Our Favorite ZZ Top Covers: QOTSA, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Tina Turner and... Rapeman?

[Note: Now with added Ministry.]

Counting down to Friday's ZZ Top/Aerosmith show in The Woodlands is starting to feel like the week Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played there last year: a steady build of anticipation and antsiness, until Friday we're flat-out squirming to get out of the office. By the way, if all you think Rocks Off does is sit around listening to classic rock, we'll have you know that Monday we blasted brand-new albums by the Dead Weather - that's yet another Jack White project, featuring Allison Mosshart of the Kills - and former Band Drummer Levon Helm's Electric Dirt, and plan on doing so many, many more times. Jack's album, Horehound (out today, pictured) especially, because guess who it reminds Rocks Off of a little bit?

But Horehound will keep until next Monday. This week, as far as we're concerned, is all about ZZ Top. Judging by the amount of YouTube results that were self-recorded footage of amateur guitarists teaching themselves "Tush" or "La Grange," Billy Gibbons is probably due another billion or so bucks in lesson fees. But plenty of performers and groups with actual recording contracts have also covered the Lil' Ol' Band from Texas. A few might surprise you, but if you're as big a fan of ZZ (and rock and roll) as Rocks Off, they probably won't. (Thanks to The Covers Project for helping us track a few of these down.) But click anyway.

(Note: Live at L.A.'s El Rey Theater, May 2001)

(Note: Recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 1983 on the Diver Down tour.)

(Note: Recorded at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.)

(Note: A live version, with even worse sound quality, of Maiden and Blackfoot playing "Tush" at the UK's Reading Festival in 1982 is here.)

(Note: this is the ZZ Tops, "Europe's finest ZZ Top cover band," live at Earl's Court in London. The sound is iffy, but these guys know their shit.)

(Note: Shut up. Even Nickelback couldn't fuck up "Sharp Dressed Man.")

(Note: Almost ruined by the ill-advised scratching, but does she ever...)

(Note: We didn't know Alan Jackson had it in him either.)

(Note: Pick it, Willie.)

(Note: Much more faithful than you might imagine from a group featuring members of Big Black, Scratch Acid and the Big Boys.)

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray