Archive for zz top

ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, 1949-2021

Posted in related music with tags , , , , on July 28, 2021 by J.J.
Dusty Hill, left, and Billy Gibbons onstage July 21, 2017, at the Stimmen Festival in Lorrach, Germany. Hill died July 28, 2021, at age 72. (Photo copyright Tina Hanagan / nofightin.com)

Dusty Hill, the man who held down bass guitar duties and lent his unmistakable vocals to hits such as “Tush,” “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” and “Heard It on the X,” died Wednesday, July 28, 2021. He was 72.

He had been off the road for a short while, with ZZ’s guitar tech Elwood Francis filling in at recent shows.

But Dusty was so much more than the bass player. He was one-third of Tres Hombre, and 50% of the best facial hair in the business. That might not matter much in the long run, but ZZ Top’s distinctive look (and futuristic boogie) made them stars on MTV in the 1980s. Without that, they might have ended up being ’70s rock casualties, more radio stars killed by video.

He also played keyboards, and was a consistently entertaining presence in the ZZ Top experience.

In 2017, ZZ took The Red Devils on tour of Europe for a month, introducing the Devils to a whole new audience. The Red Devils will forever be tied to that little ol’ band from Texas (never mind that Devils guitarist Mike Flanigin also plays with Billy Gibbons’ various moonlighting bands).

They made an awful big sound for just three guys. Without Dusty, it won’t be quite the same.

READ MORE: ZZ Top on nofightin.com

REVEREND: Billy F. Gibbons touts The Red Devils on eve of tour

HARP: James Harman provided harmonica for ZZ Top

(Photo copyright Tina Hanagan / nofightin.com)

‘Footprints on the moon’: Paul Size looks back at The Red Devils

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , on May 16, 2021 by J.J.

With his solo debut out now, the guitarist knows that the band he was in three decades ago will always be a part of his life. “There’s too many extraordinary things that went down that it’s not going to go away,” Paul Size tells nofightin.com.

Paul Size performs with The Red Devils at the BlueFunk Club in Poynton, UK, 2017. Photo © Tina Hanagan

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of an interview with Paul Size. For more, read Part 1 here.

The Red Devils legend is about so much going right, and so very much going so very wrong.

Paul Size was there for it.

Fans still think of Size as “The Kid,” as the 20-year-old was known in the band and press materials, a baby-faced bluesman juxtaposed against the roadworthy Bateman, Butler and Bartels.

Today, Size has 30 years of experience under his strap and a debut solo album called “Can’t Lose Playing The Blues.” He has come to appreciate his time in The Red Devils — and his persona as the have-gun-will-travel guitar hero from Texas.

“I mean, I have to admit, I like it. I used to want to kind of run away from it,” Size said during a recent interview with nofightin.com. “But I realize now that, you know, I’m grateful I did it and I was part of it. Like, I’ve always said, it’s a footprint on the moon … there’s too many extraordinary things that went down that it’s not going to go away.”

“Extraordinary things” is one way to put it.

On the plus side: Right place, right time, and right guys. The band’s magic — incendiary live shows — was incubated in weekly gigs in a bar in an old Chinese restaurant in Hollywood. The King King club had an energy, a vibe, Size said: “There was always somebody famous there. So it had this kind of the ‘in thing’ kind of thing to do on Mondays.”

And that other side: Failed team-ups and recording projects, fights, drugs and financial battles turned the blood bad. The sad, untimely death of Lester Butler made it impossible for the Devils to truly reconcile, or ever bring together their classic lineup one more time. 

Until 2017.

Conditions were right for “The Return of The Red Devils”: Their cult status had grown over the years, and the 25th anniversary of “King King” was a great hook for fans, festivals and clubs.

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It also caught the attention of one Rev. Billy F. Gibbons, the mad scientist of blues-rock. The legendary ZZ Top was going on tour of Europe that summer. And Gibbons was a fan of The Red Devils. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Devils were tapped to reform and perform.

In the ensuing 25 years, the former Devils had spread out around the U.S., from one end to the other, and all points in between. Size was living in Martha’s Vineyard, and had settled into a routine of day jobs, local gigs, family life and a stint with the combo Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. 

“It was ZZ Top!” Size recalled excitedly of getting the gig. “… I mean, I just couldn’t pass that up. And I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I was kinda doing really nothing where I was, I had this really, really boring job doing water treatment, so I was in basements of houses and I was just bored, you know?”

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Paul Size, the guitarist and the guitar

Posted in paul size with tags , , on November 4, 2018 by J.J.

Photo by Tina Hanagan

You can’t be an “underrated” guitar player if everyone who hears you play is blown away.

Paul Size might be underground, but he is never underrated.

The mighty Rev. Billy F. Gibbons again touts The Red Devils’ guitarist, this time in a Music Radar story, “The 10 Guitarists Who Blew My Mind”:

8. Paul Size: “This next block I’d like to give to the guitar players from a band called The Red Devils. Paul ‘The Kid’ Size on guitar, he had this real angry Strat, Stevie Ray Vaughan kind of tone. He would do this thing where he’d play a blues lick at speed and then all of sudden quicken the pace before anyone could see it coming.

“Then there was Dave Lee Bartel, a wonderful rhythm player, and Mike Flanigin who despite being known for the Hammond, started off as a guitarist! A lot of people have underrated his guitar work because he’s become so accomplished on the Hammond B3. That’s the sound of Texas meeting California.

Gibbons rounds out his Devils love with a shout-out to former James Harman Band guitarist Hollywood Fats.

Here is his full top 10:

  1. Van Wilks
  2. Jimmie Vaughan
  3. Jimmy Page
  4. Jeff Beck
  5. Hubert Sumlin
  6. Eric Johnson
  7. Andres Segovia
  8. Paul Size
  9. Jimi Hendrix
  10. Mystery No. 10

Last summer, Gibbons gifted The Red Devils’ guitarists with custom-made Devil guitars that the boys used all summer as the opening act on ZZ Top’s European “Tonnage” tour.

Courtesy @reddevilsmusic Instagram

Size recently posted on his Facebook (since deleted) that he was entertaining offers for this rare guitar — commissioned by one of the greats, played by one of the greats on an earth-shaking reunion tour.

Interested? Reach out to Paul Size on Facebook.

Can a record change your life?

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 13, 2017 by J.J.

“Can you believe we are really here?”

That was our theme throughout our European adventure.

“Can you believe we are in this hotel room with Paul Size?” “Can you believe we are watching ZZ Top in this tennis area?” “Can you believe we are in the middle-of-nowhere, England?” “Can you believe we are in the Borderline?”

Can you believe The Red Devils are back?

There was a moment, watching The Red Devils from the side of the stage in Dublin’s 3Arena, performing to thousands of music fans, that it really hit home: I have been listening to this band for 25 years.

Would “young J.J.,” at 20 years old on July 28, 1992, hearing The Red Devils for the first time, immediately buying the disc, and putting it on heavy rotation all that summer, really believe he would be here in Ireland with the band? And 25 years to the day, no less — 28 Jul 2017.

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Souvenirs, the week after

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by J.J.

We are still unpacking suitcases (and our brains, a little bit) a week after seeing The Red Devils for the first time in 25 years.

Here are some of the scraps and souvenirs we brought back.

Chasing the Devils’ Tale: Tour dispatches from Europe (parts 1-7)

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2017 by J.J.

Nofightin.com is following The Red Devils on tour through Europe, whether they like it or not. Come here for our dispatches from every show as we go. Words and others by J.J. Perry; tour photography by Tina Hanagan

ZZ ROOFTOP (Show 1: Stimmen Festival, Lorrach, Germany 21.7.17)

I wrote about The Red Devils show earlier. But here is what didn’t happen onstage.

Hundreds and hundreds of fans (an organizer told us capacity is 5,000) crammed into the old marketplace square, an intersection of several streets where the stage was set. Stimmen is a several-week festival, with an eclectic lineup (the day after ZZ was a performance by Grace Jones).

After the Devils’ set, we muscled through an elbow-to-ass crowd to a hotel bar for beers. We met Paul Size when he came down for a refill and he invited us up to his room where, from two large open windows, we could watch ZZ Top’s set.

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25 years on, the Devils’ power remains

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2017 by J.J.


[words: J.J. Perry; all photographs by Tina Hanagan]

An evening rain Friday cooled and soaked the thousands waiting in line for the Stimmen Festival in Lorrach, Germany. The crowd was patient under ponchos and umbrellas and canopies on Lorrach’s historic streets, waiting in line to get into the marketplace stage area.

But we couldn’t help but wonder, as heavy raindrops rolled down our heads and into our eyes: Did we fly to Germany only to have our first Red Devils concert in 25 years be rained out?

Pushing forward through the crowd in the Lorrach square, we took our spots. As if on cue, the rain trickled to a stop moments before The Red Devils took the stage at 8 p.m. Big Pete stomped his feet and the band launched into a pounding “Mr. Highway Man.” I jumped in my spot yelling, taken back to 1992, when I saw this band for the first time. 

This was exactly where I wanted to be.
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Red Devils & ZZ Top fans: Welcome to nofightin.com

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2017 by J.J.

For ZZ Top fans and those just discovering The Red Devils for the first time, we’re glad you could make it to nofightin.com. What took you so long?

We’ve been here since 2009, cataloging the music and stories of The Red Devils and the late, great Lester Butler.

Wander around and find rare music, videos and reviews from the Devils’ heyday, and meet other fans — and some of the musicians who made the records we love so much. Later this month, we will be in Europe for several Red Devils shows, so watch for nofightin.com exclusives.
kingking_vinyl

Start here with some of the most popular and essential posts and pages on nofightin.com:

Reunion tour: Keep up with the 2017 reunion tour here.

Lyrics: You will want to start a band. Learn the lyrics to “Automatic,” “She’s Dangerous,” “Devil Woman” and everything on “King King,” most of “13,” live stuff and more.

2 Meter Sessies: In lieu of a second Red Devils record, this live radio set from 1993 can fill the void.

“Lester’s Legendary Last Gig”: Full coverage of the DVD release of 13’s classic 1998 Moulin Blues performance.

“Lousiana Blues”: The story behind one of the most rare songs in the Devils’ discography, released on a promo tape before “King King” came out in ’92.
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Billy F. Gibbons touts The Red Devils on eve of tour

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on July 6, 2017 by J.J.

It’s getting real people.

The Red Devils first show of 20 will be starting in just a few hours.

Billy F. Gibbons has all the details on his site with the NoFightin.com release “The Return of The Red Devils.”

We are looking forward to getting out to shows later this month … keep watching NoFightin.com for more. Continue reading

New date(s) added: Red Devils July 2017 calendar

Posted in red devils with tags , , on June 17, 2017 by J.J.

UPDATED JULY 4: One more added: July 27 at Enler Delta Blues Club in Comber, Ireland.

UPDATED JULY 1: The Red Devils have filled in July 16 with a gig at Das Hobo — the Hobo Jazz Bar — in Hildesheim, Germany. Big Pete confirmed that one with nofightin.com Friday, and we have updated this post. I haven’t seen the date on the club’s website or Facebook, but I don’t speak German! If any German readers can help out, drop me a line.

ORIGINAL POST: Festivals, club gigs and an opening slot on the ZZ Top “Tonnage” tour will give ample opportunity to see The Red Devils in many places in many different situations in July.

Here is the latest roundup we have compiled from ZZ Top, Big Pete and other sources. Be advised that the Top has a couple of gigs listed on their site the don’t include the Devils … this list is all confirmed or pending Red Devils performances in July.

READ THIS: 5 takeaways from The Red Devils’ first 3 shows

Be sure to let us know if there are additions or corrections.

JULY 6: Private event — Netherlands
JULY 7: Band show — + The Goon Mat & Lord Benardo, Le Gueulard Plus, Lorraine, France
JULY 9: ZZ Top — Loreley, Loreley, Germany
JULY 11: ZZ Top — Zenith La Villette, Paris, France
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