Billy Gibbons And Tequila A Winning Combination

ZZ Top's recording date with Rick Rubin inching closer, he says...

Thursday afternoon, Rocks Off got an invite to a launch party for a new tequila on the scene, Pura Vida Tequila. Where else would this party be at but at the newest tequila joint on Washington Avenue, TQLA Houston near the corner of Washington and Shepherd.

Who was the guest of honor, aside from Rocks Off's dumb ugly mugs? None other than our lord and savior, the Rev. Billy F. Gibbons from ZZ Top. The beard. The man who helped write over 100 songs that roll around in Rocks Off's collective brain every day.

Before we tell our gushing fanboy tale, let us say that the tequila is strong stuff, and comes in four varieties that we tried in equal measure. Gibbons is an investor in the company, which just made its jump into the United States.

He attended the party with his wife, who he introduced as his "Gilligan."

TQLA isn't a bad place to begin your Houston tequila odyssey either, since the Mexican joint offers 176 versions of the stuff. The most expensive shot, a Don Julio aged for about a century, goes for $450. That's a little bit more than the price of a car payment for Rocks Off, or at least a trip to Cactus Music.

We are usually whiskey dudes, but Pura Vida went down pretty smooth and was a good margarita base, not that have ever claimed to be an authority. It's a lot better than even some of the best stuff we have run across, but don't take our word for it. Try it out yourself.

We waited for Gibbons to finish talking to a few socialite folks before we started to talk shop with the man. He was wearing the same jacket he was wearing at ZZ Top's September show up in the Woodlands, and up close his beard rules more than you would imagine.

We asked him about the status of the band and recording details, including working with producer Rick Rubin, which has been in the pipeline for a few years now.

Gibbons said the guys were supposed to be to be hitting a rehearsal studio this week, eying work on new songs. The Rubin deal is pending, he said, and has been for two year, but Rubin is "hard to pin down." It seems that once they have the songs, ZZ Top will be going full-force with the iconic Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, and Slayer producer.

With the help of the tequila, we said other things to him, like that he is better than God and that we curse the fact that we can never listen to ZZ Top's music loud enough.

We are sure he has heard both things before.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty