Online chat with ZZ Top (3/5/2000)

Thanks to Rhonda at s10bom1@swbell.net for the HTMLized contribution. Also thanks to Woodster and SWB1061@aol.com for sending in copies as well.

WMW:

After the boyzz have finished answering the questions and responding to your comments we plan to enable full chat functionality and allow for an interactive discussion... so please submit your question and ZZ Top will be with you as soon as they finish rocking Beaumont.

WMW:

If you would enter your questions and comments to the band in the text window below and send them in, I will begin assembling them for presentation to the boyzz. Since we anticipate an extremely large number of visitors to be attending this webcast it will be difficult to follow the band's comments if we were to allow a full open forum chat, therefore most features have been disabled, your questions are being stored into a local computer and displayed on the band's monitors for them to review and choose which one's they can respond to...you might want to change the refresh rate of your screen, you can slow it down or speed it up by using the options menu...

WMW:

Hello fellow fanz of ZZ Top, this is your ol' webmaster willy at the keys... I will be your host / moderator for this world wide web chat... The band members have logged on and are now on stage concluding their XXX tour of the states... they will be here shortly to discuss the upcoming XXX World Tour and answer your questions.

Gibbons:Billy F Gibbons here....

Hill:Dusty Hill just checked in...

Beard:Frank Lee Beard Logged on...

[ZZ TOP CHAT] Welcome to ZZ CHAT:

WMW:

the band is on the way down from stage - and should be making there way through the backstage crowd to the computers - hang with us - we are collecting your questions

WMW:

Going to be running a little late - as you can imagine there is a huge crowd assembled to wish the band well - they can be seen off in the distance but it will take a little while to clear a path -

WMW:

The band has been grabbed by local press and will here in about 5 minutes

WMW:

Pablo, Jerry and Dave are heaaded over to try and rescue the boyzz - so we should be able to have them here shortly

WMW:

Ok give them a second to get settled down and look over the questions -

WMW:

So I guess there must be a couple of dozen questions related to the hat Billy wears on stage.. Oh let me add that it's not just for his stage performance . this is daily head gear for the man. you wont catch him without it. why don't you tell the fans a bit about your hat.

Billy:

Wow! The ultra famed African hat. A familiar question and one of our favorite things to tell....Billy's famous African hat...or, as it's described and seen in the "RHYTHMEEN" CD 'inside-sleeve' photo ... ZZ TOP's ...

Billy:

... Hat de Afrique` ... !!! It's become another style element, (we'd like to think, anyway...). Weird as we've known to be at times, it's a fascinating piece of power for our music making sessions and a powerful reminder of what we constantly engage... playin' music ... A symbol of blues origins that moves our one and only passion...playing that crazy music.

WMW:

The Hat's defiantly "where-it's-at "and anytime you wanna check up on some interesting background on it and some other powerful and important pieces of African art...

WMW:

go hit the link to Billy's website, too...! He won't mind and there's some detailed info packed with comments and literary references of fine art of Africa.

WMW:

That'll be posted during the new exhibit and installation opening around the 3rd week of this month and running through the mid-August. Just click on the connecting link to Billy's page following the opening date !!!

WMW:

I am going to try and get some of the redundant questions out of the way - several are asking about the upcoming world tour - anything you can provide on that subject.

Dusty:

Ah, yes ! The world tour now in progress ! Another favorite subject and we're glad to add a comment! The ZZ 2000 World Tour

Dusty:

as posted on the ZZ site, lists the established upcoming travel dates and appearances throughout the world and will be updated for the continuation of the 'TRIP + X' journey 'round the globe and we look forward to seeing all our friends for another round of entertaining

Dusty:

and that's both, on and off the stage! So Cool !

Billy:

Well, to begin, and, yeah, this is just a bit off from the question exactly...but the most interesting appearance on stage, at the gig, and backstage after the show in the party room is landslide interest in the background of our weird 'XXX' cut, "DREADMONBOOGALOO".

Billy:

We love it, too ... almost as much as anything we get asked about, and we're delighted that particular cut stands out as 'strange' and ultraweird generating so much curiosity and so many questions. Kinda like our other off-the-wall favorites like, "MANIC" and "POKE CHOP SANDWICH".

Billy:

But back to your question, too...don't feel shy about checking the ZZ website with all the latest infusions. We're up on it with ya'll and really dig the chance for exchanges!

WMW:

Website activities will be the new part of the service to you, our web visitors, covering Europe, Australia and Africa, as well as the other stops along the way ...

WMW:

keeping you well up to speed in the evolving ZZ TOP on-the-road party.

WMW:

All the gigs will be covered in depth with the same amount of attention to your personal inquiries through the website scrawlboard message post and e-mails to us

WMW:

Looking forward to keeping tabs with you all and hearing from you, right here.

WMW:

I see HOT RODS, Cadzzilla, Ford Coupe, on a lot of these here quandaries - mostly asking what is happening with all the famous wheels you guys are so famous for.

Frank:

- Cars and rock 'n roll ... almost carved in stone as part of the rock scene. No doubt part of

Frank:

We still doing our ZZ recycling thang with salvaging some junk metal to transform it back to the real world. Maybe somebody out there could hit us on the scrawl board with a favorite that might be the next in line for a ZZ ' cars of the stars

Dusty:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is currently showing theEliminator coupe in the main exhibit

Dusty:

hall and The Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles

Dusty:

is featuring Billy's, '50 Ford custom, "KOPPERHED" in the upstairs special show gallery during the 'Year 2000' display.

Dusty:

'CadZZilla' , perhaps the most radical creation connected to ZZ TOP 'TV' and Film appearances is on display in England.

Dusty:

Check 'em out when ya' get the chance. These fine custom cars are definitely creme-of-the-crop ! These cars wanna see you and wanna be seen by you , too!

Frank:

- Car racing with the TOP ....Oh, yeah ! ME I'm into NASCAR ...Dusty's into anything that's a 'Havin' a Blast-Car' and Billy's driving anything that's a fastcar with MOON decals for extra speed!

WMW:

Well Dusty You had your turn to discuss the hall of fame in more depth - i do agree that there is something strange about you not being there

Frank:

ZZTFCI" ...the ZZ TOP Fan Club International...it's moving to a new, fully restructured locale right here through the web!!!

Frank:

We think it's the way to keep the fan club service available in the most expedient manner. Let us know what you want and we'll be there. The Fan Club is expanding and it's a bit different... way cool. Should be a mailer, e-mailer and more info out soon.

WMW:

but we have Frank wanting to take one

WMW:

How about the questions on what's happening with the fan club?

WMW:

wait there man give me time to type - i am a bit slow tonight - OK - Here's one about your furry friend, Please explain "LAP DOG the BOOGIE MASCOT".

Billy:

Now that's a good question ...! The "LAP DOG of DISTORTION". The latest celebrity seen on top of the ZZ stage. We mean that curious creature feature at the stage edge with the stack of fuzztone boxes connected to it's head ! Very strange ... ! Make no mistake ...

Billy:

There's some electricity existent in there, somewhere. Everytime we step up close to that loyal creature ... the lights, the amps, the whole house go haywire. It's the nuts. Gotta have it. And for you tech and spec freaks...the 'dog' is definitely part of the voodoo good-luck that's been part of the ZZ gear since shoving off into the RHYTHMEEN roadshow.

Billy:

The dog stays. Come see for yourself....this is another element of the ZZ show that's ... beyond explanation. It's ...well...simply ... just 'there'. Don't know exactly 'why' ... but ... well ... what's new ...! Brings us good luck, sure !

Frank:

Hey! Frank here! These guys have guitar mania on their priority list....! Let me take it from a drum perspective. Yes, and, well...no, just the same

Frank:

. Wow! What these show hours will do to one's sense of keen. I would humbly say that the answer to all matters of the heart and spirit can be addressed from the back of the beat. Stick to the 2 and 4 and slam the suckuh....!

Frank:

....! Muddy Waters did it. Howlin' Wolf did it! T-Bone Walker did it. Spider and Lightnin' did it. That's how ya' learn it, so....what'cha waitin' for ?!?!?!? Play the blues

WMW:

Dusty, How about taking this one, there is apparently a good amount of interest in a live ZZ Top recording,. Any plans to release one?

Dusty:

Live Album ? Could be ! Got the "TRIP + X" CD generating more and more interest for more live tracks

Dusty:

especially with the popularity of the "BELTBUCKLE" live cut and that Elvis Presley bluesified "TEDDY BEAR".

Dusty:

Some of that small nightclub sound is intimate and up-close kinda in-yo'-face stuff that ZZ's best at. What a blast !

Dusty:

Just hit the website suggesting a few blues songs that would fit the live-scene with a fresh , ZZ treatment for future live recordings.

Dusty:

Then, of course, ya' gotta come out and rage with us to make it a slammin' affair! Git it!

WMW:

Tech talk time with Billy and Dusty regarding amplifier gear ...This is a different sort of question, what are the best tubes to buy for a Marshall Plexi amp?

WMW:

and I suspect the question is intended to get toward wrangling that gnarliest, ZZ TOP-ish 'TONE' ...

Billy:

- MULLARD brand valves from the UK ...preferably from the early 60's ... Try the website for 'ANGELA INSTRUMENTS' to see what kind of supply might be available, now. Hey Dust man what's your take?

Dusty:

either MULLARD tubes or American made product made before '69. The PLEXI Marshall circuitry generates the most heavy of TONES

Dusty:

and the tubes mentioned above are certainly at the top of the preferred list.

Billy:

The 'XXX' CD live trax feature recorded sounds with the original ZZ TOP array of Marshall amplifiers outfitted with vintage NOS MULLARD brand valves.

Billy:

I use Pearly Gates on guitar and Dusty is on his Fender bass. Frank is heard kickin' his modern TAMA big kit. Straight to deck recording showing off the ult sound of that really righteous equipment.

WMW:

While we are talking instruments, there is a fan asking about "Pearly".

Billy:

Have no fear...! Pearly Gates is the fine, '59 Les Paul seen on the cover of the ZZ TOP's First Album. Couldn't live without the TONE de la Pearly Gates and the GNARLY sound from that rather amazing , Club O' War !!! "

Billy:

Look here it's Elwood Francis, loyal , guitar-playing , tech-task madman on the XXX tour.. wants to add ... PEARLY RULES!

WMW:

Check out the FEB. 2000 issue of ' GUITAR PLAYER ' magazine, (ZZ TOP cover story) and the 2 concurrent issues of Vintage Guitar magazine with some high tech detail from the tone-machine works of BILLY G, as well as ' Guitar World ' magazine's feature with Mr. BFG. Mucho info on the tech side !

Frank:

Our perspective on the subject is steeped in the Texas tradition of bigger-is-best....and that goes for most everything. Certainly the music. Definitely the TONE. I guess that's the best way to approach the question.....that is....from the bigger-is-best corner.

Frank:

There's a new t-shirt at the ZZ website from the most recent segment of the 'XXX' tour 2000....and it sticks with the above mentioned philosophy...it's the "36-22-36" shirt named after the latest radio single of the same name...."36-22-36"....but don't miss it! Killer art....killer tune

Frank:

Ah, yeah...hit me with another one...my typing skills seem to be sharpening up here. Thanks

Billy:

T-shirts ...T-shirts ... T-shirts !!! Yeah...! Take it away, Mr. Beard.

Frank:

Well awright ...aw yeah." Come and step up to taking a little piece of us home with you from the fine design table and the wicked collection from this tour's illustrations

Frank:

... a few of my favorites are on the display board too, check 'em out ! And the line's being added to the Australian / European / African shows, and,. personally, the classic re-issue shirts from some of the early tour appearances are still 'TOPS' with me !

WMW:

If I may attempt to interpret those statements . I believe they want you to know that we an arrangement with ArtistDirect for the online sale of various ZZ Top merchandise - come back and visit the ZZ SWAG section.

WMW:

ok here's a unique one - are you guys up to it? - Any of you boys like to strip pit for bass?

Frank:

Awrite! Another answer in the rye! That's a tough one. Uh...hmmmmm......Ahhh....got those show hour excitement rushes in the head!

Frank:

But wait! The 'XXX' crystal ball knows all....! Uh...what was the question....?

Billy:

Mercy! Finally something that comes close to the 'beard' image...and the age-old rumor of the razor company enticement to sneak a peek at what may lurk beneath these ye olde chin whiskers! But...alas! No such chance will be taken no matter what the offer!

Billy:

We're not sure what indeed does duly lurk in these beards amidst yesterday's sandwich or this mornings Mexican breakfast combo. Heh Heh ! Before turning the keypad over, we're to be known as one thing, and one thing fo' sure...we just love, love, love that amazing American art of the Blues!

Billy:

And, although some renditions from our dedicated stage comes across more like, say, T-Bone Walker-meets-Crethere in webville Next question, por favor....

Dusty:

Dusty, here. I gotta chance to step up and take a shot with this one

Frank:

Hey! Wait a minute Duster man! You're up and at 'em, now. Go ahead and stab at it.

Dusty:

"Uh...Not certain...No comment".

Frank:

We're doin' the full back-up with you and some serious guidelines where the keys are on this fine computer. I know, it ain't quite the same like pickin' your bad, lo-guitar thang....but we're with ya' man. So what was that question again ...???!!!

Billy:

Yes. Most assuredly ! Plain and simply stated ....Yes. That's the diplomatically correct answer that we 'll manage just now, anyway. Our keystrokes take a little time. Best strokin' the skins and wires. Uh...what was the question...? Just kidding...!

WMW:

Alright - Alright - I think it's time to move you along to meeting with the fans - they are ready to haul you off

WMW:

We could try to turn the chat over to the fans and let them discuss this questions among themselves. If you have a chance to come back this way after the Meet n Greet , just stop on in - thanks for your time

WMW:

It might take a minute to enable full chat so let the technicians take a shot at it - this is new and untried - about like the net is anyway - so keep your fingers crossed

WMW:

Ok the techs are saying they have activated the full functionality - lets see what happens