Billy F Gibbons: Rock + Roll Gearhead

Gift guide

Rock & Roll Books

Billy F Gibbons: Rock + Roll Gearhead

by Billy F Gibbons with Tom Vickers, photography by David Perry

MBI Publishing, 192 pp., $29.95

The first book about and by ZZ Top's Billy F Gibbons, the most enigmatic Lone Star cat to strap six-strings over his shoulder, is also the first high-concept book in which a rock celebrity speaks extensively about his guitars and his cars in a large coffeetable format book loaded with pictures and visuals. While certainly appealing to the visually oriented MTV generation much in the same way the cars 'n' girls videos by ZZ Top revived the career of the blues rock power trio and took them to a whole other level, this three-part book, divvied up into sections devoted to the Life, the Cars, and the Guitars, doesn't leave a whole lot of room for specifics. So readers learn about the influential role family maid Big Stella Matthews played in turning Gibbons on to blues music, how blazing hot the Moving Sidewalks were in their heyday, and the under-reported role Billy Etheridge played in the creation of ZZ Top – more details about the Rev. Billy G than any previous book, including Robert Draper's out-of-print paperback bio. It's what's left out that will have hardcore ZZ-o-philes wanting more. When manager/svengali Bill Ham rates one more mention than I do (full disclosure, you can find me mentioned on page 50), you know there's a whole lot more to say – when pictures don't get in the way.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Memorable Moments From ACL Fest Weekend One
Memorable Moments From ACL Fest Weekend One
Some of our favorite performances that you can revisit this weekend

Abby Johnston, Oct. 14, 2022

Review: The Bearer's <i>Chained to a Tree</i> (Silent Pendulum)
The Bearer's Chained to a Tree (Silent Pendulum)
Chained to a Tree (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 23, 2022

More by Joe Nick Patoski
Margaret Moser Tribute: Derek O'Brien
Derek O'Brien
A great writer, and a great partier, too

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Shawn & Shandon Sahm
Shawn & Shandon Sahm
Beautiful Texas sunshine

June 30, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle