January 28, 2023

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ZZ Top’s Elwood Francis performs with 17-string bass: watch

ZZ Top fans attending the band’s concert in Huntsville, Alabama on November 5 were treated to an odd sight as bassist Elwood Francis pulled out a massive 17-string bass for their 1983 rendition of “Got Me Under Pressure.” . In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Francis explained that the oversized instrument was a late-night impulse buy that he forgot about until frontman Billy Gibbons brought it to the show.

“I searched the internet at night [and] a picture of this crazy 17-string bass has surfaced,” Francis told UCR. “I sent Billy a picture and we laughed about it and made a few jokes about actually trying to use it.”

In “one of those hold my beer moments,” Gibbons showed up with the bass “a few weeks later” after Francis “forgot about it.” And the rest was history.

Watch Francis’ performance with the 17-string bass via the fan-shot footage below.

Last year, Francis joined ZZ Top following the sudden death of Dusty Hill. He was their longtime guitar tech, making him a natural fit for the band.

In July, ZZ Top released their latest album, RAW, which was recorded while Hill was still alive. Their last studio album was 2012’s Futura. ZZ Top will remain on tour in the US until December. Read our recap of a recent concert here and secure your seats through Ticketmaster.