Z is for the Zombies and Z Z Top!

Z

DISCLAIMER THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2015 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…

Wow, today is the last day of the A-Z Challenge! And it all comes down to this:

Z is for the Zombies – The Zombies are an English rock band, formed in 1961 in St Albans, England, and led by Rod Argent (piano, organ and vocals) and Colin Blunstone (vocals). The group scored British and American hits in 1964 with “She’s Not There”. In the US two further singles, “Tell Her No” in 1965 and “Time of the Season” in 1969, were also successful. Their 1968 album, Odessey and Oracle, is ranked number 100 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. (Source: Wikipedia)

She’s Not There – This song was released in 1964 as their debut single and reached #12 in the UK charts:

Tell Her No –  Rod Argent’s “Tell Her No” became another big seller in the United States in 1965, peaking at No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1967 the Zombies signed to CBS Records and they recorded the album Odessey and Oracle (odyssey was accidentally misspelled by Terry Quirk, an art teacher who designed the cover). But by the time Odessey and Oracle was released in April 1968, the group had disbanded (in December 1967). The album sold poorly and was given a US release only because musician Al Kooper, then signed to Columbia Records, convinced his label of the album’s merits. One of its tracks, “Time of the Season”, written by Argent, was released as a single and eventually (1969) became a nationwide hit (Billboard Hot 100 peak position: No.3).

Time of the Season

After the Zombies disbanded, Rod Argent formed a band called Argent in 1969, with Chris White as a non-performing songwriter. Atkinson worked in A&R at Columbia Records and Grundy joined him there after a brief spell in auto sales. Colin Blunstone started a solo career after a brief period outside the music business, including working in the burglary claims section of an insurance company. Both Argent and White provided him with new songs. He also did studio vocals for The Alan Parsons Project.

 

 

And finally:

Z is for ZZ Top – I have been a fan of ZZ Top since their 1972 Tres Hombres album. My brother turned me on to their Texas boogie rock and I was hooked immediately. It ZZ Top stubwas cool then that my brother took me to see them back in 1983 at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Interestingly (for me, that is), Sammy Hagar opened for ZZ Top and kicked off his set with Bad Motor Scooter, a Montrose song that always reminds me of my brother.

So who are these bad boys from Texas? “ZZ Top is an American rock band that formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band comprises guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons (the band’s leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), bassist and co-lead vocalist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard. One of the few major label recording groups to have held the same lineup for more than forty years, ZZ Top has been praised by critics and fellow musicians alike for their technical mastery. Of the group, music writer Cub Koda said “As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America’s finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom […] while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support.”

Since the release of the band’s debut album in January 1971, ZZ Top has become known for its strong blues roots and humorous lyrical motifs, relying heavily on double entendres and innuendo. ZZ Top’s musical style has changed over the years, beginning with blues-inspired rock on their early albums, then incorporating new wave, punk rock and dance-rock, with heavy use of synthesizers. One of the best-selling musical artists in history, the band has had global album sales in excess of 50 million as of 2014.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Here are a few bits of ZZ Top Trivia for you:

In 1985, they turned down a $1 million offer to appear in a Gillette razor commercial, which would have required Gibbons and Hill to shave their beards. They claimed they were too ugly to be seen without them. According to Gibbons, “The prospect of seeing oneself clean shaven in the mirror is too close to a Vincent Price film…A prospect not to be contemplated, no matter the compensation.”

On the official ZZ Top website, I discovered another interesting tidbit: ZZ Top had to quit playing their song Just Got Paid (from their 1972 Rio Grande Mud album) at concerts because every time they played it, fans would throw coins on the stage. And apparently getting pelted with coins kinda hurts! They’d typically end up with about $50 in change on the stage after playing that song. They took the song out of their set lineup for quite a while. Now it’s back in as the coin-throwing phase has passed.

And if you’ve ever wondered where they got their name: According to TodayIFoundOut.com, “the name ZZ Top, according to band member Billy Gibbons, came from a tribute to B.B. King. The band was originally going to call themselves “Z.Z. King” in King’s honor [and a nod to Z.Z. Hill as well, but they decided it was too similar to B.B. King. Since B.B. King was at the “top” of the Blues world, they changed it to ZZ Top.”

There are so many ZZ Top songs that I like and since this is the only band that I’m posting about, I’m going to include a bunch of videos. So sit back and enjoy some boogie and blues from “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas”:

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers – ultimately, my favorite ZZ Top song, set to this cool motorcycle montage video:

Hot, Blue and Righteous – (audio only):

Jesus Just Left Chicago – Live at the Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2010:

La Grange –  photo montage video:

Blue Jean Blues – Live at Gilford, 2007 (video ©U.S.Cellular Pavilion,NH USA)

Balinese – photo montage video of the Balinese Ballroom in Galveston, TX:

Mexican Blackbird – ZZ Top photo montage video

Tush – Live performance in 2014:

I Thank You – a photo montage video:

I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide – a lyric video:

Cheap Sunglasses – a 1980 performance on BBC’s guitar heroes show:

Tube Snake Boogie – live performance at Rockpalast in Germany, April 1980:

Pearl Necklace – photo montage video:

Party on the Patio – 1983 performance for Sweden TV, right before the release of the Eliminator album:

Gimme All Your Lovin – official music video:

You Got Me Under Pressure – live at the Hellfest in Clisson, France on June 22nd, 2013:

Sharp Dressed Man – Official music video:

I Need You Tonight – a lyric video:

Legs – Official music video (from Rhino); I had that keychain that is featured in the video. I have no idea where it is but I’m sure it’s in my house somewhere…

Thug – audio only:

TV Dinners – official music video:

Sleeping Bag – official music video:

Stages – official music video:

Rough Boy – official music video:

My Head’s in Mississippi – official music video:

Doubleback – official music video:

Give It Up – official music video:

Arrested for Driving While Blind – Live at Rockpalast April 1980 in Germany:

 

So that’s it for the Letter Z. And that’s it for the Blogging A-Z Challenge! Wow, what a ride, huh? It’s been a blast exploring the soundtracks of my life and I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have this last month. 

Thanks so much for joining me on this musical tour of my life. All the posts have been compiled and indexed on one page (see the 2015 Blogging A-Z Challenge Collection) so please come back and visit soon! I’ve loved having you all here. Happy Trails! And as always, Rock On…

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31 thoughts on “Z is for the Zombies and Z Z Top!

  1. Nice job, from a to zztop… you shared so much great music!

    “Z” we made it… thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There’s no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

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  2. This is definitely my era of music. I will be book marking and coming back in the future to listen to some great music. Thanks for visiting & commenting at my blog. Carolyn @ Pastimes-Passions-Paraphernalia.org

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  3. Congrats on finishing and putting so much work into your posts. I’m not a bit ZZ Top fan and I didn’t remember the Zombies but I recognize their songs. This is the second time I came across them today.

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  4. Whoa that’s a lot of ZZTop videos. Once when I was in a blues club in Memphis one of the members of ZZ Top was in the audience enjoying the show. I don’t know which one it was–for that matter I don’t even know the names of the guys in the group.

    The Zombies did some great music. Their Odyssey and Oracle album was one of the best of the 60’s-70’s.

    There was also a group named Zephyr back in the early 70’s that I’m not overly familiar with but their album always tempted me when I saw in the bins at the record store. Alas, there were other groups that intrigued me more.

    Then of course there was Frank Zappa who is a favorite of mine. I saw him in concert at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. It was a slick show but over all disappointing because it just seemed like they wanted to hurry through the set and get out of there. The show lacked life. But still he was a great.

    Congratulations on making it through with your epic posts. You brought back a lot a memories for me as well as others.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year’s A to Z.
    Tossing It Out

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    • Thanks Lee. I’m so glad that my posts brought back memories for you. That’s the beauty of music.
      Re: Frank Zappa: I never was a big Zappa fan. I just didn’t like his music. I always thought he was kinda weird.
      How cool that you and one of ZZTop’s members were in the same audience, enjoying the same show. I heard they are pretty down to earth guys.
      Whew. What a month, huh?! This has been so much fun. Thanks for all you do… And thanks for visiting my blog so often during the challenge. Your visits always meant a lot to me…

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      • Weird was probably the attraction for me where it comes to Zappa. He did some stuff that didn’t appeal to me, but some of the intricate instrumental work he composed was amazing, a fact that is now seen in his recognition by many symphonies and performers of classical music.

        Glad to be a somewhat frequent visitor to your site.

        Arlee Bird
        A to Z Challenge Co-host
        Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year’s A to Z.
        Tossing It Out

        Liked by 1 person

      • True. I should probably re-evaluate his music with that in mind. I’ll give it another try…one of these days. Tonight? I’m going to sleep… 🙂

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    • Would love to have you back! All the posts are compiled into a collection so if you feel like a dose of good music and memories, please, by all means, c’mon back! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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  5. that’s a whole lot of ZZ Top here 😀 😀 😀
    I remember the beards the most to be honest 😀
    congrats on the challenge, though I think I just stepped in today for the first time? Will have to re-visit 😀

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  6. Woohoo! You made it, Michele!
    What a lot of work you’ve put in to getting from A to Z. I’ve really enjoyed visiting and intend to go back over quite a few of your A to Z posts because there is a lot of music there that I didn’t really know much about.
    I’d forgotten that the Zombies did She’s Not There and that Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone were both in the Zombies.
    As for ZZ Top, well, I’d have put money on it that they’d feature in your letter Z! I used to have a Best of ZZ Top tape which I’d play at maximum volume in the car. The only trouble was that the only car that Mrs C and I could afford at that time was a notorious British car called an Austin Allegro. With the volume right up everything in the car rattled and buzzed.
    It’s always amused me that ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard is the member of the group who doesn’t have a beard (but them I’m quite easily amused).
    Right, back to the world of “normal” blogging.
    All the best,
    Mark

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    • Hey Mark. I’m so glad that I was able to introduce you to some new music and bands. That’s always fun to discover good music! Thank you so much for your regular visits: I so appreciate the time you took to check out my posts and to comment. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you here and at your place and am looking forward to continuing to visit you at the Olive Grove. Now we have a weekend upon us and we can take a good rest! It’s been fun!

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  7. Great chocs – love them both! ♥♥ Billy Gibbons is such a cool guy! 😀 He did a guest appearance in Nickelback’s “Rockstar” video. I just love it – always makes me smile!

    A couple of other “Z” choices:
    Zager & Evans were a “One Hit Wonder” from 1969 – great tune!

    Zucchero is an Italian rock star whom I’m sure you haven’t heard of, but he’s really good!

    Well, you did, Michele! 😀 This is a wonderful musical journey you took us on! A toast to you. Cheers!

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    • Thanks Debbie. Wow, what a blast from the past with the Year 2525! Never heard of Zager and Evans: I’ll be sure to include them in my One Hit Wonders post for sure. Thanks for that.
      Too bad the other videos didn’t upload (or download, whatever the case may be). I’ll try to find them on YouTube…
      Thanks for enriching my posts with your informative comments. You added so much to them and for that I’m grateful. You rock, Sister! XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Rockstar one was fine. It was the Zucchero one causing problems, but if you click view on Youtube, it will play there. Weird! Glad you enjoyed the tidbits I added. 🙂 Your posts were fabulous! YOU ROCK TOO! \m/ XOXO

        Liked by 1 person

  8. ZZ Top is just classic! No better way to End A to Z than with a few songs from the band from Houston, TX and one of the few bands to keep the same lineup for more than forty years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to that, Stephen! Thanks for taking the time to visit my posts and comment. I know you were incredibly busy with your co-hosting duties and I appreciate you. Now let’s get some sleep! 🙂

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    • Lol. Thanks so much Geetika! Yes, it was definitely a lot of work, that’s for sure! Thanks for your comment and for coming by to visit! Hope to see you here again soon…

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    • Thanks Cheryl! Thanks so much for visiting so many of my posts. So glad to have you here. I’m happy that my posts brought back memories for you. Music is so great about evoking memories of all kinds. Thanks for your comments and likes: much appreciated. 🙂

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