ZZ TOP Bassist Says He’s ‘Still Not Comfortable’ With Replacing DUSTY HILL: ‘I Shouldn’t Be In The Band’

Elwood Francis Dusty Hill

While Elwood Francis has been a behind-the-scenes member of ZZ TOP for decades, taking care of their instruments and even playing harmonica with Billy Gibbons solo, stepping into the spotlight as Dusty Hill‘s replacement is a different story.

Despite his successful performances, a recent interview with Guitar World reveals Francis‘ internal struggle. He feels a deep respect for Hill’s legacy and admits to still feeling like he shouldn’t be in the band.

“When I first started doing it, Dusty was just sick and going home for a few weeks. It was entirely different; I was just helping out,” Elwood said. “I didn’t have to worry about the weight of the crown because I was just helping. They pulled me aside and said, ‘Can you honestly say you can’t play his parts?’ I said, ‘I can do it, but I don’t think people would enjoy me doing it.’ They said, ‘You can cover him for a few weeks.'”

“We’d done some gigs when Dusty passed, and by that time, I wouldn’t say I was comfortable because I’m still not f**king comfortable,” he added. “But I had a piece of paper on the riser for the first two shows if I got in trouble, and by the third show, I got rid of that, and just did the show.”

“It’s just weird. Dusty is their bass player. I’m not the bass player. I’m not in the band. I’ll never be in the band. I shouldn’t be in the band. It’s Dusty‘s thing. Sure, I’ll still play with them, but it’s a weird thing, man.”

Dusty Hill passed away on July 28, 2021, at his Houston home at the age of 72. Following his wishes, the band decided to continue with Elwood Francis on bass.