Just Got Paid

“Well in the beginning we didn’t make a lot of money so this song really is about the feelings we got from the audience when we played for ’em. Even more so than that, the feeling we got from other musicians in our home town. So the pay-off for us was what we got back from you people.”ZZ Top (482)

Jesus Just Left Chicago

“When we first got together we discussed our influences and an odd thing would happen in Texas was, on some Saturday nights at midnight, you would hear this radio station – it would come in and be playing old blues music. And it wouldn’t be every week because the atmosphere had to be just right. We figured out this station was WLS coming out of Chicago, 2000 miles away. Each of us had done this even before we met so we decided to write a song about this heavenly music that had left Chicago and come all the way down to us.”ZZ Top (482)

La Grange

“About that little shack outside La Grange, Texas [the Chicken Ranch brothel – Ed].”ZZ Top (482)
“We were extolling the virtues of our proximity to Mexico and that gunslinger mentality. “La Grange” was one of the rites of passage for a young man. It was a cathouse, way back in the woods.”Billy Gibbons (613)
“It’s the endearing anthem to this house of ill repute that was so popular in Texas. Did you ever see the movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? That’s what it’s about. I went there when I was 13. A lot of boys in Texas, when it’s time to be a guy, went there and had it done. Fathers took their sons there. You couldn’t cuss in there. You couldn’t drink. I had an air of respectability. Miss Edna wouldn’t stand for no bullshit. That’s the woman that ran the place, and you know she didn’t look like Dolly Parton, either. I’ll tell you, she was a mean-looking woman. But oil field workers and senators would both be there. The place had been open for over a hundred years, and then this asshole decides he’s going to do an exposé and close it. And he stirred up so much shit that it had to close. La Grange is a little bitty town, and little towns in Texas are real conservative. But they fought against it. They didn’t want it closed, because it was like a landmark. It was on a little ranch outside of town, the Chicken Ranch. Anyway, we wrote this song and put it out, and it was out maybe three months before they closed it. It pissed me off. It was a whorehouse, but anything that lasts a hundred years, there’s got to be a reason.”Billy Gibbons/Dusty Hill (941)

Master Of Sparks

“This is about this giant steel ball that Billy’s high school group built out of sucker gauge with a seat inside and that they’d push off the back of a pickup truck going at 80-90 mph down the road.”ZZ Top (482)

Heard It On The X

“Those border stations from Mexico would come in like a police call. XERF could be picked up in Hawaii, parts of Western Europe. It was fascinating to hear all of that blues and R&B on the radio. And Wolfman Jack, who was on XERF — man, he made the stuff out of control. “Heard It on the X” was a celebration, acknowledging that influence. To this day, Frank, Dusty and I share the same influences. It’s in the first line: “Do you remember back in 1966?/Country, Jesus, hillbilly, blues/That’s where I learned my licks.” What you were hearing was indelible.”Billy Gibbons (613)
“The X is Mexican radio. All Mexican stations’ call letters begin with X. The X stations used to be heard everywhere because of their enormous power. The Mexican government granted licenses with no wattage ceiling. The U.S., back in the ’20s, established 50,000 watts as the maximum. WLS in Chicago is 50,000 watts, and you can hear it like a police call in Houston. I’m sure 500,000 watts you can pick up here in Canada. You can probably pick up XERF. It was just outrageous. You could pick it up everywhere and we’d go. And it would bury everything else. KDRC in Houston was on a close frequency, and they would get stomped on. They had to move. XERF is 1570 on the dial. I think that remains the most powerful station.”Billy Gibbons (941)


“[The Texas singer – Ed] Roy Head had a flip side in 1966, “Tush Hog.” Down South, the word meant deluxe, plush. And a tush hog was very deluxe. We had the riff going, Dusty fell in with the vocal, and we wrote it in three minutes. We had the advantage of that dual meaning of the word “tush”. It’s that secret blues language — saying it without saying it.”Billy Gibbons (613)
“Tush, where I grew up, had two meanings. It meant what it means in New York. Tush is also like plush, very lavish, very luxurious. So it depended on how you used it. If somebody said, “That’s a tush car,’ you knew they weren’t talking about the rear and of the car. That’s like saying, “That’s a cherry short.” But tush as in “That’s a nice tush on that girl,” that’s definitely the same as the Yiddish word. I don’t know how we got it in Dallas. All it could have took was one guy moving down from New York.”Dusty Hill (941)

Manic Mechanic

“We have a good friend who’s a mechanic, and he’s just wild. A long time ago, I had this old Triumph car, and it kept messing up real bad, and I asked him over to the house. We had a few beers, and I said, “Why don’t you take a look at my car.” He reached up under my dashboard, and he ripped out a handful of wires and he said, “First of all, you don’t need this.” I don’t know anything about cars, but I figured they wouldn’t be in there if they weren’t necessary. I said, “God, man!” But he fixed it. He was the manic mechanic. A lot of mechanics get a little manic behind it. People get manic dealing with mechanics, too.”Dusty Hill (941)

Waitin’ For The Bus

“I’ve always liked that song. It’s a working man’s song. It’s been a couple of years, but I went to Austin from Houston and I decided, hell, I’ll ride the bus. I hadn’t done it in a long time. And you can meet some very unique people on a bus and in a bus station. I like to people watch. I love bus stations and train stations. The thing about a bus is who you have to sit beside. If the guy’s got good wine, it’s OK.”Dusty Hill (941)