ZZ Top performed with a ridiculous 17-string bass last week (November 5) during their performance in Huntsville, Alabama. Check out footage of the moment below.
Elwood Francis’ behemoth bass is likely custom-made, although it is marked Fender on the headstock. Francis was formerly a stage tech for the band, before joining them last year following the death of ZZ Top bassist, Dusty Hill.
“I was doing night internet searching [and] turned up a picture of this crazy 17-string bass,” Francis told UCR yesterday (November 10). “I sent a picture to [ZZ Top guitarist-vocalist] Billy [Gibbons] and we laughed about it and made some jokes about actually trying to use it.”
He added, “A few weeks later, after I had forgotten about it, Billy shows up with [the 17-string bass].” The bassist went on to describe performing with the bass as “one of those ‘hold my beer’ moments.”
ZZ Top, meanwhile, have continued to perform despite the passing of Hill last year. They released a live album titled ‘Raw’ in July, which was supported by a North American tour from May through August.
The Sam Dunn-directed film sees ZZ Top’s original line-up – guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard and late bassist Dusty Hill – perform an intimate career-spanning set at the historic Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas.
Last year, ZZ Top recently sold all their publishing rights and back catalogue for an undisclosed fee. The group have sold both to BMG and investment firm KKR. While financial details for the deal were not disclosed, it’s expected to have attracted a multi-million dollar deal with the group having sold over 50 million albums.