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 - drew a full house to B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill near Times Square Saturday night.
If you ever wondered what a primitive ZZ Top might sound like slathered in psychedelic '60s organ, you can stop.
The psychedelia didn't stop with the trippy tunes, including covers of "Wild Thing" and Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" and "Foxy Lady." The guitar the 63-year-old Gibbons was playing featured an illuminated green blob on a screen embedded into the body.
B.B. King's holds about 1,200 people. Noting Gibbons' fancy guitar gizmo (likening it to an iPad), The New York Times noted, "In many other respects this was an authentic teen garage band of its time and place." -- as in late-'60s Houston, where local and regional groups such as the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Zakary Thaks and Bubble Puppy weighed heavy on some musically inclined teens' minds.
A good bit of the Sidewalks' 80-minute set has since been uploaded to YouTube. Besides "Joe Blues" above, you can also dig:
Hands up, everyone who thinks "On the Green" isn't about golf.
The Sidewalks were suspended when Moore and Summers were drafted almost 45 years ago, providing Gibbons a push into ZZ Top. They are also scheduled to headline the Austin Psych Fest later this month, April 26-28 at Carson Creek Ranch.
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No plans for any reunion show in Houston have been announced as of now, but Gibbons has allowed that the Sidewalks have been working up some new material. Stranger things than this reunion, and his glowing guitar, have happened before.