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AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/28/21 8:45 p.m.

I didn't catch them until the Afterburner tour, was that '85 or '86? Great show, of course.


759NRNG UberDork
7/28/21 9:19 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I'm going to have to take the big Caddy out tonight in memoriam. Maybe I'll rename it Dusty. 

And Yes you should with a half moon Dude!!!!!.....he'd be pleased .....late

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/29/21 7:00 a.m.

Charleston, SC, 1974 he told the story of Master of Sparks.  Seems a guy made a round steel cage with a chair at the center, used to roll it off a truck at high speed with some guy inside.

Huge loss ....

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/30/21 9:15 a.m.

I just read that Dusty gave Billy his blessing to continue on without him. So the show will go on!

1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/30/21 10:13 a.m.
914Driver said:

Charleston, SC, 1974 he told the story of Master of Sparks.  Seems a guy made a round steel cage with a chair at the center, used to roll it off a truck at high speed with some guy inside.

I saw the band in the early 80's in Roanoke, VA, Salem Civic Center.  From what I can remember, it was a great show. laugh

Interesting side note:  There is a 2011 Topher Grace film called "Take Me Home Tonight" that ends with a ride in a similar cage.  I can find no link between the two, but the movie scene would certainly seem to have been inspired by the story of "Master of Sparks."


914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/30/21 3:38 p.m.

Wow, Texas not Florida.



The song tells the true story[1] of Billy Gibbons and his friend R.K. Bullock who with a workman, welded together a steel ball cage with a seat and seatbelt fitted inside. They placed the cage into the bed of a truck and at night, after reaching a speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), on Highway 6 near Houston (also known as Jack Rabbit Road), rolled the cage out the back with the hapless narrator and friend taking a ride inside. The cage generated a tail of sparks on the road but in its crushed condition stopped rolling. Still moving at high speed, the now egg shaped cage crashed into a fence. Both occupants survived relatively unscathed and were awarded the title "Master of Sparks" by the cheering crowd.[2]

I guess it's safe to talk about it now ... A good friend and I put our heads together one day and went out of town to his folks spread where we got the help of the black foreman there to weld a bunch of sucker gauge which is the kind of pipe they use to build windmills, into a steel cage, a ball of sorts. We put a door on it, a seatbelt on a bucket seat. It even had shock absorbers to cushion the points of impact. Then we'd get drunk and roll this thing out of the back of a pick-up truck at 'bout fifty miles an hour and when it would hit the ground it'd send up a rooster tail of sparks a hundred feet in the air. Man it would tear you up to get in that thing. It was the most amazing spectacle I'd ever laid eyes on.

'Course we kept it a secret from everybody 'cause, if our folks had found out, we'd all been off to military school, but then my buddy went and printed up flyers and distributed them at school sayin' to come and see the 'master of sparks' that night on jack-rabbit road which was Highway Six, our launch pad.

Hell, sure enough, come sundown we got out there to find both sides of the road lined with cars waitin' to see this. Some guy even had the back end of his pick-up truck loaded down with ice and cold beer, he was givin' away free beer. So, after realizing what was coming down, both of us loaded ourselves in for the last ride and I guess we must of been going sixty miles an hour, drunk, laughin' like hell and, when we rolled ourselves out, we hit the ground so hard it squashed the ball out like an egg. Needless to say, it didn't roll too well and we spun off the road and hit a fence, tore bout a hundred yards of barbed wire down. I was screamin', he was bleedin', but, needless to say we were awarded the coveted title of having done the wildest thing.[3]

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/30/21 3:58 p.m.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/30/21 4:56 p.m.
mtn said:

RIP. Always amazed at how much sound, and how good of sound, they could make come out of just a guitar, bass, and drums.

Anyone surprised to find he was only 72? Between ZZ Top being around since the dawn of time, and their Nudie suits, hats, sunglasses, and beards, he seemed like he's been at least 60 years old for at least the past 30 years. 

As someone who has played primarily in Power Trios.....there's a a level of power in Trios that's unique to them, especially when the musicians stop trying to embrace what they are not ( a 4 piece or more band) and embrace what they are.


That space that people seem to fear with only one guitarist is actually a powerful thing. It allows all 3 members to totally dominate their individual sounds and sound absolutely huge together

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/30/21 4:57 p.m.

Also my favorite ZZ Top song never gets talked about, Concrete & Steel

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
7/31/21 6:36 a.m.

A few days late on this, but this one hurts. Dusty was a solid player that could groove with the best of them. Like a lot of other 80's/90's kids, I was introduced to them though the hits from Eliminator, but later discovered what made them a big name in the first place.

A few years back, someone suggested to listen to Tres Hombres. With fresh ears, I sat down with it and was completely blown away. I was especially enamored with Dusty's playing, since I play bass myself. That is now my favorite of theirs, and one of my favorite albums to toss on while I'm relaxing. 

RIP Dusty. He'll be missed big time.

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