129. TRES HOMBRES by ZZ Top
I wasn’t yet 3 years old when Texas blues rock outfit ZZ Top released their third record in 1973. This band has always held a special place in my heart, not just because they hailed from the Houston and surrounding area, but also because I was lucky enough to get guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons’ autograph on my last day of junior high as he sat at the bar of an Italian restaurant next door to my school. As I write this the news of bassist Dusty Hill’s death is just beginning to sink in. In the coming days, you’ll likely read many quotes about how Hill and drummer Frank Beard (ironically, the only member of the trio without one) gave the thumping ‘bottom’ to the Top. To hear this tight rhythm section in action, check out the first three tracks (‘Waitin’ for the Bus,’ ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago’ and ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’). And, while you’re chugging on that beer, raise a little hell while listening to ‘La Grange’…you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout….By the way, the segue between the first two tracks on the album is so ingrained into our collective muscle memory, it’s impossible to get to the end of ‘Waitin’ for the Bus’ without subconsciously hearing the beginning of ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago’ a split second before it actually starts.