On the Record with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

On the Record with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons

"I do a fairly decent ‘lost soul' and ‘religious nut,' along with your half-crazed, street corner ‘eye-on-the-inside.'"

On the Record with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons
Men in beards: ZZ Top (Billy Gibbons, center)

How does ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons occupy his time when he's not rocking out, judging facial-hair contests or whipping up his famous Renegade Guacamole? Promptly replying to CP's emails, of course. 


A reporter asked you in 1986, "Does touring get old?" and you said, "You should see it from our side. Ain't nothin' old." Is that still true?

We'll stand by that statement, especially in light of recent experience where we're seeing three generations of fans out there. It's cool with us and the audience is telling us most emphatically that it's cool with them. Win/win!


ZZ Top's new, Rick Rubin-produced record comes out this fall. You said of Rubin: "He pushes the artists to spend more time reaching down deeper than they normally would." 

It's more like he provides another perspective to the process and provides an outside view of the sound … "Does it motivate one to move and groove?" He kind of looks like he belongs with us, so he's a natural within the circle. 


You've had some on-screen spots throughout the years, most recently on the Fox show Bones, in which you play a very Billy Gibbons-like character. Do you ever wish for a role where you play someone who isn't a rocker?  

Not sure about taking on a role of someone who doesn't play guitar. Then again, I do a fairly decent "lost soul" and "religious nut," along with your half-crazed, street corner "eye-on-the-inside." There's a wide range of "weird" available for the taking.


ZZ TOP with CADILLAC RANCH. 6:30 p.m., Fri., Aug. 19. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $30. All ages. 412-229-5483

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