ZZ Top | Chicago Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

ZZ Top Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended

When: Tue., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m. 2012

When ZZ Top's cover of DJ DMD's "25 Lighters" premiered in a Jeremiah Weed booze commercial, more than a few bloggers were perplexed: How did a classic-rock band end up covering a 14-year-old rap song about crack dealing that was barely ever heard outside the depths of the Houston underground scene? And more important, why? The answer to the first question is that Billy Gibbons is a studio rat and got to know a lot of Houston rappers through his engineer buddies, and when the group got together with Rick Rubin to record the new La Futura (Universal), Gibbons thought the producer would do a good job with his idea of adapting "Lighters"—which they turned into sublimely greasy slab of fuzzed-out blues called "I Gotsta Get Paid." As to the second question, Billy Gibbons just doesn't give a fuck: he'll cover an obscure rap song or turn a crusty old blues-rock band into a synth-heavy MTV phenomenon or use a $40,000 guitar as a doorstop. According to a studio gossip, the reason he gave for that last one was that he wanted to take a piss in the parking lot and the guitar was the only object at hand heavy enough. —Miles Raymer

Price: $48-$103

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