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ZZ Top and Jeff Beck Collaboration Inspired by YouTube Spoof

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When Jeff Beck and ZZ Top rolled into Los Angeles for the Aug. 13 stop on their summer co-headlining tour, they took the stage together for a collaborative rendition of the Tennessee Ernie Ford classic ‘Sixteen Tons’ — the perfect punchline for a long joke that started as a YouTube goof.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Beck and the Tops were inspired to perform the song together after catching wind of a two-year-old video that uses well-timed edits of footage recorded at their 2009 set at the the 25th-annniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert to make it appear as though they’re playing ‘Sixteen Tons.’ ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons initially laughed it off as the work of “someone who obviously had too much time on his hands,” but others weren’t so quick to forget it.

Beck was reportedly more enthusiastic, telling the others “Bloody hell — we can do this!” As you can see in the above video, they bloody well did, resulting in what Gibbons told the Times is “a mega meta kinda thang.” Compare the real deal with the original hoax below, and decide which “performance” you prefer.

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