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ZZ Top: “I Gotsta Get Paid” and “La Grange”

ZZ Top was offered $1 million apiece by Gillette to shave their beards for a television commercial in 1984. The good news is that both lead guitarist Billy Gibbons and bass player Dusty Hill refused.

Ultimate Classic Rock’s Nick Deriso  lists what he considers to be ZZ Top’s best albums. The top five from great to best: “Fandango” (1975), “El Loco” (19891), “Eliminator” (1983), “Degüello” (1979) and “Tres Hombres” (1973). Click here or on the image for the top selection. Here it is on iTunes. The album includes “La Grange,” which is one of the band’s biggest songs. The other two are “Tush” (on “Fandango”) and “Sharp Dressed Man” (“Eliminator”).
Here is the beginning of the band’s profile at AllMusic:

ZZ Top is an American  band, formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band members are Billy Gibbons (vocals and guitar), Dusty Hill (bass guitar and vocals), and Frank Beard (drums). They hold the distinction of being one of the few rock bands still comprised of its original members for over 40 years, and until 2006, with the same manager/producer, Bill Ham. (Continue Reading…)

The story behind I Gotsta Get Paid (above), is interesting because of the involvement of Rick Rubin, who seems to be all over the place. The band seems open to new influences, which may be one reason the same three guys have played together for so long. From Wikipedia:

Entitled La Futura, the album is produced by Rick Rubin.[22][23] The first single from the album, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” debuted in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed and appears on the soundtrack of the film Battleship.[24] The song itself is an interpretation of “25 Lighters” by Texan hip-hop DJ DMD and rappers Lil’ Keke and Fat Pat.[25] The first four songs from La Futura debuted on June 5, 2012 on an EP called Texicali.[26] DJ Screw was a major influence on the album as well, particularly because Gibbons and Screw both worked with the engineer G.L. Moon during the late 1990s.[27] (Continue Reading…)

Below is La Grange, the band’s biggest hit.

(Ultimate Classic Rock was cited in the blue box. Homepage photo: Alberto Cabello)

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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