Not one but two gentlemen with long beards may be sneaking down your chimney today. They will leave memorabilia such as guitar picks and signed drumsticks, and if you've been a good boy or girl all year, may even give you a free guitar lesson. Instead of milk and cookies we're told they prefer Lone Star and funky fine Texas barbecue, and we would advise against sitting on anyone's lap unless you've really given it some serious thought. Someone, somewhere, is convinced that there is money to be made by hoarding the videos for "Legs" and "Gimme All Your Lovin'," and consequently there are now great big holes in our collective memory (which is what we've taken to calling the Internet). Sigh. Fortunately there's still a lot of quality ZZ Top footage to comb through, so here are the best ZZ Top videos not currently being sat on like a basket of golden eggs by greedy corporate bastards."Cheap Sunglasses"
(Live on the BBC'sOld Grey Whistle Test
, 1980): This song might actually be more famous for its riff and bizarre sonar-ping electronic sound effects than for its lyrics. This is pretty easy to understand, since the vocals don't even arrive at all until nearly the two-minute mark. Nonetheless, we're grateful to ZZ Top for making cheap sunglasses cool, allowing us to forever sneer at those overly-precious $400 Ray Bans. Like cocaine, sunglasses that cost more than a car note are nature's way of saying you make too much money.
You may not remember this 1994 single, since not only wasn't it grunge, but we're pretty sure the only person still allowed to use electronic drums in 1994 was Trent Reznor. Nonetheless, it did make No. 1 onBillboard
's Mainstream Rock chart, and it's actually a pretty damn good song, despite the ugly connotations lingering around the term "mainstream rock." The video's a pretty entertaining piece of revenge fantasy, too, featuring jilted-bride voodoo and the band floating around inside a giant cheese grater."Got Me Under Pressure"
(Live In Dallas): This may be Rocks Off's favorite ZZ Top song, but don't hold us to it; it's mighty tough to decide. The charging beat and catchy-as-all-hell riff can stick to your mind for days, and there's something really satisfying about seeing both Dusty and Billy sharing vocal duty. And let's be honest: we all know at least one girl like this."Tush"
(Czech Version): Here's a Czechoslovakian band doing their best to cover "Tush." The playing isn't bad at all, and you can forgive their painstakingly correct pronunciation of the title word (in the original, it rhymes more with "rush" than "push"). It is worth noting, however, that one Texas guitarist and one Texas bassist seems to equal about eight Czechs on various stringed instruments. Plus there's no way that beard is real."La Grange"
(Live In Texas): What do you want? It's La Grange, live from the very same state where the infamousChicken Ranch brothel
stood. You didn't think they'd written one of the most perfect rock songs of all time about just any old Texas shack, did you? You'll barely even notice Leon Redbone's absence.
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We can't rightly count this among the "best", but it's definitely an indicator of the internet's fundamentally bizarre and wondrous nature. The song "Velcro Fly," which inspired Stephen King to feature it prominently in one of hisThe Dark Tower
books, also inspires this man to jump rope for about six and a half minutes. He starts the song over at one point about 30 seconds in; why, we have no idea. Enjoy.