Guitarist Billy Gibbons’ and bassist Dusty Hill’s toys can be summed up by three Bs: bold, Bolin-made, and because they said so.
Elwood Francis uses this Magnatone Lyric to monitor the guitar. “It's usually set fairly low,” says the tech, “just so I know the guitar is actually working. I use a Pedals By Tone Creamsicle or an MXR Super Badass Distortion to get the big rock sound. Sometimes I use a Marshall Class 5 or Carr Raleigh. I like to switch it up and have fun if at all possible. Sometimes I get all ‘My Bloody Valentine-y’ and blast weird fuzz, like the FuzzHugger Phantom Arcade. That's definitely entertaining and helps pass the time. I always have something going on over in my world during the show. Hell, I'll be honest, sometimes I crank the shit out of the monitor amp and enjoy the sound of a small amp being blown up. An amp sounds great right before it blows. I just can’t seem to blow this little Magnatone up though.”
ZZ Top approaches gear like they approach facial hair: Go big or go home. Billy Gibbons’ tech Elwood Francis and Dusty Hill’s tech Ken “TJ” Gordon give us the behind-the-scenes rundown of the current touring setup.
Billy Gibbons’ Gear
Here’s a glimpse at what Billy’s been using live, but let it be known that it’s already changed. “We started the tour using the Les Pauls for the encores, but that gave way to whatever guitars we happened to pick up along the way,” said Billy Gibbons’ tech Elwood Francis from the road in mid-November. “Things change at the drop of a hat. In the past week, we've acquired four guitars and six fuzz boxes—and the tour only has three more gigs.”
Dusty Hill’s Gear
Tech Ken “TJ” Gordon describes Dusty Hill’s bass tone as, “Texas blues with a little nastiness and a lot whoooo!” Here he guides us through Hill’s gear, including a collection of basses that were custom-made to match the guitars of bandmate Billy Gibbons.