Rock World Reacts to the Death of ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill: “What an Icon”

John Fogerty, Paul Stanley, Ozzy Osbourne, Brian May, Flea, and more pay tribute to the ZZ Top bassist

ZZ Top's Dusty Hill tributes
ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill (photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

    The rock community is mourning the passing of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, who died in his sleep at age 72.

    Hill was an indispensable longtime member of the “Tres Hombres” and famously sported a lengthy beard like his bandmate Billy Gibbons. Musically, Hill had a gift for rhythm, holding down the band’s airtight bluesy rock tunes with drummer Frank Beard.

    ZZ Top had just kicked off a massive U.S. tour when Hill was sidelined with a “hip issue.” Longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis filled in on bass for a handful of dates, and today it was announced that Hill passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston. Following the sad news, fellow musicians and rock icons took to social media to pay tribute to Hill and his musical legacy.


    John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival posted on Twitter: “We are devastated to hear about Dusty’s passing. We were so blessed to share the stage with the great Dusty and ZZ Top many times, and if that wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll heaven, I don’t know what is. The show we did together just last week would be his last. So heartbreaking.”

    KISS’ Paul Stanley posted on Twitter: “WOW! Dusty Hill. What an icon. ZZ Top’s bassist forever. So unique. Always a gentleman from the days of us opening for them through the recent days of them opening for us. I don’t know what to say but ‘Thank you’ and ‘Rest however you damn well choose!’”

    Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash posted a concert pic of Hill on Instagram with the caption “RIP,” while Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea tweeted “I love Dusty Hill” and called him a “true rocker.”


    Whitesnake singer David Coverdale tweeted: “So very sad to hear Dusty has passed … beautiful soul …”

    Alt-country singer Jason Isbell paid his respects on Twitter: “So sad to hear about Dusty Hill. An all-time great bass player, and a rock and roll institution. Breaks my heart.”

    Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick summed up what most of us are thinking, as Hill’s passing follows that Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison: “Tough week in music. Damn. … #ripdustyhill”


    Comedian Rob Delaney also paid tribute on Twitter, posting a link to the track “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”: “RIP DUSTY HILL I love you forever. Your bass was so loud at one show it made my wife puke. You were half of rock n roll’s greatest EVER rhythm section & a hell of a songwriter.”

    More tributes came in throughout the night, with Ozzy Osbourne taking to Twitter to share a pair of photos taken with Hill: “Rest In Peace #DustyHill of @ZZTop. My thoughts go out to @BillyfGibbons and Frank Beard and all the #ZZTop fans around the world”

    Queen guitarist Brian May expressed disbelief at the news on Instagram, posting an on-stage pic of Hill: “No! It cannot be. I’m so sad. RIP Dusty Hill. Bri”


    Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins also posted on Instagram, sharing a portrait of Hill with the caption: “RIP Dusty Hill of ZZ Top… Met him just once and he couldn’t have been more kind or supportive #TheRealDeal”