I love Billy Gibbons! I’ve always liked ZZ Top, and to those of you that think this band is just “Sharp Dressed Man”, and “Legs” – you have no clue! ZZ Top has a catalogue of blistering blues songs like “Just Got Paid”, “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”, “La Grange”, “Tube Snake Boogie”, “Tush”, and more songs than you can count on all fingers and toes! Billy Gibbons is ‘that bearded guy’ with the Cheap Sunglasses, and he can lay out the blues licks – and the slide guitar, like nobody you’ve ever seen.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Billy Gibbons

Maybe I like Billy because I know he was good friends with Stevie Ray Vaughan – another person near and dear to my guitar playing heart. They were good friends, regulars of the Texas music scene – both cutting their teeth on the dust bowl blues circuit.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Billy Gibbons

Billy Gibbons Tells a Blonde Joke

Billy’s a funny guy, quite a character – here’s Billy telling a Blonde joke…

Billy Gibbons Slide solo on “Just Got Paid”

As I said, Billy is a great slide guitar player – watch him play the solo on his classic song “Just Got Paid”:

Buddy Guy & Billy Gibbons: Montreux Jazz Festival 2008

Billy likes to jump on stage whenever he gets the chance, and there’s a lot of YouTube videos of him with other guitar players and bands – check him on stage here with Buddy Guy at Montreux!

Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top in Texas Monthly 1976

If you’re interested in the history of ZZ Top, you can always read about Billy Gibbons on Wikipedia, but here’s something really cool…check out this magazine article from 1976 in the early beginnings of ZZ Top:


Billy Gibbons remains one of my favorite guitar players, and in my cover band we play at least a half dozen ZZ top classics every time we gig out. Which ZZ Top songs are your favorite?

Also read: Billy Gibbons ZZ Top Lesson

How to Sound Like Billy Gibbons as a Guitar Player

There are many secrets to sounding like Billy Gibbons. Many might think that having a vintage guitar is a requirement. Despite the fact that you see many guitars with him on stage, Billy loves to record with his ’59 Les Paul. He calls that guitar “Pearly Gates” and here is the entire background story about it.

Here he is playing that very guitar:

If you can’t afford a ’59 Les Paul, the next best thing is to install some Pearly Gates pickups in your guitar. Trust me, I have them (made by Seymour Duncan) – they are the real deal.

Here’s a video demo of what they sound like:

You can buy Pearly Gates pickups new on Amazon:
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You can also find great deals on them used on eBay, either in pairs or single neck or bridge:

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