ZZ Tops scheduled for 2021 Town & Country Fair

ZZ Top, comprised of members Bill F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, will be performing at the 2021 Washington Town & Country Fair.

ZZ Top, the main act at the Washington Town & Country Fair, will still perform despite the recent death of bassist Dusty Hill.

The band, which is scheduled to take the Pepsi Main Stage Aug. 7 at 8:30 p.m., announced the passing of Hill, who also did backup vocals, Wednesday on Facebook.

Bob Merlis, the band’s publicist, told The Missourian Friday morning that the Washington show will still take place. Substituting for Hill on bass guitar will be Elwood Francis, Hill’s longtime guitar technician and a close friend of the band, Merlis said.

Some of the band’s other shows have been canceled. The Greenville News reported that ZZ Top’s show Wednesday in Simpsonville, South Carolina, was canceled. AL.com reported Thursday that the band’s July 30 show in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will go on and be its first performance since Hill’s passing. 

Merlis said most of the remaining scheduled performances will go on.

The band canceled its July 21 show in Evansville, Indiana, and said at the time that Hill, 72, had suffered a hip injury. The cause of his death is unknown.

The band and its fan base are reeling from the loss of the legendary bassist.

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” read the Wednesday Facebook post signed by fellow band members Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top.’ We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”

Many in the music community shared their sorrow and condolences on social media.

John Fogerty, former frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival, wrote 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 and Roll heaven, I don’t know what is.”

“Sorry to lose a great bass player and part of an iconic American band,” tweeted the official account for Aerosmith. “Our heart goes out to his family, Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and the legendary Dusty Hill. Rest in Peace!!!”

Known by some fans as the bearded bassist, Hill had been with ZZ Top since shortly after the band formed in 1969. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the band in 2004.

The Washington fair board also responded to the news of Hill’s death.

“We are so sad to hear about the passing of Dusty Hill,” said Jennifer Giesike, president of the Washington Chamber of Commerce and fair manager. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody.”