Billy Gibbons, guitarist, vocalist (Birthday: December 16, 1949 per imdb & fan club bio) AKA: The Reverend; Reverend Billy G.; Worthless Willy; Justis Walkert
[Portions of this bio are condensed from a full biography available from the ZZ Top International Fan Club. Contact ZZTIFCI for membership information.]
"It all started one Christmas, long ago, when Santa coughed up a jan-u-ine Gibson Melody Maker electric guitar and a Fender Champ amp into the waiting arms of one young Billy Gibbons. While the other kids were grooving to the Beatles and the Stones, young Billy was bending notes listening to Jimmy Reed, Little Richard, and trying to growl like Bobby "Blue" Bland.
"Pretty soon he finds himself in bands named the Saints, or the Coachmen, or the Ten Blue Flames. Not exactly the kinds of bands your parents would want to play at your junior high prom. But the Summer of Love eventually grabbed Billy by the throat and he started playing strobe-light music with a band called the Moving Sidewalks.
"Eventually the Moving Sidewalks parted company, and Billy hooked up with Bill Ham, a savvy Houston promo man. Bill and Billy quietly continue to scout the Texas musician scene for just the right players to accompany Billy. At a Halloween party/gig in 1969, Gibbons chances to meet a couple of young musicians visiting from Dallas named Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. They visit a little with Gibbons between sets and someone suggests they should try playing a tune or two together in the next set. Gibbons alerts Ham to come lend an ear and an opinion. The rest is history. In one moment, in one run-down audition somewhere in the heart of Texas, the course of rock music took a distinct and unusual turn for the better."
Some more personal information...
According to people who've sent me mail, Billy loves spicy food, is a night owl (stays up all night then sleeps during the day), is a health nut, and -- believe it or not -- doesn't like to drive! Other than the show cars, he has a motorcycle and a black BMW at his place in LA and had an 85 black Mercedes that he used to drive in Houston.
More recent news indicates that he now drives a modified 96 Ford Aspire which has had tens of thousands of dollars of "undercover" mods done to it including sound deadening material, Moon Eyes racing pedals, chrome bullets over any exposed bolts, entire stainless steel exhaust system, blue neon tubes that are activated by doors opening or dome switch, remote engine start, remote door/hatch openers, not to mention having the entire stereo hidden so at first glance car seems factory, engine upgrades, etc. He even ordered an original 1948 Buick Roadmaster horn from an antique parts dealer that was to be confirmed to blow in the key of "D" before it was shipped to him. The car is known as "ZIPPO".
Those who know Billy describe him as an eccentric genius -- he reportedly has several automotive-related patents in his name. He is an avid African art collector and has a warehouse full of artifacts. Even the new "hat" he sports is a very old African piece that he purchased from a collector. He had it "dated" to confirm its age. His personal warehouse off of Post Oak Road near his house is run by two employees that do nothing but manage the constant influx of stuff that he is buying around the world and having sent back to Houston.
Those more interested in Billy's music should check out Justis Walkert. Some say "Justis" is Billy's pen name. Justis has recorded albums with Jeff Healey ("Feel This") as well as with the excellent Rainer & Das Combo ("The Texas Tapes").
Copyright 1994-2001 Peter Zurich - All rights reserved.