Billy's Bio

Along with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons is unquestionably one of the finest blues-rock guitarists to ever emerge from Texas. Soon after receiving a Gibson Melody Maker electric guitar and a Fender Champ amp for Christmas in 1963, Gibbons began emulating his heroes — forming his first band when he was 14 (the Saints). In the late 1960’s Gibbons hooked up with a pair of fellow Texans, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, and ZZ Top was born. Over the course of five classic albums over a six year’s span (1970’s self-titled debut, 1972’s Rio Grande Mud, 1973’s Tres Hombres, 1975’s Fandango, and 1976’s Tejas), ZZ Top became one of the country’s top rock bands, touring extensively and releasing new material for the next three decades. A long-time vintage guitar collector, Gibbons owns some of the world’s most cherished and rare guitars, including a particular instrument that he’s become synonymous with, a 1959 Sunburst Les Paul Standard (which he dubbed “Pearly Gates”).

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