In late 1972 ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill were summoned to Johnny Winter’s Houston apartment. The Beaumont-raised Winter—whom Rolling Stone famously put on the map in 1968 by describing him as “a cross-eyed albino with long, fleecy hair, who plays some of the gutsiest, fluid blues guitar you’ve ever heard”—was an arena-filling draw four records into his career. ZZ Top, on the other hand, were still largely beardless and just getting started.
Before the beards, cars and fuzzy guitars, Billy Gibbons led the Moving Sidewalks, a loud, bluesy Houston-based quartet that helped draft the blueprint for ZZ Top while building on the late-sixties psychedelic rock movement that was blooming simultaneously in Texas and San Francisco.
Billy Gibbons’ guitar collection is almost as legendary as his beard. He can lay claim to classics like “Pearly Gates,” his ’59 Les Paul sunburst to the white carpeted “Furry One” he sported in ZZ Top’s MTV days.
Three days ago, a Reddit user uploaded a photo of “Zee Zee Top” playing a prom in Texas. The Huffington Post picked up the image (above), and it quickly went viral. According to HuffPo, “The photo matches up with an account of a 1971 appearance at the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School prom.”