Dusty Hill

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Dusty Hill
Dusty Hill performing live in 2015
Dusty Hill performing live in 2015
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Michael Hill
Also known as
  • "Duster"
  • "The Dust"
Born (1949-05-19) May 19, 1949 (age 71)
Dallas, Texas, United States
  • Bassist
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Bass guitar
  • keyboards
  • vocals
Years active1966–present
Associated acts

Joseph Michael "Dusty" Hill (born May 19, 1949) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter, who is best known as the bassist and secondary lead vocalist of the American rock group ZZ Top.[1] With the band, Hill plays bass guitar, sings backing and lead vocals, and keyboards. Hill was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004.

Early life[edit]

Hill was born in Dallas, Texas. He and his brother Rocky Hill (also a musician) were raised in the Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas) where he played the cello.


Hill, his brother the guitarist Rocky Hill and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. From 1966 to 1968, American Blues played the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston circuit. In 1969, Hill was a member of a fake version of the British band The Zombies with Beard.[2]

In 1968, the band decided to leave the Dallas–Fort Worth area and relocate to Houston. At this time, however, Rocky Hill wanted to focus on "straight blues", while Dusty wanted the band to rock more. Rocky left the band and Dusty and Beard moved to Houston, joining guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons of Houston psychedelic-rockers Moving Sidewalks in the recently formed ZZ Top just after they released their first single in 1969.

Dusty Hill's on-screen appearances include Back to the Future Part III, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme, WWE Raw and Deadwood, and as himself in the 11th-season episode of King of the Hill, "Hank Gets Dusted", in which Hank Hill is said to be Dusty's cousin. He also made an appearance on The Drew Carey Show as himself auditioning for a spot in Drew's band, but is rejected because of his attachment to his trademark beard which he refers to as a 'Texas Goatee'.

In 2000 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C,[3] and as a result, ZZ Top canceled their European tour.[4] Hill resumed work in 2002.[3]

Musical equipment[edit]


American Blues albums[edit]


  1. ^ Koda, Cub. "ZZ Top". Allmusic. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  2. ^ Hlavaty, Craig (2016-06-03). "ZZ Top's Dusty Hill and Frank Beard once masqueraded as British rock act the Zombies". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  3. ^ a b "Musicians with Hepatitis C". Hep. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  4. ^ "The Top Forced to Stop". NME. 2000-05-15. Retrieved 2020-02-08.