LINDEN'S MUSIC FAME
- ClassicBandsDotCom quoted an ex ZZ Top employee: "According to David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN, sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album." (end quote)
The coolest thing about this story is that the ZZ Top Eliminator album was one of the biggest selling record albums in pop music history. Now, here's the totally sick part of the story: Linden Hudson never received writers credits for his co-writing on ELIMINATOR, and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top's guitarist) and his management, did not choose to pay Linden royalties for his huge contribution to ZZ Top's most successful album (the band's most successful album BY FAR). Was this just another story of greed? Again, we quote David Blayney (ex ZZ Top stage manager of 15 years) from his book:"I find it hard to believe that the boys intentionally set out to do a number on Linden, but sometimes you tend to forget where you came from. It's easy to get both greedy and self-serving in show bidness." (end quote)
The sad tone of this story is heightened by the fact that Linden had done so much more than just co-write the songs for Eliminator . Billy Gibbons finally admits that Linden introduced the synthesizers to the ZZ Top sound, and Gibbons also admits that Linden was involved in the Eliminator song compositions. But Mr Gibbons fails to make amends or apologize to Linden.
There is no dispute, the Eliminator album was ZZ Top's biggest selling album (by far). This incredibly famous record album went on to be one of the biggest musical releases of all time, in fact it's sales in the USA alone were rated as Diamond status. Diamond status for a record album starts at ten times Platinum (that's huge). The sales for this album were massive all over the world. And, please take note, this album contained a whopping FIVE hit singles. You're welcome Mr Billy F Gibbons. As for Linden's involvement with the entire Eliminator album project, here's another quote from David Blayney's book: "Linden Hudson in a fair world should have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized." (end quote)
Besides the co-writing revelations for almost the entire ELIMINATOR album, Linden outright owned the copyright to one of the album's songs (the song THUG). This little part of the ELIMINATOR story seemed to put Linden on a bit of solid legal footing. It made him a lot more credible. Linden came to realize that sueing for co-writer's royalties for the entire ELIMINATOR album project would have been a huge undertaking. So, he narrowed his initial focus and began his uphill struggle by sueing ZZ Top for just the one song (THUG). It was a logical place to start, and seemed to be a good first step in Linden's struggle. This THUG lawsuit thing, at first, seemed like it would be a pretty simple matter, but it turned out to be anything but simple. Linden learned that even if you own a copyright to a song, you still have to fight a battle.
After Linden's lawsuit for the song THUG became public, and after it was shown that Linden owned an actual registered USA copyright to the song, ZZ Top was no longer able to deny that Linden wrote it. AND, it was also harder for the band and management to deny that Linden had been generally involved in the entire ELIMINATOR album project. As stated before, it seemed that he was suddenly becoming somewhat credible (as it should have been). The famous "little ole" band was beginning to have a hard time explaining what they had done to their friend Linden Hudson.
Rolling Stone Magazine published an article about Linden and his Thug lawsuit (April 1985 issue) in which there was a quote from a member of ZZ Top's management (JW Williams), the spokesman said: "It's an unfortunate situation, here's a guy (Linden) who was a friend. It's hard to explain... " (end quote)
So, as you can see, the band's management found itself in the position of having to say "it's hard to explain" to none other than Rolling Stone Magazine. Of course, that response by ZZ Top management to Rolling Stone was a complete load of horse shit (ludicrous, totally lame, a joke). It's the old "hard to explain" response (when you treat people like crap, it IS hard to explain). Then (WTF) they used the word "friend"??? And, the band's spokesperson got it right when he used the word "unfortunate". ZZ Top and magement continued to deny the facts of Linden Hudson's larger involvement in the entire Eliminator project (for decades).
To illustrate the depth of the sick treatment that Linden was subjected to: early on in the ordeal, with regard to the song THUG, ZZ Top's manager told a local Houston newspaper that Linden Hudson was a thief, which of course turned out to be a slanderous lie once Linden proved that he held a copyright to the song. The ZZ Top folks would have NEVER done something like that to Linden had he had money and a legal team (like they do). Billy Gibbons has never apologized to Linden for any of the ridiculously fucked up things that went down, even though, incredibly, Gibbons has finally begun to admit some of the truth of Linden's involvement to a few journalists (a little at a time), more than thirty years later. Linden Hudson's treatment in these matters completely destroyed his spirit (to say the least). For many years, every time an ELIMINATOR song played on the radio, Linden had to change the station.
Revelations of Linden's highly believable, and totally logical creative involvement in the amazing Eliminator album were, apparently, a HUGE embarrassment to the ZZ Top band, and management, and remain so to this day. ZZ Top, and management, apparently (duh) wanted to be seen as the TOTAL creators of this huge hit record album, which sounded a thousand percent different than all their previous albums. And, they didn't want to share any of the money with Linden either. As indicated earlier, ZZ Top management's posture towards Linden was hostile, ridiculous, and tragic.
TEENY TINY NEWS FLASH - On June 3, 2013 Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top's guitarist) began to break the silence about Linden Hudson's involvement with ZZ Top in an interview with MusicRadar Dot Com. Billy Gibbons said: "This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suite, and the synthesizer started to show up on record." (end quote) (Billy didn't address the whole issue and his statement was very carefully worded. He's quite possibly embarrassed and/or fearful of all the ramifications. Who knows what he's thinking. Considering what was done to Linden, this MusicRadar interview was just a teeny and very lame gesture, and more than 30 fucking years too late. Keep working at it Billy. You've got lots of work to do on the "people" thing.)
Please read the many article and book excerpts listed on this site (on the press & media page of this website), many written by reputable and even famous writers (writers from Rolling Stone, Times of London, The Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly Magazine, etc). If you find this story interesting, please pass it on. Linden wants this story to be told. Pop music history is more interesting to the masses than any other flavor of history (google search stats prove that to be true), and Linden is part of that pop music history. Linden's story is a small (or large) fire that ZZ Top and it's management would just love to extinguish forever. But, Linden will try to make sure that doesn't happen
Each song on that notoriously famous Eliminator album made ZZ Top hundreds of thousands of dollars (mucho dinero), and brought income to the band for decades, and greatly enhanced their fame and their concert ticket sales (forever). In fact, it's easy to say that the Eliminator album elevated ZZ Top from simple stardom to Super-Stardom. Rolling Stone Magazine recently stated:"With 1983's Eliminator, ZZ Top made a quantum leap from best-kept secret to massive stardom" (end quote). Most rock critics would agree with that statement. Any time your record sales increase twenty-fold overnight, then we think any logical person would have to admit that something drastic has changed in the chemistry and/or the creative process. However, again, the sad part is: ZZ Top managment chose to cover up Linden's major involvement in this creative process. In fact, this nightmare was far worse than just that. Welcome to the depressing side of the music business and say hello to a true story of real misery.
After Linden Hudson realized what the great Sir Billy Gibbons and his pals had done to him, he painfully started hisThug lawsuit and walked away from ZZ Top forever. He decided to sue the band/management ONLY for the songThug and didn't pursue the other "matters", as Linden had been warned by older and wiser friends that lawsuits are extremely difficult and expensive. If you think healthcare is out of reach for the poor, wait until you try the legal system. Legal processes are slow and biased towards the rich (100%), and lawsuits are emotionally draining. And, yes, all that turned out to be true. The lawsuit for just the song THUG proved to be a tough experience. It's a David and Goliath story, an economically challenged and inexperienced young guy fighting a team of rich and famous guys. Those rich and famous guys play mindgames in the midst of this legal process as well. Who said this is a fair world? This is the true reality of the justice system (in America, or most anywhere). Rich people rule, whether it's a civil or criminal matter. Another point: if you're fighting for justice against FAMOUS people, it's an uphill battle. You become the bad guy). The public hates it when you fuck with their heroes. Please note what ZZ and management did to their former friend, then ponder the "heroes" thing.
There was, however, a bit of poetic justice in all this: ZZ Top was never again able to create an album that matched the sales and success of Eliminator, not even close (part of the magic formula was gone). Many credible sources have stated that the Eliminator album sold HALF of all the records that were sold in the band's ENTIRE career (out of 15 albums). Therefore, the way Linden was treated (when you consider his contribution and the apparent result) was illogical and ultimately a truly bad move for the band. Some journalistic writings have suggested (as pondered previously in these writings) that Linden's considerable influence on the Eliminator album project was a huge embarrassment to ZZ Top management. But, that's truly not what Linden wanted or expected. The crap that went down was a total surprise to Linden (obviously). It's impossible to convey the pain he felt as all this unfolded. To this day, it remains surreal for Linden. It's just a truly fucked up deal. To be buried and banned for having such a large positive effect was really hard for him to understand. It crushed his world. He never got over it.
To further illustrate the scope of Eliminator's success: ZZ Top had released seven albums before Eliminator, the best of which only went as high as gold (gold=half a million units sold). Then, Linden became heavily involved on the eighth album (Eliminator) and it sold far more than 10 times Platinum (which is 20 times greater than Gold). As stated before, ELIMINATOR went Diamond in the USA (it even went Diamond in Canada) and multi-platinum in many other countries. After Linden was banished there were seven more albums released up to the year 2012 with ever diminishing record sales. ZZ Top never came close to matching Eliminator in sales/popularity. Linden doesn't want to take all the credit, never did, he just wanted DUE credit. He was, absolutely, a deeply important element in the chemistry that came together for that short time. But, you can be the judge.
The Eliminator album was chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top 500 albums in history. Linden Hudson was a substantial part of that achievement, of course he was. But Linden has no "Diamond", no "Platinum", not even a scrawney "Gold" album hanging on any of his walls. Linden dreams of having one of those trophies some day. By the way, that wish is not directed, in any way, towards ZZ Top. Let's make things perfectly clear, Linden wants nothing from the band, especially from the all powerful and great Billy Gibbons, not asking, no FUCKING thanks. Linden doesn't want Sir Billy Gibbons going to some sleazy trophy shop and ordering a cheesy gold painted plastic record trophy (for bottom dollar) so he can ease his mind a little. Can you say "insult"?
This article is the result of what Linden calls constructive anger. This is not about hate, just long simmering anger. He finally got so mad about it that he became motivated to tell this story. So this web posting is about Linden Hudson claiming what he believes is his rightful credit and claim. If Linden suceeds in getting this story saturated to the world, it would be too late for it to do him any good financially. Linden realizes that.
Anyway, Linden Hudson eventually received a settlement for the song Thug ($600,000, well documented), and it wasn't easy. But, most of it went to lawyers, expenses and taxes. Also, the guy (Huey Meaux, notorious music producer) who partnered with Linden to finance the lawsuit (lawsuits are not free) took FAR more than his share from Linden's settlement (adding insult to injury, Linden's lawyer told Linden "you got screwed"), but that's just another totally sad, fucked up, but typical story from the wonderful fucking world of music. Music is often not really a business, but rather a parallel universe filled with pain and dark personalities. Oh well, Linden tried. After all these things went down, Linden walked away with little, and spent decades in depression.
In the recent decade the internet has provided Linden Hudson with the power to communicate his personal story. The internet is so powerful that even governments are afraid of it. The worldwide web really does give some power to the little people ("not fair" say the rich and powerful). Anyway, Linden has been given a way to tell the story and he will do it for rest of his life.
Linden Hudson has worked extensively with national and international news media for the past two decades (in his career as a sound engineer for TV broadcast). This news media experience, plus his personal experience with rock/pop music journalists, has taught Linden something. Here's a hard, cold fact: rock/pop journalists, in general, are highly unlikely to fully tell Linden's story. Why? Well... here's what a famous rock/pop journalist once told Linden (in 1996): "If a music journalist tells the Linden Hudson story in detail, it will upset the ZZ boys, in turn causing that particular journalist to LOSE access to the ZZ boys. So there. It's really simple, and it's so true, but not readily admitted to by rock journalists (admitting this conflict is bad for a journalist's image).
If a rock journalist admitted to this, it would be the same as saying "we only write fluff about rock stars and bands, not truth, we don't want to piss those guys off". This implies that rock journalists are part of the band promotional process (of course they are, are you kidding?). Yes, this is all seems to be related to a potentially corrupting thing called "star power". However, we're actually talking about a totally synergetic relationship. These organisms are codependent.
A common rock journalist cannot go around pissing off rock stars, it's the kiss of death. This effect could be called the "losing access" thing, or the "end of career" thing. This is "old school communications 101".
By the way, a well-known rock journalist sent Linden an email in the late nineties that referred to Linden's shitty ZZ Top experience, he told Linden:"You don't have to justify your involvement with ZZ to me. I know, as do most other insiders, what you did and what you weren't credited for" (end quote). Linden still has that email. And, because that (un-named) journalist doesn't want to ever lose access, he has only written positive fluff pieces about ZZ Top over the years. He never wrote anything about this truth that he admitted to knowing. Why? We've explained that. By the way, when that journalist referred to himself (and fellow journalists) as "insiders", you DO know what that means, right?
These writings may feel like a rant, but that makes these thoughts even better, more organic, because it's not like reading a fancy book that was combed over by some fancy-schmancy editor (up there in New York City) who counted the words and manipulated the tone of the story. This is a simple story told by a nobody of how it felt to be crushed by the rich and famous.
If anyone decides to sue Linden to shut him up, he'll probably go broke hiring lawyers, as so many plain old poor people do. But that's ok, it would just shine a light on the story. The news media is funny that way. The media has lots of slow news days, they need stuff. News media is like a hungry bear that needs meat. Imagine having to worry about getting sued by a team of people because you helped them succeed at something (somehow causing them embarrassment and helping them achieve riches at the same time). Weird isn't it?
Linden wants his son Bryan (Linden's greatest friend), his family and his friends to know, in the final standing version of this fucked up story, that he did something outstanding and noteworthy in his life, something that touched millions of people around the world. By telling this story, Linden is not trying to rain on the parades of any rich folk (God knows rich folk have suffered enough, oh the suffering).
When Linden Hudson was working on the Eliminator album project, he was a team player. Nobody wanted the team to win any more than he did. He worked his heart out for that project and he thought he was working for friends. Little did Linden know how much success was ahead for the team. And, little did Linden know just how much misery was ahead for him.
The Eliminator album was literally the biggest thing on the planet for a space in time, and Linden was totally stripped of a chance to enjoy the event. In fact, Linden was threatened, bathmouthed, insulted, followed by a private investigator, harrassed by a Houston Police officer (who showed up at Linden's apartment in uniform complete with badge and holstered gun and attitude, but when this cop was confronted he admitted that he was off duty and not on official business, then he backed out of the door and drove away, he turned out to be a buddy of you know who, that pretty much sounds like terrorism), and so on and so on. The tactics just mentioned represent some of the notoriously common tools of the rich and famous, and WE ALL KNOW THAT. Just telling this story in such detail is probably not wise. All these things happened to Linden because he did some skillfull creative work for the rich and famous, and he did it in good faith (so much for good faith).
Please read all the press clippings on the media page of this site, they bolster the credibility of Linden's story. Then think about the other people in the fucked up music world who have had the same thing happen to them (there are many, especially some of the old black blues men who died alone in shacks but had songs that were recorded by white guys who ended up living in castles). Linden is well versed in some of these other sad stories, and you should be too. Just stop, and think, and feel their pain for a moment, keep it in the back of your mind.
Linden is extremely proud of his contribution to this hugely successful work of rock art (Eliminator album). Linden ponders this thing just about every night before he goes to sleep. He knows first hand that the ZZ boys (and management) worked hard out there on the road. And, Linden admits that he had some interesting times in their space (before the shitstorm hit). But, Linden did hard work too (and was a very important part of legendary chemistry). Linden Hudson, sound engineer and songwriter (yes, famous songwriter, although his fame is a secret, if that's possible). Linden lives alone in a suburb of Houston, just a few miles from the house in which the ELIMINATOR album was born. And, yes, Linden Hudson has been in "Rolling Fucking Stone Magazine". And, yes, Linden has been written about in several books. And, yes, Linden will keep fighting to tell his story until he dies.
AN INTERESTING NOTE:
An article/review was released by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2008 which praised Frank Beard for his drumming on "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Give Me All Your Lovin", both songs were on the Eliminator album. It's strange to see an article like this from none other than ROLLING STONE (Linden mostly believes in you Rolling Stone, so guys, please get smarter, don't let us down, or maybe this is just an example of the journalists being part of the band promotion machine, as mentioned earlier).
Insider journalists know full well that Frank Beard did not play drums on those songs. It's all too well reported and written about. We repeat, it was synthetic digital drums on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album, not real drumming (do you get it Rolling Stone? It's a fact, make a fucking note). Frank was only allowed to do Tom Tom overdubs. This was known by the smarter inner circle years ago. This situation almost resulted in a fist fight between Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons (Linden was just a few feet away, he was there, it happened, it's just a fact). Just trying to keep history straight. Truth rules.
For those who do not believe Linden, that the drums on the ELIMINATOR album are sequenced and synthetic, read further and you'll find that it's easy to prove. In fact, there are many ways to prove it, both technically and by witnessed accounts. And, In fact, the drums on almost all of your favorite recordings are cheated (sampler or synthesized). It's true, but bands and producers will not admit it (duh).
Why is this important? Maybe, to some folks, it's not. But it's interesting and educational, if nothing else. Get knowledge. Do you need truth, or do you just like to be spoon fed hype and fluff?
So, referring back to the Rolling Stone review cited at the beginning of this paragraph, is rock journalism just part of the band promotional process? What do you think? The answer is "yes". Rock stars provide a livelihood for rock journalists, and rock journalists provide publicity for rock stars. This is a no brainer and it's easy to see.
-(A RAMBLE FROM LINDEN): Let's jump back in time to a little over a decade before the birth of the ELIMINATOR album, to the beginnings. In 1970 when ZZ Top played their first show, I (Linden Hudson) was a well known and crazy hippy radio disc jocky. My air name was Jack Smack and I worked at a highly regarded hard rock radio station, KLOL-FM in Houston. One of the best parts about being a DJ was that I got to emcee big rock concerts in front of thousands of people and I met lots of famous people. For example: one night after a show, I played cards with Alice Cooper and his band till sunup.
Anyway, in that same general span of time, I emceed ZZ Top's first official concert (if memory serves me well) and I actually sang a song with them that night on stage. Yep, in fact, David Blayney (ZZ Top stage manager for 15 years) described that event in his book Sharp Dressed Men. You see, David Blayney was the original ZZ Top roadie, and he was the only roadie there that night. The show that night was the very beginning and there were only about fifty people in the audience. It was THE beginning, and I was there.
During those days (1970) Billy Gibbons was into Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi style) and he would take me to the meditation meetings and he talked me into getting a mantra and being initiated. I'm not sure how great meditation really was other than the fact that it kept you away from drugs. When you're in a band (like Billy) or working at a hippy radio station (like me), getting a break from substances is all good.
I lost track of Gibbons shortly thereafter and didn't see him or work with him again for almost ten years. Then suddenly I found myself in his circle again. I found myself working with him on ideas for the El Loco album to some degree. We talked and debated extensively about rock-n-roll and pop music. Then in 1982 Billy and I spent much of the year working on the Eliminator album (which was released in 1983). Billy had been very frustrated with record sales for the previous past decade and he wanted something big and different. Plus, ZZ Top had just signed with the huge Warner Brothers record label. Gibbons wanted to break out to the real "big time".
As the foundations of the ELIMINATOR album came together in 1982, Billy G was hyping me every day saying "we're just gonna kick some ass with this new stuff man". He constantly motivated me and became a force to keep me working on the project.
When Eliminator was finally released in 1983 it immediately went through the roof, was a massive hit, at which time ZZ Top management ran me off to the south forty (suddenly I was metaphorically in the Bermuda Triangle, I fell off the face of the earth, they performed a dirty little magic trick and made me disappear). I had spent huge numbers of hours working for Billy's project without pay and suddenly I was given the shaft and sent to hell.
I found myself living in a teeny, crappy apartment, depressed, working odd jobs trying to pay the bills, all the while watching the Eliminator album stay in the Top 100 for YEARS!!! I mean, it was FUCKED UP!!! All this was my reward for all the creative and technical work that I had done. Sometimes friends suck, that is if they turn out not to be your friends. What a weird, strange trip.
How could I make this story up? If I did make it all up, several famous writers somehow wrote about it in several books. One of the writers who wrote one of those books (David Blayney) had been the band's stage manager for many years (and their original roadie). He pretty much knew what was happening and he wrote about my work on ELIMINATOR. If my story had been untrue there would have been a shit-storm of lawsuits against book authors flying around twenty years ago. But those writers didn't get sued. What da ya think?
But again, nowadays I'm just trying to set the record straight. That's all. I don't really expect a miracle any more. This chronicle is my therapy, I pray that it serves me well. I also pray that it may serve someone else well, such as some poor fool who tries to make it in the so-called music business. To that person, I pray that your story ends better than mine did. Here's hoping that the people who claim to be your friends are truly your friends. Because the music business is full of liars, junkies, narcissists, bullshit artists, assholes and thieves. And me, well, I was trusting, naive, fresh meat. I was just a laid back techie-nerd who loved rock and roll.
I (Linden Hudson) do not blame Frank Beard (ZZ's drummer) for what happened (in the business area of this thing) as he was my best friend. I lived at Frank's house with him and his wife Deb. I went with Frank on family outings to hang with his parents in Northeast Texas. I went with Frank to his drug rehab meetings and did volunteer work with him for that organization. Frank did well with that program, both in getting himself straight, and in helping the organization to help others. I was virtually part of Frank's family. He did me no harm, as he was just a ZZ Top employee and a pawn in the game. Believe it or not, Frank was in constant fear of being fired himself (it's weird, but true, although I believe it was managements strategy to keep him in line). I miss Frank and his wife. Go in peace Frank.
And, I (Linden) do not blame Dusty, as he meant me no harm, he was always respectful to me and fun to hang with. Go in peace Dusty.
The fault falls on others as to how I, Linden Hudson, was treated in the matter of the Eliminator album project. I won't be too specific about some of those other folks (for several good reasons, fear being one). But, I'll say: I (Linden) respect Billy Gibbons for his guitar skills, but I also hold a huge amount of anger and hurt towards Billy Gibbons (not a hero) for my need to sue ZZ Top, and for the lack of writers credits and production for my large contributions. Billy held a lot (huge amount) of weight with management and I believe (I know) he could have caused it all to work out properly for me, but, he didn't. My life could have been different from then on. Billy called me his friend, but he didn't mean it. I'll never understand it and I'll never forget it. He strongly suggested to me that I would be credited and rewarded for my creative contributions and work. It didn't fucking happen.
I've thought about this every day for all these years (who wouldn't?). If you ever run into Billy Gibbons somewhere, ask him about Linden Hudson. It's likely that he'll act like he didn't hear your question, and he probably will make no comment either. When it comes to this topic Mr Gibbons is most likely embarrassed (as he should be). Billy and I (Linden) are one year apart in age, in our late sixties, and I feel certain now that we'll both go to our graves with this between us.
I noticed fairly recently (March 2013) that the ELIMINATOR album turned 30. There were big press releases bouncing all over the place, to radio stations, to journalists, to magazines and the like. During all that hoopla: I, Linden Hudson, did not receive: (1) Any congratulations (2) No mentions of me that I could find (3) No money in the mail (4) No platinum record to hang on my wall. However, what I did see in the interviews with the band (about the ELIMINATOR 30th celebrations) were the same old stories very similar to this abstract: "well... we just woke up one day and started using synthesizers and we just started doing everything totally different... all of the sudden... it just happened... we had a dream about what to do... a voodoo mystic in Jamaica told us what to do... we saw a stain on a wall in a holey cave in Borneo that looked like a synthesizer... and so on, so on, so on.
( Watch out everyone, because I (Linden Hudson) feel like ranting a bit. This is my therapy and I've earned it. It's more than 30 years in the making.)
I noticed that Billy Gibbons has invited (allegedly) his old band "The Moving Sidewalks" to go back into the recording studio with him. I (Linden) didn't get an invitation like that. What happened? After all, I was (secretly, allegedly) a co-writer on the record album that sold HALF of all the ZZ Top records ever sold. Maybe Billy's having trouble finding my email address. I guess I'll wait by the phone. It could happen any time now. Or... uh... maybe I should relax, after all, it's only rock and roll.
I've got an idea: Maybe Billy should invite that old band "The Nightcaps" into the studio and take them to New York and all that upscale stuff, that is if any of them are still alive, maybe they'd like that... or... MAYBE NOT (I just remembered that "The Nightcaps" are still allegedly mad about that little song "Thunderbird" that they wrote (then Gibbons and ZZ Top came along, re-recorded THUNDERBIRD, allegedly took credit for it and released it), read about it further down the page).
Or, hey Billy , maybe you could invite Kurt Linhof to the studio (Deborah Sinclair of Rolling Stone says that Kurt Linhof is the guy who wrote the basis for Arrested For Driving While Blind).
Or, if Lanier Grieg was still alive, you could take him to the studio for old times sake? I've got an old audio interview that I recorded of Lanier (recorded in 1984) with him telling me stories about the ZZ beginnings, about you and him seeing the maids on Memorial avenue in Houston when you two were going to band practice. Lanier said (in the interview) he wrote a song then and there, and he admitted he was very upset with you later for what didn't happen (no pay, no credit). A member of his family recently verified Laniers long-time feelings with regard to this topic. I know how that feels too Billy, yes I do.
And, hey Billy, what happened with that little song FRANCINE? You know which song I'm talking about (you're first little hit). Deborah Frost (of Rolling Stone) detailed that story in her book, so I won't bother at this point to explain further.
LINKS FOR REFERENCE TO SIMILAR STORIES (ZZ TOP AND OTHER BANDS)
The ZZ Top song THUNDERBIRD (actually written by "The Nightcaps")(click on link)
QUOTE: From the book ZZ TOP--BAD AND WORLDWIDE (Rolling Stone Press, Writer: Deborah Frost): "It (The song FRANCINE) was written by Kenny Cordray and Steve Perron... Steve Perron died shortly after the band (ZZ Top) recorded FRANCINE and Steve Perrone's widow, Linda, says she's never received royalties (as of 1985, well over a decade after the song's release). In fact (continues Frost), Billy Gibbon's actual contribution to the writing of FRANCINE is debatable." (end quote)
The Jake Holmes Story (Jake vs Led Zeppelin, lawsuit, wtf, click on link below):
The Anne Bredon Story (click on link below):
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE (released by Led Zep) : Lyrics written originally by Willy Dixon in his book YOU NEED LOVE.
THE LEMON SONG (released by Led Zep): taken from Howlin Wolf's "Killing Floor"
THERE ARE MANY STORIES IN THE MUSIC BIZ LIKE THIS AND THEY ALL PISS ME OFF !
Sample list of songwriters who got the shaft were: Willie Dixon (passed away), Howlin Wolf (passed away), Anne Bredon, The Nightcaps, Steve Perron (passed away), Lanier Grieg (passed away), Sonny Boy Williamson (passed away), Robert Johnson (passed away), Kurt Linhof, Jake Holmes, etc.