Longtime music legends and mutual admirers ZZ Top and Jeff Beck will tour together for the first time this summer. This potentially amazing road show launches in Missoula, Mont., on Aug. 8 and will run for five weeks with shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit, Boston and New York Cty (and more stop will be announced), according to an official press release.
Fashioned with considerable synergy in mind, these shows will present complete Jeff Beck concerts, followed by full sets by ZZ Top, and finales will allow the British guitar genius and the Texas blues-rock masters to cook up some killer collaboration.
ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, speaking on behalf of band mates Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, noted that Beck has long been a source of inspiration from his time in the Yardbirds, the seminal blues-based Brit-rock band that also featured, at certain points, a pre-Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page and a before-Cream Eric Clapton. Gibbons commented: “Ever since experiencing ‘Jeff’s Boogie,’ the prospect of performance with Jeff Beck on the deck brings us into focus with the curator of crunch.”
Beck has been a longtime fan of ZZ Top, from even before their climb to extreme popularity in the '70s and '80s. The guitarist noted: “Ever since 'Eliminator' I thought it would be great to play with ZZ Top,” and he went on to declare Billy Gibbons “The Professor of Grunge.”
Jeff Beck has a thing for interesting live collaborations. Last year, he toured with Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, complementing Wilson's warm melodies, especially during Wilson's lost treasure, "Smile," with his glowing guitar work.
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Meanwhile, this tour is hardly the first live teaming between Beck and Gibbons. The ZZ Top ax king joined Beck and his band on stage at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where they performed The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Foxey Lady” and, well, ZZ Top’s hit “Rough Boy” together.
The following year, Jeff Beck got down to business with ZZ Top in Lucca, Italy, for an extended rendition of the latter's signature piece “La Grange.” The collaborative jaunt this summmer marks the first time that Jeff Beck and ZZ Top will have done any sort of extensive touring together.
ZZ Top, formed in the Houston area of Texas in 1969, became a tireless, hugely successful touring act in the '70s and darlings of MTV in the '80s, going on to sell tens of millions of records. Their unique hybrid of dirty blues and hard rock, which managed to remain fresh with new sounds and technology, earned them induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones doing the honors.
Beck, a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (with The Yardbirds in 1992 and on his own in 2009), helped set the template in the '60s for the solo-heavy, feedback-laden, rock-guitar hero archetype. The technically astounding fret wizard -- manhandling his Fender Strat always with no pick -- formed the Jeff Beck Group by the end of that decade with then-unknown singer Rod Stewart, eventually going solo, with forays into explosive jazz fusion ("Blow By Blow" and "Wired" remain two of fusion's greatest accomplishments) and beyond in the mid-'70s. Beck, similar to ZZ Top, has continually incorporated new kinds of sonics and technologies into his jaw-dropping guitar stylings throughout his half-century-long career. Lately, Jeff has been working on a new studio album, his first since the 2010 release of the critically acclaimed "Emotion & Commotion," which earned him two Grammy Awards and the highest charting debut of his career.
ZZ Top With Jeff Beck Tour Itinerary:
Aug. 8 Ogren Park
Aug. 9 Chateau Ste. Michelle
Aug. 10 Cuthbert Amphitheatre
Aug. 12 The Mountain Winery
Aug. 13 Greek Amphitheatre Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 15 Ironstone Amphitheatre
Aug. 16 The Joint
Aug. 20 Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre Engl
Aug. 22 Zoo Amphitheatre Oklahoma City, OK
Aug. 23 Starlight Theater Kansas City, MO
Aug. 24 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Maryland Heights, MO
Aug. 27 DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarks
Aug. 28 Ravinia
Aug. 31 MGM Grand Theater @ Foxwoods Mashantucket, CT
Sept. 2 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Sept. 3 Merriweather Post Pavilion Colum
Sept. 4 Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY
Sept. 6 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Alpharet
Sept. 7 St. Augustine Amphitheater St
Sept. 12 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion The Woodlands, TX