When Will Lee, David Letterman's bass player and an in-demand session musician, started cutting tracks for his new solo album, 'Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions,' he had plenty of famous names to lean on for special guest assistance -- including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, who lent his guitar and vocals to a cover of 'Get Out of My Life Woman.'
Before ZZ Top became global superstars -- synonymous with infectious boogie rock, fast cars, beautiful women, synchronized hand gestures and bodacious beards -- they were just three men from Texas. Tres hombres. Three bluesmen, to be precise, whose third album proved to be their commercial breakthrough.
Back in 1987, at the dawn of the CD era, ZZ Top released a three-disc box set called ‘Six Pack’ that included the band’s first five albums plus their seventh. Still flush from the mega-success of 1983’s ‘Eliminator,’ and its 1985 follow-up ‘Afterburner,’ someone decided to take the original recordings from the ‘70s and remix them with added ‘80s-style percussion. It wasn’t long before every ZZ Top CD for sale came with the newly recorded mechanized drums that helped make ‘Eliminator’ a hit. One thing ‘Tres Hombres’ didn’t need was robotic percussion.
"We were three guys, we had three chords and the future was wide open."