ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, 72, struggled during performance before his death


Dusty Hill passed away last week in his sleep at the age of 72. 

The rocker, who was one of the founding members of the legendary 1970s rock group ZZ Top, was having health issues before he died.

And according to footage obtained by TMZ, the Texas resident had to sit down during a recent performance with his band. After the set, the star was helped off stage.

He was not doing well: Dusty Hill passed away last week in his sleep at the age of 72. The rocker was having health issues before he died as he had injured his hip. And according to footage obtained by TMZ, the Texas resident had to sit down during a recent performance

The performance was with his bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard on July 18 at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hill sat down on a large speaker the entire show and, according to the site, had to be helped off the stage.

Hill had to drop out of subsequent ZZ Top shows when he was taking care of a hip injury. 

At that time, the band said its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, would fill in on bass, slide guitar and harmonica. 

On stage: The performance was with his bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard on July 18 at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, Kentucky; seen in 2019

On stage: The performance was with his bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard on July 18 at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, Kentucky; seen in 2019

It is not known if his death is related to his recovery from the injury. 

This video has surfaced after ZZ Top have paid tribute to Hill as they played their first concert since his passing.

Dusty was acknowledged by guitarist Gibbons as the Sharp Dressed Man rockers performed in Alabama on Friday.

Billy explained how Dusty would have wanted the band to continue playing and introduced his replacement Elwood Francis to the audience.

A tribute: This video has surfaced after ZZ Top have paid tribute to Hill as they played their first concert since his passing. Dusty was acknowledged by guitarist Gibbons as the Sharp Dressed Man rockers performed in Alabama on Friday. Stock photo from 2015

A tribute: This video has surfaced after ZZ Top have paid tribute to Hill as they played their first concert since his passing. Dusty was acknowledged by guitarist Gibbons as the Sharp Dressed Man rockers performed in Alabama on Friday. Stock photo from 2015

He told the audience following the opening tune: ‘We’re gonna have a good time in here tonight.

‘Got a new guy up here, as you know. Dusty gave me the directive. My friend, your pal, Elwood Francis is gonna hold it down behind me.’ 

Later in the show, Gibbons added: ‘How about that Elwood, tearing up that bottom there for Dusty.’

Dusty had been forced to pull out a number of shows across the US just weeks ago after suffering an injury to his hip and it was confirmed earlier this week that he had died in his sleep in Texas.

Hard to share: 'We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,' the note began

Hard to share: ‘We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,’ the note began

The three of us: Their signature was very long beards on two of the band members, Hill and Gibbons. From left: Gibbons, Beard, and Hill in 2016

The three of us: Their signature was very long beards on two of the band members, Hill and Gibbons. From left: Gibbons, Beard, and Hill in 2016

Billy admits that the ‘waterworks (have been) coming and going’ since Dusty’s passing but spoke of the musician’s desire to see the group – which also features Frank Beard – continue.

The 71-year-old rocker said: ‘I had a couple of moments with the waterworks coming and going, and I really felt a sense of relief. I said, “Gee whiz, maybe I am human after all.” This is coming from a very deep and glorious place, with respect to knowing that after 50 years with the guy, we were all joined at — no pun intended — joined at the hip.

‘But knowing that we can take his wishes forward and give him all due respect… You know, he was adamant. He said, “I’m going to go down and see what’s up. In the meantime, the show must go on. Don’t forget it.” And he was pointing his finger and shaking it.’

Hill is seen left alongside bandmate Billy Gibbons during an appearance in Paris in 2012

Hill is seen left alongside bandmate Billy Gibbons during an appearance in Paris in 2012

The news of his death was shared last week by his band mates.

‘We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,’ the note began.

‘We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top.’ 

‘We will forever be connected to that Blues Shuffle in C. You will be missed greatly, amigo.’

Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard formed ZZ Top in Houston in the late 1970s. 

As far as Dusty stepping away from recent shows, the band shared the news on social media.

The trio: The news was shared by his bandmates, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard on Wednesday. The image above shows the band in 1984. From left: Hill, Gibbons and Beard

The trio: The news was shared by his bandmates, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard on Wednesday. The image above shows the band in 1984. From left: Hill, Gibbons and Beard

‘The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue,’ it was noted.

‘They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.’ 

Dusty goes far back with the band. He was one of the founding members of ZZ Top in 1969.

Hill was the lead bass player and secondary lead vocalist for he super group which has the hit song Legs.

They became popular in the 1970s and did very well in the 1980s. Their signature was very long beards on two of the band members, Hill and Gibbons.

Tops: ZZ Top released Tres Hombres in 1973, which reached the No. 8 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Their top hits from that were La Grange and Jesus Just Left Chicago. The band is seen above in this undated file photo. From left: Beard, Gibbons, and Hill

Tops: ZZ Top released Tres Hombres in 1973, which reached the No. 8 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Their top hits from that were La Grange and Jesus Just Left Chicago. The band is seen above in this undated file photo. From left: Beard, Gibbons, and Hill

Older days: Hill of ZZ Top relaxes in the dressing room after performing at the Georgia Southern College Coliseum in Statesboro, Georgia in 1973

Older days: Hill of ZZ Top relaxes in the dressing room after performing at the Georgia Southern College Coliseum in Statesboro, Georgia in 1973

Last week, the band announced on social media that Hill was nursing a 'hip issue' which forced them to replace him during a recent show

Last week, the band announced on social media that Hill was nursing a ‘hip issue’ which forced them to replace him during a recent show

ZZ Top released Tres Hombres in 1973, which reached the No. 8 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Their top hits from that were La Grange and Jesus Just Left Chicago.

On their album Eliminator, they had the massive hits Gimme All Your Lovin’ and Sharp Dressed Man as well as Legs. 

ZZ Top’s discography numbers 15 albums, several of which won awards.

In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 



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