Dusty Hill (ZZ Top)

Dusty Hill, a founding member of the band ZZ Top, performs in Dortmund, Germany, during the band's 1982 international tour. Hill, who has suffered a hip injury, will likely not be joining the band when it performs at the Washington Town & Country Fair. 

Editor's Note: The following story appears as it did in the Missourian print issue that was published Tuesday morning, July 27. The day after that issue was printed and distributed, ZZ Top reported that longtime bassist Dusty Hill passed away. For the most recent news on ZZ Top, please view the Missourian's coverage here

For years, Washington Town & Country Fair organizers and patrons have wanted ZZ Top to grace the main stage.

This year, it’s finally a reality, though the rock band will likely be missing bassist Dusty Hill, who suffered a hip injury, forcing the cancellation of the band’s show July 21 in Evansville, Indiana, on its summer tour.

The show will go on at the Washington fair, according to the band’s publicist Bob Merlis, who told The Missourian that bassist Elwood Francis, a longtime guitar tech, has been substituting for Hill in subsequent shows and likely will be performing here when ZZ Top takes the Pepsi Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

ZZ Top is set to perform at seven other venues, including Simpsonville, South Carolina; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Valdosta, Georgia; Brandon, Mississippi; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Alexandria, Louisiana; and Camdenton, Missouri, before it comes to Washington. Francis is expected to cover for Hill during those shows, Merlis said.

Jennifer Giesike, executive director of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and Washington Town & Country Fair manager, said fair officials were sorry to hear about Hill and wish him the best, but they are excited for the show.

“They won’t miss a beat,” she said. “These guys have been together for a long time, and they know how to put on a show.” 

Hailing from Houston, Texas, ZZ Top is famous for their long beards and eccentric performances. The band was founded in 1969 by guitarist and singer Billy Gibbons, bassist and singer Hill and drummer Frank Beard. With songs like “Gimme All Your Lovin’ ” and “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers,” the band has made a name for itself with its blend of blues and rock and roll. It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. 

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Gibbons the 32nd-greatest guitarist of all time.

And Washington is excited to see them as evidenced by ticket sales and feedback from the community, Giesike said.

Other performers scheduled to appear at this year’s Town & Country Fair include 38 Special, who will perform at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5; Kip Moore, who will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6; and Adam Doleac, who will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8. 

Tickets to the Town & Country Fair are available for purchase now. Tickets can be bought online at washmofair.com. For more information about the fair, contact the fair office at 636-239-2715.