ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons recalled the big risks he took when he opened for Jimi Hendrix in 1968.
In 1968, Gibbons was a guitarist for a psychedelic-blues band, the Moving Sidewalks, their problem at the time was with completing their show as per their performance agreement.
“We hit it off in a rather unexpected manner,” says Gibbons via the Express in a new interview. “Our contract required us to play for 45 minutes, and at that time, the only way we could complete the run was to include two numbers by Jimi Hendrix. Which was kinda chancy I must say.”
Gibbons reported the event with pleasure, saying that his band got away with it:
“I remember wrapping up the set, coming off the stage … there was Jimi in the shadows – off to the side with his arms folded. But he was grinning, and as I passed by he grabbed me and said, ‘I like you. You’ve got a lot of nerve!’’
A photo was revealed showing Hendrix posing with the Sidewalks at the Municipal Auditorium in Texas on Feb. 15, 1968. Gibbons reunited with his old band during a concert in New York City in 2013 and performed three Hendrix songs.
“Jimi taught us half of what we know,” Gibbons told the audience, describing the late legendary guitarist as a “genteel man.”
Last month, Gibbons announced that a new ZZ Top album will soon be released and that he recently spoke to producer Rick Rubin about the record.
“Rick’s got a few ideas that he threw into the mix. He’s raring to get us back in the room,” he noted. “So it’ll be coming up, probably in the next few months, I hope. It’s a bit premature for a proper announcement, but it’ll be forthcoming.”