Classic Rock News

ZZ Top is known for its penchant for beards, but now they’re venturing into Rick Nielsen’s wacky guitar territory with a 17-string bass.

Elwood Francis’s massive bass, which must be an absolute pain to string and hold even with a strap, was captured in a fan-shot video at the group’s November 5 show in Huntsville, Ala.


So, what’s up with that bass? Apparently, it was intended as a funny “hold my beer” moment for the band. Francis told Ultimate Classic Rock, “I was doing night internet searching [and] turned up a picture of this crazy 17 string bass. I sent a picture to Billy [Gibbons] and we laughed about it and made some jokes about actually trying to use it…A few weeks later, after I had forgotten about it, Billy shows up with [the 17 string bass].”

Well, if Billy Gibbons shows up with a crazy instrument for you to play, you’re gonna play the damn thing! Here’s hoping Francis has ample Advil on hand for any potential neck aches in the near future.

ZZ Top: Their 40 Best Songs, Ranked

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

Sign me up for the 94.7 WCSX email newsletter!

Stay connected to all things Classic Rock, join the WCSX Workforce- it’s free and you can win prizes, concert tickets and VIP experiences.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.