right suggestion Dusty Hill made.

As one of the most enduring bands in the history of rock, ZZ Top managed to keep the same lineup for more than five decades until their bassist Dusty Hill passed away on July 28, 2021, after struggling with various health issues just before his death. When Hill missed some of the band’s shows due to his worsening health condition, their long-term guitar technician Elwood Francis performed with the band on bass.

Just before his passing, Dusty Hill told Billy Gibbons that they could always trust Elwood Francis as a replacement for bass duties. Gibbons listened to his late bandmate and decided to move forward with Francis on bass, although losing Hill was challenging. During a new interview, Gibbons said that Elwood was a perfect fit for the band since he was familiar with the songs and arrangements as someone who has been with them for years.

The guitarist also praised Francis’ energy and musicianship, noting that it was more than what they initially expected from him. According to Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill showed his wisdom by offering a very right name as his replacement. In a way, the late bassist secured the band’s future by putting forward the name of Elwood Francis, which proved to be the right decision considering Francis’ perfect harmony with the rest of the band.

Billy Gibbons’ words on hiring Elwood Francis:

“I said, ‘No, no, that guy had a beard.’ He said, ‘Believe it or not, that’s your man, Elwood.’ So, he is not only a great player with raucous antics but also the way he attacks the guitar. Dusty showed us a sliver of his wisdom that went far beyond what we ever anticipated when he said, ‘Hand the guitar to Elwood.’ So here we are. Elwood stepped up and accepted the position. It’s great, knowing that in spirit, Dusty is leading the charge here.”

You can check out a portion from the radio show below.