But visual aesthetics aside, the trio has been together for over 40 years with the same members. How many bands can say that? Just watch clips from all the Super Bowls since Janet Jackson's boob made its famous appearance. I would have to double check, but I am 98% sure that none of those groups had all or in some cases, even half of their original members. This is one reason I have profound respect for ZZ Top. Actually, up until 2006, they had the same manager since their inception. Bad ass, of the Grade A variety.
Now, I know a lot of people who can't stand certain ZZ, claiming they sold out in the 80s with albums like Eliminator and Afterburner. If you ask me, their use of keyboards and up-to-date studio techniques merely shows that they were not about to be left in the Texas dust. Like a certain someone else I know (start with a "B," ends in an "owie") ZZ Top adjusted their sound with times and found a new audience. But come on, a lot of songs on those albums simply rock. They're amazing car music. I have a DVD of ZZ Top playing live in Texas from 2008 and the only song that I could really hear any live synthesizer on was "Legs." They make those songs just as badass without all that studio trickery. Not to mention, they still sound amazing live. It is my firm belief that Billy Gibbons will never die and that his beard is keeping him alive.
The first ZZ Top album I ever owned is Tres Hombres and it is still fantastic. It contains many classic tunes including "La Grange." Even if you hate the 80s years, you have to recognize how fantastic their combination of the blues and rock is on this album. It goes from classic Western-style blues to heavy, heavy rock("Precious and Grace"=heavy as hell.) Gibbons easily holds his own among the blues masters of the first half of the 20th century. There's a good reason that they're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (complete with furry guitars and drums, and props from when they dressed up their stage like a texas desert.)
With that, I close my ZZ Top rant/adoration. ZZ Top is actually coming to the Dells in August and I am really contemplating blowing an entire UPS paycheck on tickets. Damn fine fellas they are. Just look at the beards.