A few days ago, my brother called me. This is not a terribly frequent occurrence, but there are a few things going on at the moment which needed discussion. Firstly, our father is back in hospital, again. Secondly, my niece is getting married this weekend, and he wanted to make sure I was attending, despite my concerns about using public transport in these heady post-Freedom Day weeks.
But before we tackled either of these subjects, we discussed the much more pressing matter that is my last Friday Night Music Club mix, and in particular – spoiler alert – that I had included ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man.
“Why did you include that one?” he asked.
I was a little bemused by this, as I distinctly recalled him having owned a copy of Eliminator, the album from which the aforementioned single was lifted, whilst I had bought it on 7″ single, along with it’s predecessor, Gimme All Your Lovin’. I asked him what he meant, and he explained that this mid-80s phase of the Top’s career wasn’t really indicative of their best stuff. He advised me that I should have picked something from their finest album (not my words, but the words of my older, wiser brother), 1973’s Tres Hombres.
(You’ll notice that I didn’t buy Legs – the third single from Eliminator – because by then I felt I’d seen through them; the lyrics were not exactly misogynistic, but the videos, all scantily clad women strutting around were certainly exploitative and aimed right at the viewers of the burgeoning MTV audience. So I had to confess that, after Sharp Dressed Man, I’d never really bothered to investigate any further, and on the one occasion I did, I found 1975’s Tush, which lyrically pretty much confirmed what I had suspected. Different times.)
So, no, I’d never heard Tres Hombres, but I promised I would seek it out and report back.
Yesterday, it was announced that the Top’s bass player (and almost founder member) Dusty Hill had died. Coincidence?
Well, yes, undoubtedly.
But I had, for once, heeded my brother’s recommendation just in time to beat the post-death upturn in sales, and I have to say it’s not bad, in a heads-down, no nonsense boogie kind of way.
Here are a couple of songs from Tres Hombres which I liked on first listen:
Now, this may not seem like the most befitting of eulogies to a recently departed rock god, but what I’m trying to say is that I wish I’d investigated their back catalogue sooner.
Or rather: R.I.P. Dusty.
Oh, and happy birthday Bro’. As well as hooking up as close to either of our birthdays in as long as I can remember this weekend, your main present is me admitting you were (probably) right and I was (probably) wrong (and, as if you didn’t already know, any of my friends will attest these are not words which often trip off my tongue). Priceless.