The musician said it all happened in 1969 in his band’s hangout room, before Dusty Hill and Frank Beard came onboard. Billy said:
“We had a little apartment, a little hangout room that was lined with those rainbow-colored blues posters you’d say nailed to the telephone poll, [listing] who was coming to town.”
As the guys looked at the posters, Gibbons said they realized “it was odd how many current names had initials – O.V. Wright, D.C. Bender, and of course B.B. King – he was down on this end of the alphabet, then it was Z.Z. Hill.”
Billy recalled thinking, “Jeez, ZZ and King, that’s a good combo.” He then decided that ZZ King was too similar to B.B. King, thinking:
“King being at the top, I said, ‘Okay, so it’s gonna be ZZ Top, and that’s the way it is.”
And the rest is history.