Bass guitar

Watch ZZ Top’s Elwood Francis Use A 17-String Bass Guitar On Stage For Got Me Under Pressure

Last July, longtime ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill died at the age of 72.

Hill’s place in the band, per the late bassist’s wishes, was taken by the band’s longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis.

Now, even though ZZ Top has used some pretty colorful guitars over their long career, fans at the band’s recent concert (November 5) (opens in a new tab) at the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall in Huntsville, Alabama were probably a bit surprised by what they saw when Francis took the stage with the band for the first time.

The bass in Francis’ hands was not a four- or five-string bass guitar, nor a six-string model.

No, readers, this yellow-finished low-end behemoth was (in our opinion, at least) a 17-string bass. You can see him in action in fan footage from the band’s opening act that night (Put me under pressure) below.

Now, not to be a killjoy, but a rotation of the video appears to show Francis only using three or four of the beast’s strings.

Still, the skill involved in swinging from low notes all the way up the bass (fretted, of course, on the upper neck) to mid and higher notes all the way down low is quite impressive. The Little Ol’ Band From Texas has always known how to take simple elements (in this case, a steady grooving bassline) and put on a show with them, after all.

Now all we need is for Billy Gibbons to invite Jared Dines and his 20-string Mountain Dew Meme guitar on stage with the band for the most djent ZZ Top show ever…

Also noteworthy at this particular gig are the purple “fuzz” guitars the band used to Legs.

“Fuzzy guitars have gone royal,” the band wrote of the guitars in an Instagram post. (opens in a new tab) last month. “Royal Purple that’s it!”

For tickets and more information on upcoming ZZ Top shows, visit the band’s website (opens in a new tab).