The Vinyl Project – ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Well, this entry will be pretty short, as there is only one record in the collection: Degüello, released 1979

Condition: record cover – good, vinyl – excellent

Price: 3.99

Okay, first of all, I really would have expected Ted would have Tres Hombres in the collection, as the track “Beer Drinkers, Hell Raisers” is as classic of an American rock anthem as it gets.  But no such luck, so I bought it.  But I’ll stick to the only record by ZZ Top that Ted had picked up: Degüello.  Not a bad record at all.  In fact, it’s pretty ripping for a stripped down three piece.  There are tracks with some keyboards, but for the most part, it’s just Billy Gibbons demonstrating classic blues guitar sensibility, all over every song.  If I had to guess why Ted picked up this record, it was most likely he bought it to practice the songs “Automobile” and “Cheap Sunglasses” that were frequently performed by the band The Barn Owls whom Ted played with for several years.  This was a band of older guys who had been playing together for over 30 years by the time Ted joined up with them to play keyboards.  The lead guitarist (who happens to be my dad) and the second guitarist/singer had such chemistry.  They really were almost psychic in their hand offs of leads that were relentless throughout the songs they played.  They did all covers of straight up rock and old blues songs, by artists like Zappa, Savoy Brown, Stevie Ray Vaugn, John Lee Hooker, and Chuck Berry.  They were big time Leonard Skynard fans, and thought Neil Young was a pussy.  Ted started playing with the Barn Owls and quickly fell in with the vibe of pure unadulterated rock that was driving and full of attitude.  The band was a bit of a social club, like all bands seem to be, and one that could get a bit raucous.  But if you got to hang with them while they were playing, it was a sonic treat.  Ted loved it.

So after giving Degüello a listen, I will interject that my favorite tune on this record is “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” for the mere fact that the main hook is just that.  Some may find it gimmicky, but I’m a sucker for such cheap thrills.


Your Ma

Good blog, Jenny. Ted was the owl keyboard man the owls needed. They loved him. So many good music times!

Jen Collins

When they would kick into “Slime on your video” it was an amazing thing. But my favorite was always Willie singing “I’m Tired” by Savoy Brown. Star power.


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