Tributes are pouring in for Texas blues icon Johnny Winter, who passed away overnight Wednesday while on tour in Switzerland. The Beaumont native was found in his hotel room in Zurich, a spokesperson said. He was 70. The albino Winter, two years older than his rock-star brother Edgar (of "Frankenst ... More >>
This weekend the Moving Sidewalks, best known as the band Billy Gibbons was in before ZZ Top formed, were once again a living, breathing, kaleidoscoping musical being. Gibbons and the other Sidewalks - Tom Moore (organ), Dan Mitchell (drums) and Don Summers (bass), all of whom still live in Texas - ... More >>
B.B. King House of Blues January 11, 2013 "An abbreviated hour with a legend is still very magical, even if it doesn't live up to expectations." -- me, October 2011 There is no dispute, Mr. Riley B. King embodies the blues moreso than anyone has ever embodied anything, ever. He was born in Mississ ... More >>
5. Butthole Surfers, "Good King Wenceslas" Would you believe me if I told you that a Butthole Surfers song is impossible to explain? There's a version of "Good King Wenceslas" that Mannheim Steamroller made pretty famous on elevators around the world. You wouldn't recognize the words if I told you, ... More >>
Forty-six years ago today, rock and roll got a hell of a lot weirder in the state of Texas. On Nov. 30, 1966, Austin garage band The 13th Floor Elevators released their The Psychedelic Sounds Of album on Houston's International Artists label. Powered by the raw, fluttering classic "You're Gonna Miss ... More >>
ZZ Top Constellation Field October 20, 2012 ZZ Top has been writing and performing music for nearly 45 years. Now, granted, there are a handful of other artists that have been around that long too, but most of them have a lot of baggage, the stuff of VH1 documentaries and that Oprah loves to talk a ... More >>
Today ZZ Top is releasing their 15th studio album and first in nine years, LA FUTURA. By all accounts is it much-anticipated. But I'm going to out myself here and now: I do not get why people love ZZ Top. If you are one of those people, can you explain it to me like I'm five years old? Chances are ... More >>
Moments ago, ZZ Top's publicist Bob Merlis officially announced the title and release date of the trio's first studio album since 2003's Mescalero, a record even many diehard fans were starting to doubt was real. LA FUTURA will be released September 11 on American Recordings, the recently rebooted l ... More >>
Craig Hlavaty: What a way to tease your first album of original material in nine years, ZZ Top. You managed to record three songs and one ballad that instantly fit into your canon alongside the rest of your ballbusters without sounding like a classic-rock act reaching for straws. This is no weak, m ... More >>
ZZ Top's Dusty Hill turns 63 years old on Sunday, but who's counting? The Dust and his band mates have been around pretty much forever, with more than four decades of sold-out shows around the world under their belts. If Hill spends another 43 years playing his Fender bass in perfect precision with ... More >>
ZZ Top RodeoHouston, Reliant Stadium March 8, 2012 See more photos from Thursday, even some without beards, in our slideshow. I admit, I had almost given up on waiting for ZZ Top to show me something new. Not even something from their new album - which is finally completed but caught up in the mus ... More >>
With ZZ Top ready to rock RodeoHouston Thursday, Rocks Off began to ponder whatever happened to the band's long awaited new-album. Last summer, guitarist Billy Gibbons told Rocks Off that the band's first collection of new material since 2003's Mescalero would arrive in stores this winter. So far ... More >>
There are few instruments more distinctive than the Flying V. It's odd that a guitar this funky looking has been commonly used by a wide range of guitar players from country and blues to rock, but it has. Over the years, particularly in the '80s when "the weirder the shape the better" and "splotched ... More >>
How do a crapload of drums sound when playing in unison in an airplane hangar? Pretty freaking awesome. In the Cameron Crowe-directed documentary Pearl Jam Twenty, lead singer Eddie Vedder discusses the detrimental impact of the band's Spinal Tap-like replacement of drummers, equating each ch ... More >>
Lemmy, Josh Homme, Keith Richards, Marc Bolan, GG Allin, and Billy Fucking Gibbons - that's just a sampling of the rock stars that Rocks Off wishes he could be. The list goes on and on. Today though is the birthday of a one of the most special rockers to ever high-kick on this mud ball called Earth, ... More >>
michaeljacksonfuneral.orgNote: Not the actual million-dollar jacket.Have you ever worked in a souvenir store, memorabilia outlet or run an online auction? If so, odds are you have developed a venal, burning hatred for collectors. Rocks Off isn't going to mince words: collectors are some of t ... More >>
Jim BrickerZZ Top at The Woodlands, September 2010After years of hemming and haw-haw-haw-hawing about how far along it is, who they are working with, and whether or not it even actually exists, ZZ Top singer/guitarist (Rev.) Billy F. Gibbons said the trio plans to release its first studio alb ... More >>
ZZ Top's Dusty Hill and Frank Beard were rumored to be appointed Texas' Offiical 2012 Alternate State Musicians.With apologies to Townes Van Zandt, there's good news from Austin today. Good news for Houston. The Texas Commission on the Arts has chosen arguably the Houston area's two most rec ... More >>
The three Pura Vida labels and the limited edition Extra AnejoWednesday, we spoke with Stewart Skloss of Pura Vida Tequila and learned a little about how his brand got started and what makes Pura Vida stand out from the big names in tequila. Today, we talk food and "The Gibbons."
Here at Rocks Off, we try our best to cover all the local music news, both large and small. Where else are you going to read that you can play Slim Thug on Words With Friends? It is reasons such as these that we trudge the war zones of RSS feeds, seeking out crucial tidbits of information. Buxton o ... More >>
Photos by Jim BrickerZZ Top Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 24, 2010 People talk all the time about the depleting ozone layer, melting polar ice caps, melting polar bears, ravaged rain forests, shortages of crude oil, but that can all go to Hell. When ZZ Top is gone from this Eart ... More >>
Rocks Off has been sitting on this information pretty much all day, and after teasing you on Twitter all day, it feels so good to finally get it off our chests. That's it right up there in the headline, more or less - Houston's hometown boyz ZZ Top have been tapped "by special arrangement" (your gu ... More >>
Billy Gibbons and other Houstonians share their favorite Astros memories.
Photos by Bob MerlisAs we mentioned earlier, today's issue -- our annual look at Astros' Opening Day -- takes what Sarah Palin would no doubt call a "hopey-changey" approach to the 2010 season.Not for us to wallow in despair; instead we asked prominent Houstonians for their favorite Astro memorie ... More >>
The Awl writes about Devin the Dude, making fun of the dumbifying of Texas' public-school curriculum. Today is your last chance to get Summerfest passes for the low, low price of $22.50. They go up at midnight. Prince Paul, who only produced De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, has signed on to DJ ... More >>
Shore Fire Media In this week's print edition of the Press, Warren Haynes talks about juggling his membership in the Alpha and Omega of jam bands, the Allman Brothers Band and The Dead, with the musclebound blues-rock engine he started in 1994, Gov't Mule. The Mule pulls into House of Blues Satur ... More >>
Gov't Mule main man Warren Haynes swears he takes time off, but we don't really believe him.
But hey, that's not stopping Noise.
In which we advise our favorite people in the Houston scene on their goals for the coming year.
Every year the Christmas gods try to throw us the same old boring and tired holiday music. Mariah Carey, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and Hall & Oates are just fine, but this member of Rocks Off needs the blood of the innocent and punishing power chords under his dead, decaying tree. We sought ... More >>
Photos by Mark C. Austin Make all the Guitar Hero jokes you want. Whatever it is that's kept ZZ Top and Aerosmith in the public eye for almost four decades - video games or beards-n-babes videos, Back to the Future cameos or Michael Bay ballads, bee-stung lips or cheap sunglasses - they've never for ... More >>
Discovering why ZZ Top is "critic-proof"
scarletdukesCan you guess which one is Billy Gibbons? Chris GrayWhat goes around comes around. The same week ZZ Top is playing The Woodlands (which you may have read about on Rocks Off once or twice this week), the Buffalo Bayou Partnership announced it's renovating the International Coffee Buildin ... More >>
Besides Michael, Farrah, Ed McMahon and Sky Saxon of the Seeds, last week's bumper crop for the Grim Reaper also claimed Don Lampton, a founding member of '60s local psych-rock band Fever Tree. Lampton, 61, played keyboards and rhythm guitar for the Bostwick Vines, which became Fever Tree after husb ... More >>
No record deal, no recordings — no problem for the South Memphis String Band.
Local trio the Flamin' Hellcats have been some busy vatobillies. The band is in San Antonio this week recording its new album with Grammy-winning engineer Joe Trevino at Blue Cat Studios, and keeping some pretty fast company. Frontman Jaime Hellcat reports that the band's old buddy Sc ... More >>
You probably don't realize it, but the Houston school district's website has a page dedicated to prominent alumni, listed by high school.Unfortunately, many of the "prominent" alumni are politicians, especially current and former HISD board members. Any definition of "prominent" that includes HISD b ... More >>
Normally Rocks Off is not one to blow his own trombone, but forgive me for a second, because this is kind of a big deal. The Houston music scene - past, present and future - will be on the national stage all Rocktober long, because Rocks Off managed to convince the folks at Spin to let him write up ... More >>
Last night ZZ Top atoned somewhat for recording their new Live from Texas DVD in Dallas - hometown of Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, but it still stings, OK? - by donating the "poodle" guitars from their iconic "Legs" video to the Hard Rock Cafe's memorabilia collection. Billy Gibbons also told one of ... More >>
That's what is going through the rumor mill. The Web site Anti-Music quotes Billy Gibbons thusly: "We just inked a deal with Rick Rubin that will be announced shortly. And I'm sure he's got plans to make way to drag us off the touring trail back into the studio, which will be a nice excursion."
Have you ever played around with Googlism? Here’s how the site, which is not affiliated with Google in any way, describes itself: “Googlism was created as a fun tool to see what Google ‘thinks’ of certain topics and people. Of course, the results are not really Google's opinion, they're yo ... More >>
Before you check out the Black Angels this weekend at Warehouse Live or watch Roky Erickson’s recently taped Austin City Limits episode (featuring special guest Billy Gibbons; scheduled to air January 12), David Adickes will help you brush up on the early days of Texas psych 7:30 p.m. tonight at N ... More >>
Uptight Tonight! The Ultimate '60s Garage Collection
Bask in the glow of this glorious sandwich
Jim Maxfield's Tanglewood Pharmacy is home to the autographs of the rich and famous
ZZ Top is still bad, but now they're planet-wide. And they ain't thinking too hard about it