Snapshotzz from Pete's Photo Album de ZZ Top
Lord have mercy! It's more than forty years worth of photos of everything
related to that little ol' band from Texas...
- First things first: A business card from
the Coachmen, circa 1965.
- Next up are a stage shot and group photo of the Moving
Sidewalks, Billy Gibbons' old band. These pictures are from around 1967-69.
(Donated by Mike Crane.)
- Thanks to Russell Elrod for sending in an authentic
contract signed by Bill Ham and
advertisement for a December
23 1969 "Z. Z. TOP"
appearance at the Houston Music Theatre as a special added attraction
with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. According to Dan Mitchell, Chuck Berry
was noticably ticked that BFG was on that night and outplaying him!
- Here is the first known picture of ZZ Top
dated 1971, thanks to Mike Crane. "Looks like a high school auditorium" --
- Dating way back to 1973 -- check out this authentic backstage pass from a Tres Hombres-era ZZ Top concert in Albuquerque. (Thanks to John Cline!)
- This poster is from ZZ Top's First Annual Rompin' Stompin Barn Dance & Bar-B-Q, on September 1, 1974 at Austin's Memorial Stadium. (Thanks to Robin Roberts for the contribution.)
- Here's a higher quality scan of the Barn Dance & Bar-B-Q handbill, sent in by Glenn
Rollins. Glenn also sends in what is presumably an earlier version of the handbill which
doesn't include the guest list.
- Here's a close up shot of Billy Gibbons taken by our own Jim Criswell, from the front row of a
Fandango!-era concert back in '76.
- Check out these two promo shots from Fandango ("They just
don't spread the legs like this anymore.") and Deguello ("This
get around much because as you can see it appears to be a bad idea.")
Commentary and pictures courtesy of the incomparable Mike Crane.
- Here we have a very unique collectible thanks to Bill Irwin:
a Tejas album release party invite, for after the WWTT
show in Richmond Texas on
November 26, 1976. [ front | inside ]
- Mike Thacker sent this snapshot from the
Columbus Georgia show in 1980, the first time many people saw the beards
after the boyzz' post-Deguello hiatus.
- During the early 80's, ZZ Top was well known for its obsession with certain
anatomical extremities. The band was captured by Guitarist Magazine flanked by a fine set thereof.
Another common sight in the vicinity of the hirsute trio was the red car named
- Here is a classic photo of the three guys with Bill
taken in 1985, perhaps the peak of their popularity. Thanks to Mike Crane.
- This Press photo
was released in support of ZZ Top's 11/30/93 visit to Wembley Arena in
- After releasing Afterburner, the boyzz sent this Christmas card out to
members of the fan club.
- The boyzz made a cameo appearance as a 3-piece
band in "Back to the Future, Part III."
- During the Recycler tour (1990), the band was accompanied
by a chopped black Cadillac named Cadzzilla and several
Harleys collectively known as the Hogzzillas.
- 'Round about 1994, ZZ Top could be seen showing off their custom Harley. Also from the
Antenna era, check out this shot of
Billy and Dusty jamming onstage and a sample
promo postcard that was sent to fan club members. This Christmas card was
also sent out at the time.
Finally, this group shot captures Billy
wearing a "Henry Swing Club" hat -- a Detroit bar mentioned in the John Lee
Hooker song "Boogie Chillen'."
- Fast fowarding to the Rhythmeen era, here are shots of ZZ Top performing "She's Just
Killing Me" and Robert
Rodriguez filming ZZ Top making the video for the same song.
Also take a look at the What's Up With
That promo postcard that was sent to fan club members at the time.
This recent group
shot shows the band in their stage dress. Note Billy's "ZZ Hat de Afrique"
and Frank's 'chick-warmer' goatee. Check out this backstage pass from the
Continental Safari tour. I also have this excellent stage shot
from ZZ Top's Summer '96 visit to Sweden.
- Here's a picture from Ryan Grealy
of Billy adjusting his tree of six
at their show in Vancouver on 6/1/97. (For more on the Bixonic Expandora
visit the Potatoe Salad page.)
- Peter Svensson sent in this collection of backstage
passes from a variety of tours. Here's Ryan
Grealy's collection, and a couple of Mean Rhythm passes (signed
"FB") from Gary N. Gay.
- Take a look at this spectacular shot of ZZ Top
performing in Tennessee in May '97 during the Mean Rhythm tour.
- Jackie Ray got her paws on this stage shot and closeup of the Reverend
from the recent 8/5/99 Fairbanks, Alaska show.
- Here are a couple pictures
of Billy and the
whole band in Providence, R.I.
on January 22, 2000, thanks to John Monast.
- Trond Midthaug contributed this promo shot
and poster of the boyzz
from their XXX album & tour.
- Mookie sent in this desert
photo of the boyzz during the filming of a video. Check out their "Z"
guitars! According to Brice Delage this is actually a commercial for the
- Conehead went to the Delta Blues Museum and sent in
this picture of the Muddywood guitar.
- These pictures from RodeoHouston (2/21/02)
of the stage props and
Billy Gibbons' guitar strap were sent in and
copyrighted by Lew Fincher.
- Another photo of the RodeoHouston stage, thanks to Galen Scott. Note the
large purple cacti!
- Mike Crane took this great shot at the May 4, 2002 Taj Mahal/Ettis Arena gig in Atlantic City, NJ. Note
the same purple cacti and metal tumbleweeds as they had at RodeoHouston.
- John Monast took this spectacular closeup
of Billy at the Mohegan Sun in
Uncasville, CT on May 7, 2002.
- Markus Krekel sent in this picture of Billy and Elwood onstage at the Oct 12, 2002 show
in Frankfurt, Germany.
- Rolf Krieger got this great snapshot of the whole band onstage 10/12/02 in Frankfurt.
- Bernd Heilmann took this picture of the
band onstage and playing Legs and
in Amsterdam on 10/29/02.
- Markus Krekel sent in another great picture of Billy puffing away and the band bathed in red light in Amsterdam.
- And also from Amsterdam come these excellent pictures from Rene Kuiken:
The Speaker Effect |
Tumbleweed, cactus & Expandoras |
The Set with Explorers |
BFG with Gibson & Tone Dog
- The following photos from the Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers Tour
were taken by John Monast at Boston on 5/20/03:
Boyzz in Mexican getup |
The standard outfits |
B.G. showing off his Gretsch from Bo Diddley |
Frank's drum kit |
Cowboy outfits |
Elwood lighting Billy G's cigar |
Paying homage to the Expandora dog. Thanks
- Thanks to Jim McAnulty, here is a closeup of
Billy's new shoes.
- Here are some more concert shots from St. Louis (5/31/03)
sent in by Jim Mcanulty:
Billy playing the slide with Frank |
The whole band in normal outfits |
Billy with his Gretsch from Bo Diddley |
Billy and Dusty |
The whole band in serapes |
Billy with Gretsch and the Expandora dog |
Another shot of the whole band |
BG and DH in serapes |
Closeup of Frank
- Dusty and one of the Mescalero Brothers
showing Dusty in a new
outfit. From New Orleans, June 17 03, thanks to Paul Busby, who says these
outfits were not used at the Nashville show on May 30.
- My man in Switzerland Mr. B. sends in two awesome shots of BFG, the
first in front of a 48 Ford at a photo shoot
during the Montreux Festival; the second sporting
Versace with a custom bike and matching guitar. Both taken around July
- Thanks to Frank Braun for these excellent shots from Hannover (Aug 5 2003), Bonn BG w/Les | Band
9 2003), and
Erfurt Dancing |
BG w/Gretsch |
Cowboy hats |
BG & DH singing (Jul 18 2003).
- Jim McAnulty sent in the following pics Mario Vazquez took at the
Missouri State Fair in Sedalia on August 13 2004:
BG & DH in Blue Suits |
Black suits & guitars (note BG's new boots) |
DH & BG closeup |
- Denny Noland sent in this stage shot from the
Allentown, PA show on September 2, 2004.
- Mark Homen took these pictures of Billy
and Dusty at the June 4 2005 concert at
Konocti Harbor Amphitheater in Kelseyville, CA.
- A few more pics from Konocti were sent in by Jeff Schultz:
B&D and the whole band blowing in the wind,
Frank's new drums and the tone dog (note new green Foxx
boxes instead of the Expandoras).
- Ken Wysocki sent in some great pics of the Las Vegas show on
June 10, 2005:
The guitar salute |
The band in black |
Billy with boots & black Gretsch |
Elwood gives BG a light |
BG playing slide in profile |
Closeup of BG with his black backwards Gretsch
- On June 12 2005, Russell Elrod got this great pic
of Billy at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, Calif.
- Here's an interesting shot of Billy arriving
at the show in Denver on June 25, 2005 thanks to James Dean.
- Here are some press shots from Billy's new autobiography:
The Cars |
The Guitars |
The Life |
Fixed - Tricked - Transformed |
A Hop-up Hop-down Affair
... and one from Paul Rosola Pit BBQ
- Frank Sylvester sent in these pics from Big Flats, New York on July 9 2005:
1 | 2
- Jim McAnulty sent in these pics from St. Charles Missouri on July 27 2005:
BG in red jacket |
another BG in red jacket |
BG extreme closeup |
BG w/speaker rack |
BG & DH |
DH w/white fuzzy Gibson |
BG black |
BG & DH with the tone dog |
Elwood gives BG a light
- Here are some pics Jim's brother Mario took at the same show on July 27:
B&D looking at camera |
BG w/speakers |
Frank in red light |
BG closeup |
BG havin fun |
another fun BG shot |
DH closeup |
Billy & Frank |
the whole band
- Here is one neat pic sent in by Bob Dyer, which I believe is from the
same show (he called it St. Louis):
Billy showing the back of his guitar
- And now for some fantastic shots from Reno 9/24/05 sent in by Jeff Schultz:
B&D in new lime green jackets with
green guitars 1 |
BG w/green Gretsch 1 |
DH green jacket & red bass |
B&D green w/red 1 |
BG green w/red |
B&D green w/red 3 |
Billy black jacket w/black Hcsterg |
Dusty black w/black
- Here are another 2 thanks to Russell Elrod:
BFG & DH w/fuzzy Explorers and
- Thanks to Sean Vincent for sending in this picture from 5/22/06
Wrestling of Billy G. with Vince McMahon and Candice Michelle.
- First pic of the 2007 tour, here's the whole
band in Biloxi, Mississippi, thanks to Paul Busby.
- Thanks to the anonymous lizzter who sent in this picture of some of the
boyzz' mics and stands taken backstage during the
early part of the 2007 Hollywood Blues tour.
- Thanks to "Padre" Bill Schroeder for these pics of the band
in concert and
leaving after the show and
Frank carrying his dog to a
from March 18, 2007 in Houston. Also for these two showing Billy's new
- More thanks to Padre Bill for these pics from Corpus Christi, March 23,
2007, showing BFG's new Gretsch:
- Thanks to Jeff Schultz for some more great camera work from Las Vegas on
March 31 2007:
Pablo does the 'I Say ZZ' intro |
So, you wondered what Billy's boots
look like? |
No, you wanted to know what brand of cymbals Frank uses, or what his earrings look like. |
Dusty's new 'thedust' jacket |
BFG with yet
another new gold guitar, this one similar to or an actual
regular goldtop but with 3 knobs instead of 4, no selector switch,
and nonstandard pinstriping. Modifications possibly by Bolin. |
Another shot of same |
Photo showing the Prince Albert tobacco
can on BG's guitar strap, the wireless transmitter for his guitar |
the cheatsheet |
good pic of BG's jacket, the new
Gretsch and the end-of-show smoke
- From Alpine, California's Viejas Concerts in the Park, Russell Elrod
sends the following:
BFG showing off the BEER sticker
on the back of his guitar as he plays it with his belt buckle |
willyboy smoking while thedust strokes
- A few more from Russell Elrod, these from Pala California on April 29 2007:
BFG & DH w/amps |
BFG w/gold guitar, slide |
Frank w/backdrop, riser, amps
- A closeup of
- One again Craneman calls in a few excellent shots, this time from
JazzFest May 4 2007 in New Orleans:
BG & DH from the stage |
headed off stage, with Donny Stuart
- Thanks to Bobby Z for these pics from Toyota Park in Bridgeview Illinois
on July 19 2007:
Billy's beard does the splits |
Billy at the mic |
Billy & Dusty
- Thanks to Erin Crowley for more pics from the same show:
Billy & Dusty
- Thanks to DS for this pic of
Frank's rig & stage accoutrements from
Birmingham, Alabama on 7/31/07.
- Thanks to ambazzador Pat Washburn for pics from San Antonio on 8/5/07 of
the whole band and a closeup of Billy showing his Big Tex
guitar. Pat points out the cricket invasion evidenced by the critters present
on Billy's left shoulder and pants leg and in the upper corners of the lowest
level of Crate amps behind him. Nice work!
- Muchas gracias to Russ Elrod for this
picture from August 19 in Chula Vista,
- Here are some pics from Merillville, Indiana on Sept. 11 07, thanks to
the whole band, closeup |
band with backdrop |
BFG & Elwood
- Thanks to Ilya Mirman for these pics from Boston:
Billy w/Z.Vex amps & tone dog |
B&D w/Z.Vex amps & tone dog |
Billy plays slide
- Thanks to Erin Crowley for pics from Dubuque Iowa on 10/23/07:
stage set showing the tone dog,
pick chair, etc. |
Billy's new light up guitar 1 |
3 with official ZZ Top dollar store
closeup of the pick chair, slide
- Thanks to Russell Elrod for sending in these very cool shots from
the Spotlight 29 Casino in
Coachella, California (November 14) to close out the 2007 tour:
super closeup of BFG's smoking guitar &
- Russell Elrod also sent in some pics from Valley Center, California, on
May 10, 2008, including this shot of Billy & Dusty with their new bomber
jackets and goggles.
- Thanks to Padre Bill for sending in this pic of Billy and his new guitar from Corpus
Christi on May 16 2008.
- Thanks to the anonymous contributor who sent in this closeup of BFG with his new goggles
and leather jacket from 5/24/08 in Robinsonville, MS.
- Thanks to GG for sending in pictures from Rutland Vermont, 6/21/08, of
BFG with 'King Billy' guitar and
Sammy Sanchez, BFG's new
- From the surprise jam session at Montreux on July 9 2008, here's a picture
of Billy with a one-off James Trussart guitar from Bernard Moix.
Picture is by Alain Sauquet.
- From Museumsplatz in Bonn,
Germany, July 11, 2008, thanks to Markuzz Krekel for these very rare
pics of the whole band
w/projection system (and Billy out for a stroll...)
and BFG's new
flat black Billy-Bo guitar that seems to match their leather
jackets. Are those rhinestones?!
- Round Two from Museumsplatz thanks to Markuzz and his German Voodooglazzes,
BFG & DH showing video projecting
on the speakers |
video on the backdrop 1 |
another shot of BFG with his new spotted
Billy's German cheet sheet
- Thanks to Ken Wysocki for sending this pic of Frank's new drum kit from the HD
Summerfest in Milwaukee on 8/29/08.
- Thanks to Mr. Anonymous for sending in two pictures from Nashville on
10/3/08, one showing Billy's newly modified
hat (note the tuft of Hat de Afrique poking out), and one showing Frank's new drum kit.
- Steve Kalinsky reports in from Cleveland, Oct 5 2008,
with these pictures of
Billy, Dusty and Frank's drum kit and a
closeup of Billy and Dusty, both
showing the black studded guitars. Thanks Steve!
- Thanks to superb cameraman Steve Kalinsky for these four pics from
Pittsburgh on October 15 2008:
B & D with King Billy and Gold Duster
white guitars |
black studded guitars and Frank's
skull drum kit |
Dusty's Gold Duster guitar and
Billy's custom gold-colored Gretsch |
entire band w/Brooks and Dunn
- Thanks to Murray for sending in this pic of the whole band at the Orpheum in Minneapolis
on 10/17/08. Check out BFG's new stack o'hats and Dusty's guitar.
- First pics from the 2009 tour come From Jelling in Denmark on May 31 2009
thanks to Peer Henrik Hansen!
Billy's new rectangular fuzzy guitar |
the blue orb makes a comeback |
gold/magenta ones as seen later
- From Mainz in Germany on June 7 2009
come these pictures thanks to Markuzz Krekel:
New guitars gold/magenta (id?) |
New rectangular fuzzy bass |
Pablo catching the bottle of whiskey that
seems to be getting thrown lately... |
Elwood lighting up and Billy with his
red Gretsch Billy-Bo
- Thanks to Gareth Smith and Anne Saunders for sending in these pictures
from Donington Park UK, June 14 2009:
Zoom in to find Billy's green paisley
butterfly neckerchief, the white satchel around his neck, and the
Landshark Lager bucket |
Zoom in to see the headstock of Dusty's
rectangular fuzzy and the reverse of Billy's |
Billy tossing a bottle of JD while
Dusty plays his white "Gold Duster" guitar
- Thanks again to Steve Kalinsky for sending in
this photo from Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on June 24 2009:
the whole band and Billy with a new
- Dateline 8/1/2010: BFG has been pulling a kid out of the
near audience on his side of the stage to "help" play the guitar. At least
3-4 confirmed reports of this so far. If you have a kid, get him or her
up there in front!
[Incident at Snowden Grove, Southaven,
- Check out these pics from Russ Elrod, taken at the Snoqualmie, Washington
concert on August 29:
BFG & DH -- note Billy's hot purple
shoelaces and Dusty's boots and pant cuffs; what's the partial gauntlet
(black) on DH's left hand? |
Jimi Hendrix tribute time
- BFG on Just Got Paid at the Del
Mar Racetrack on September 4. Thanks again to Russ Elrod for the contribution!
- Check out Billy and Dusty at Palais
Omnisports Paris Bercy, France on Oct 16 2010, thanks to Madeline Le
Botlan. (Note the new FFA "Agricultural Education" patches!)
- Here are some gorgeous pictures from the October 19 2010 show in the
Netherlands, thanks to Larzz Ketzer:
BFG as contestant #13 and showing
off a gorgeous new Billy-Bo design guitar and FFA patch -- is he going
to the rodeo? |
Now the bandana and hat de Afrique are
topped off with a third (or is it fourth?) chapeau |
Dusty with the fuzzy Gibson and FFA
A great end-of-show picture showing
Billy smoking his cigarillo and playing the green and red on black Billy-Bo,
backed up by the light-up backdrop displaying the stylized
Little ol' Band from Texas logo.
- Here's another big sack o'Enschede wack, thanks to our man Markuzz:
Beard in fine form, all lit up and neoney
with Paiste cymbals, Tama "FB" drums, and the usual bottle of bourbon
in front at his left. |
Dusty with a new guitar design. Zoom in
close to see the Antenna avatar just south of his pickup. |
This one's got it all. Fancy guitar,
a great smile, nice shiny boots, the man's in motion, we got
a gorgeous pattern on the backdrop, and
Dusty's pointing the way to where it's all at. |
Temporary Dutch version of the surprise
"beer" advertisement! |
It's about out of control. We got Frank's
drums going bonkers, spotlights, cars driving around, a ghostly Mexican in a
sombrero, day-glo purple shoelaces on the Reverend, and... his hat. |
Just a little something I saved
for the fans of the green fairy |
And to wrap things up, this one is about
as close as most of us are ever gonna get to the Worldwide Texas Tour.
- Thanks to Ruzz' cousin Susie B. from the Penitentiary for sending
in these great pics of the Psychedelic Ice Cream Social, held at SXSW in Austin
town on March 17 2011!
Roky Erickson sings onstage at SXSW |
BFG onstage, good quality shot of his guitar
and the neck chain of flair |
Billy and Roky Erickson |
Closeup of "Bad Billy's" guitar with
Marlboro inset |
Billy playing onstage with another band member
in the background. Good high rez photo with plenty of zoomable goodness
- Thanks to Markuzz Krekel for photos from Koln, June 27 2011:
"Darlin while you take this thing off,
can you scratch me here..." |
BFG closeup with keychain detail |
sliding down the new Engelhardt guitar (see below for more details) |
Dusty, Billy and Frank onstage (note
BFG's purple laces and the uplights in front of Frank's skull bass drums) |
closeup of Billy's ring and one of the
orange on green on black Billy-Bo guitars
- Markuzz hits us again with some amazing photos, this time from Mainz on
June 29 2011:
Billy's amp |
The guitar vault showing the backs
of many of the guitars (Who's the picture on the top right? Ray Charles?) |
Frank waiting on stage for Billy and Dusty - and demonstrating as always why he is Tab's #1 customer |
BFG in serape backed by the tumbling amps |
good technicolor shot of the whole stage set |
BFG and Frank with the lightup backdrop in a cool pattern -- and possibly the best image
yet of Billy's necklace swag |
closeup of a Pearly clone, supposedly
one with a Norwegian pickup |
another shot of BFG with the Pearly
clone. Check out the wording on the headstock: "Gibbons" |
bowing to the audience |
making their exit
- Thanks to Volker Friedrich and Frank Braun for sending in pictures of
from Abenberg, Germany. [
photo from concert |
photo from nordbayern.de ]
The guitar, fashioned from a 100-year
old piece of floorboard, was made by German luthier Herbert Engelhard, who
has built guitars since 1983 and whose guitars are also played by the
Scorpions. The guitar is described to be in the shape of a Gibson Explorer
"with Billy's preferred bridge-pickup-and-one-knob setup." Another contributor
notes a "Gretsch Humbucker or at least a clone cut off Tele bridge".
- Kudos to Frank Braun for sending in a pic of BFG with another new guitar, this one at Lille, France
on July 1, 2011. It's been described as a telecaster-shaped guitar with a
headstock reminiscent of John Bolin design. The guitar appears to feature a
single bridge pickup, tone and volume knobs, and some sort of automobile
emblem-type accoutrement on the upper bout. The bridge appears to be different
than the model Bolin had been using previously on Billy's guitars.
- Thanks to Russ Elrod for these excellent
shots from 2011's Coachella show on October 2:
BFG with the pinstriped "Gibson" guitar, which reads "Mojo Maker" where the neck joins the body, and the satchel
around his neck |
Billy pauses the show to autograph a Warner issue of the First Album on vinyl |
Good view of Dusty's guitar with the Antenna man and "JB" logo on the headstock, also showing Billy's heart-shaped guitar strap buckle |
Excellent shot capturing another of Dusty's guitars; this one having what appears to be an engine near the bottom, which glows red from time to time
- Thanks to Steve Kalinsky for photos from the last gig of the 2011 tour,
October 30, in Charleston, West Virginia:
Dusty signs a First Album |
Billy gets the blues hat from Ali Kat 1 |
Closeup of BFG's "Esquire" Tele |
"BG" Billy-Bo |
Good shot of the whole stage; note the spider climbing on the speakers for Halloween |
DH looks on as Elwood lends Billy a light |
Dusty and his "engine" bass. Per
Lefty W., the "Fender Esquire" is a "one-pickup job, looks like an ash body,
maple neck. It has some writing on the lower bout". Can anyone identify the
language of the writing?
- Thanks again to Russ Elrod for another excellent photo, this one from
Bakersfield California 8/14/2012 showing Billy's DRINK DIXIE BEER guitar.
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