After ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill passed away in July 2021, Elwood Francis, the band’s guitar tech, took over the job permanently, but he says he’s still not completely comfortable in the role. 

While it was Hill’s wish for Elwood take over for him, Elwood tells Guitar World it still feels “weird” having the gig, which he originally thought would just be temporary.

“When I first started doing it, Dusty was just sick and going home for a few weeks. It was entirely different; I was just helping out,” he says. “I didn’t have to worry about the weight of the crown because I was just helping.”

He adds, “They pulled me aside and said, ‘Can you honestly say you can’t play his parts?’ I said, ‘I can do it, but I don’t think people would enjoy me doing it.’ They said, ‘You can cover him for a few weeks.’” 

Elwood’s now been ZZ Top’s bassist for three years, but he still has mixed feelings about it.  

“We’d done some gigs when Dusty passed, and by that time, I wouldn’t say I was comfortable because I’m still not f***** comfortable,” he shares. “It’s just weird. Dusty is their bass player. I’m not the bass player.”

He adds, “I’m not in the band. I’ll never be in the band. I shouldn’t be in the band. It’s Dusty’s thing. Sure, I’ll still play with them, but it’s a weird thing, man.”

Elwood and ZZ Top are currently on tour overseas and will play London’s OVO Arena Wembley on Thursday. A complete list of dates can be found at zztop.com.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.