Born on this day in 1949, Dallas native Joseph Michael "Dusty" Hill would have turned 73 today. Sadly, we lost Dusty on July 28, 2021, of indeterminate causes. Dusty grew up in the Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School where he played the cello. Along with his brother Rock Hill and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard, Dusty Hill played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. From 1966 to 1968, American Blues played the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston circuit. In 1969, Hill was a member of a fake version of the British band The Zombies with Beard.
In 1968, the band decided to leave the Dallas–Fort Worth area and relocate to Houston. At this time, however, guitarist Rocky Hill wanted to focus on "straight blues", while Dusty wanted the band to rock more. Rocky left the band and Dusty and Beard moved to Houston, joining guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons of Houston psychedelic-rockers Moving Sidewalks in the recently formed ZZ Top just after they released their first single in 1969.
In Dusty's memory, see him talking about his Fender Custom Signature Precision Bass (above), and a recent documentary on ZZ Top below.