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Astro Memories, Part Two: Author/ Supermodel Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

As 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 memories.

Rapper Paul Wall talked of Xanax and the World Series; Houston Symphony percussionist Mark Griffith tells of sprinting from Jones Hall to Minute Maid Park in a tux to catch the last of the 18-inning playoff marathon against the Braves; Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia wrote of bicycling across downtown as a kid to get to the Dome.

And then there was Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

Gibbons has a long history with Houston baseball -- his dad used to play the ballpark organ at Buff Stadium -- and he researched a bit to nail down details of the Stros' early days.

He then wrote a mini-essay in an inimitable style that cannot be described, merely read.

Gibbons also eagerly agreed to be our cover boy, donning an Astros hat over his trademark beret.

Photographer Kevin Scalon, who last shot Clint Eastwood for us via our sister paper LA Weekly, shot Gibbons at the guitarist's Los Angeles home.

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That night, as he settled in to write his piece, Gibbons realized he had caught a nasty cold in the most LA of ways -- sitting outside at a sushi restaurant on a breezy night.

We don't know if the stuffed-up head or the cold medicine played any role in the prose style, but something did. Maybe it's just all those years of being an Astros fan.


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