FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building Eliminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or dummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for EL LOCO ... ... Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard's home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983's ELIMINATOR.
RATEYOURMUSIC DOT COM: (In response to the band's account of how the Eliminator album was created, the review said this): "Subsequent accounts, however, would paint a markedly different picture of the Eliminator sessions. Indeed, according to the band's longtime employee, David Blayney, most of the album was hacked out in the studio by Gibbons and engineer Linden Hudson."
EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly's #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney's book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn't realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles... I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that's all. You have reached ZZ Top's biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."
FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons' guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top's rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer."
CLASSICROCKMUSICWRITER DOT COM: "In 1983, ZZ Top released ELIMINATOR reaching the Top 10 in the album charts. The album scored five hit singles. ELIMINATOR became ZZ Top's most commercially successful album to date..."
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foo inside Ardent Studios."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80's. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES - THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the London Times): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard's house (ZZ's drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combinatin that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
I-95 ROCKS DOT COM: "Tonight's mystery artists have a hit song that was recorded and mixed down by one member without ever including the others in the band. Can you guess the song or the band?? We'll start with the song ZZ Top's GOT ME UNDER PRESSURE" from their 1983 album ELIMINATOR. In his book SHARP DRESSED MEN, David Blayney (ZZ Top's stage manager of 15 years), described how the song was pre-produced: Billy Gibbons and Linden Hudson (Houston engineer and songwriter) wrote the whole song and created a recorded demo all in one afternoon without either Dusty Hill (ZZ Top bass player) or Frank Beard (ZZ Top drummer) even knowing it. Linden created the bass on a synthesizer, created drums on a drum machine and helped Billy write the lyrics; Billy performed the guitars and vocals."
ANSWERS DOT COM: (Topic Musical Plagiarism): "According to the book SHARP DRESSED MEN by former ZZ Top stage manager David Blayney, who was with the band for 15 years, sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album as a live-in high-tech music teacher to band members Frank Beard (ZZ Top drummer) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top guitarist)."
FAMOUS101 DOT COM: "ELIMINATOR is a studio album of the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on March 23, 1983 and topped the charts worldwide. Its lyrics were co-written by the band's sound engineer Linden Hudson while the band denied it."
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor."
FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ ROP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP - BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn't even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn't really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily play with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine."
FROM ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE (Late 80's)(ZZ Top management comments on ZZ Top vs Linden Hudson): "It's an unfortunate situation," added J.W. Williams, a spokesman for the band (ZZ Top). "Here's a guy (Linden) who was a friend. It's hard to explain..." (end quote) (Linden comments: "Yes, it IS fucking hard to explain, is it not?)
FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP - BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden Hudson didn't mind paying for his own spareribs but he wasn't credited for his contribtions to El Loco, when ZZ Top used the recording he had engineered of GROOVY LITTLE HIPPIE PAD because the Memphis version wasn't as good as the demo cut in Frank Beard's home studio. He (Linden) took Billy's word that they hadn't been able to get his name to the printer's on time. It seemed a bit strange, given that Gibbons had plenty of time to check and approve anything so important as cover art and credits. After all, Hudson was part of the family."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Is anybody out there looking for a songwriter/producer/engineer with ghost credits for a platinum album behind him? If so, I know just the man to recommend to you. 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 very easy to get both greedy and self-serving in show bidness."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "The boys (ZZ TOP) were trying to explain to Bill Ham (ZZ Top manager) that Linden was the studio architect and integral to making the whole electronic concoction (ZZ's studio) work properly. He had built it; moreover, it was his direct technical assistance that had produced what ELIMINATOR was proving to be."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: (page 200): "There was also a song entitled THUG which was entirely Linden's baby, top to bottom, and unfortunately this was to become and issue that permanently ended Linden's association with ZZ Top. Linden wrote the song when nobody else was around. Billy heard Linden playing it when he arrived at Frank's one day and thought it was pretty hot."
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE: "Linden Hudson successfully sued the band for $600,000 in damages for copyright infringement after he was neither credited nor paid for writing the song THUG on ELIMINATOR. And there were other suits too, including one by THE NIGHTCAPS." (end quote) (THE NIGHTCAPS was the band that actually wrote the song THUNDERBIRD which was released by ZZ Top and did pretty well. THE NIGHTCAPS were never credited or paid by ZZ Top).
FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP - BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "But with the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: (page 199): "The next day, when Frank and Dusty were actually in the studio instead of out and about, Ham (ZZ Top manager) arrived just to hear UNDER PRESSURE played in the flesh by ZZ Top. When he asked them to play it, Frand and Dusty looked at Ham like two bulls at a bastard calf. What in the hell did he mean, play under pressure? ZZ Top always played under pressure! Neither of them had the faintest idea what Ham was talking about until Billy and Linden filled them in later. It was quite a while before Ham discovered that Frank and Dusty had not been around for the demo recording of UNDER PRESSURE, if he ever learned the true situation. (end quote) (The song under pressure was written and constructed by Linden and Billy alone, before Frank and Dusty ever heard it).
FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP - BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "... SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson's 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
FROM THE BOOK "SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP" (HYPERION BOOKS)(BY DAVID BLAYNEY, ZZ TOP'S STAGE MANAGER OF 15 YEARS): (This excerpt describes a visit to Frank's home recording studio by ZZ Top's manager): "Nobody filled Bill Ham (ZZ Top's manager in on what was afoot; Billy was to excited about the music, and Dusty and Frank just didn't seem to think about it that much. Ham assumed that the music was being composed just as it always had been and left it at that. When at last Ham dropped by Frank's place to hear some of the music, he consequently didn't realize Linden Hudson's integral role in what had been going on. As the boys and Ham were filing into the studio to get started, Ham's inclinations toward secrecy in all things got the best of him. "Boy", he said to Linden, measuring the technician partonizingly, "We won't be needin' you now". Linden looked over at Billy, and Billy rolled his eyes. Everybody still deferred to Ham's wishes, so Linden got in his car and drove off to take in a double feature. When he returned some five hours later, Linden found Billy sitting alone in the darkened studio, softly strumming his guitar without amplification. The image was spectral: a rock and roll star whose blues riffs on stage were so loud that they nearly blew out the lights was playing almost soundlessly in the shadows. Billy looked up with a friendly, quizzical grin. "What's going on man?" Linden asked curiously. Was it some new creative twist in Billy's mind? Not hardly. The simple fact was that Linden was the only person around who knew how to turn everything on. Billy told Ham that as Linden was strolling out to his car unnoticed, the boys were trying to explain to Bill Ham that Linden was the studio architect and integral to making the whole concoction work properly. He had built it; moreover, it was his direct technical assistance that had produced what ELIMINATOR was proving to be. The managers reaction to all of this was pure Bill Ham. "Ahhh, I can turn this tuff on!" And he began rooting around in the ger. "I'm telling you, you shoulda been here" Billy laughed. "Ham was on his hands and knees for twenty minutes tryin' to find the right switches to turn on. When he finally realized that he couldn't do it, he left in a bad mood!" Ham never again questioned having Linden at his station on the recording console. He probably didn't want to risk wearing out the knees of his best pants again looking for switches to flip.
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN - ZZ TOP (BY DAVID BLAYNEY) : "ELIMINATOR did more than eliminate the competition and dropkick anybody else who got in the way. Billy Gibbons was finally able to achieve his ultimate dream."
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE (By Marty Racine / Rick Mitchell, 1992): "In 1986, Hamstein Music settled out of court on a dispute over ownership of the song THUG said Houston attorney David Showalter, who represented songwriter Linden Hudson. The song was recorded on ZZ Top's multiplatinum ELIMINATOR album."
THE HOUSTON PRESS - FEB 96: "Linden Hudson started in the music business in 1970 as a rock and roll disc jockey and went on to work as a studio engineer and develop a friendship with ZZ Top's Beard (drummer). Hudson also occasionally wrote a few songs, one of which, THUG found its way onto Top's 1983 album ELIMINATOR - without Hudson's being credited as the author."
FROM THE BOOK: "TRESS HOMBRES - THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (WRITER FOR THE TIMES OF LONDON) : "If the band's own lawyers are admitting that Hudson had a hand in writing the song (THUG) then whichever way you look at it he has been handled pretty roughly." (end quote) (Fact: Linde wrote the song "THUG" one hundred percent, in fact he totally owned the copyright, this song appeared on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.
RATEYOURMUSIC DOT COM: The changes are pretty immediate and obvious. You may be thinking it's suddenly laying thick on the synthesizers or something, but nope that's not it. Really the main new thing is the production style. They had some guy named Linden Hudson help out during the early parts of the process, and the band credits him with sort of opening their eyes to new exciting aural ideas. Reading that is one thing, hearing it though is to know it's not just some random bullshit. The sound here is totally fresh and new.
RESSURECTION SONGS DOT COM (UK): "...the Hudson chap had actually analyzed tons of tracks and had suggested that 120 beats per minute was the most popular tempo in rock music at that time. So, if your wondering why ELIMINATOR jogs along at the pace it does, look no further than the influence of Mr Hudson."
RUSS & GARY'S "THE BEST YEARS OF MUSIC": "The next album, ELIMINATOR, featuring musically controversial electronic instruments, debuted ZZ Top's biggest hits, LEGS and SHARP DRESSED MAN. The synthesizer and drum machings caused controversy in other ways as well. According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN, sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the album as a live-in high-tech music teacher to Beard and Gibbons"
NEWS.RADIO.COM: "ELIMINATOR'S diamond certification, for sales in excess of 10 million, tells the story. Judging by the saless, the band got 10 times bigger than they'd ever been. Their new direction didn't simply help them to seem current in a new decade, it led them to exponentially higher record and ticket sales."
ROLLING STONE: ZZ Top's ELIMINATOR was the hands-down party album of the decade, pleasing hard-core boogie freaks and New Wave ironists alike with its bluesy vamping, tawdry lyrics.CBS NEWS - JUNE 2013: "... 1983's ELIMINATOR a pivoltal work that elevated the band to superstardom.."
CBS NEWS - JUNE 2013: "Musically, the album marked a stylistic shift through its use of sythesizers and dance beats to complement Billy Gibbon's signature blues rock guitar playing. Yet those new textures didn't make ZZ Top's blues rock sound gimmicky--rather, it added an extra punch to the music and proved to be a perfect compromise between traditional blues and New Wave."
CONTACTMUSIC DOT COM: "In 1983, they release ELIMINATOR which garnered much success with single GIMME ALL YOU LOVIN and LEGS becoming top hits and the album selling 10 million copies; however, there was also much controversy when their former stage manager David Blayney alleged that their sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote many of the songs from the album and, even though ZZ Top still deny the extent of his involvement, they were forced to pay Hudson $600,000 due to his copyright of the song THUG. It is also thought that their single UNDER PRESSURE was written entirely by Gibbons and Hudson using a syntheizer instead of bass guitar and drum machine with Dusty or Frank's knowledge."
INFOMORY DOT COM: "ELIMINATOR is a studio album of the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on March 23, 1983 and topped the charts worldwide. It's lyrics were co-written by the band's sound engineer Linden Hudson while the banc denied it. After a five year court battle, Hudson proved that he held the copyright to the song THUG included in ELIMINATOR."
BiJog DOT COM: "With Eliminator, the band hit it's international prominence."
FRANK POZEN'S BIG BAD BLOG: "Gibbons credits recording engineer Linden Hudson who encouraged ZZ top to experiment with electronics. But he didn't get songwriting credit."
CLASSICROCKREVIEW DOT COM: "Sound engineer Linden Hudson researched popular song tempos, and suggested that 120 beats per minute was the most popular tempo in rock music, so most of the recorded ELIMINATOR album was recorded at that tempo. This has since become known as "the people's tempo."
CBS NEWS - JUNE 2013: "As for ELIMINATOR -- undoubtedly the definitive ZZ Top record -- it still holds up 30 years after its release and remains a truly dynamic rock album. It's the type of music that should be cranked up while driving down the road with a pair of cheap sunglasses on."
HOUSTONEAGLE (Dot Com): "ELIMINATOR garnered widespread critical acclaim. Praise centered on it's songwriting and use of synthesizers. Often considered ZZ Top's most popular release, the album has been featured in several publications' best albums lists."
MUSICDIRECT (Dot Com): "ZZ Top carved out a unique niche in 1970's rock, but it would be the March 1983 release of the diamond-certified ELIMINATOR that would take the band from 'bad and nationwide' to international super stars. The addition of synthesizers had actually occurred on ZZ Top's 1981 album EL LOCO, but the sound truly perfected along with their songwriting on ELIMINATOR."
ROLLING STONE: "With 1983's ELIMINATOR, ZZ Top made a quantum leap from best-kept secret to massive stardom."
GuitarWorld (2013): "In 1983, a smart gambling man would have bet the house on ZZ Top's imminent doom. After all, it wasn't the best of times for good and greasy Texas blues and boogie muic. Then the Little Old Band from Texas surprised everyone with ELIMINATOR, a brilliant merger of roadhouse blues and synthesize swells and looped beats. The album quickly became their biggest hit ever."
FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES" BY DAVID SINCLAIR OF THE LONDON TIMES) QUOTING A FELLOW WRITER REGARDING ELIMINATOR: "Kurt Loder (Editor of Rolling Stone Magazine) reported that in 1983 ZZ Top sold more records than any other act on the huge Warner Brothers label, eclipsing the sales of international superstars such as Rod Stewart, Christopher Cross, Paul Simon and Asia."
GALVESTON DAILY NEWS (March 1985): (brief description of Linden Hudson's lawsuit against ZZ Top): "Agents for the band (ZZ Top) obtained a copyright for the song (THUG) by falsely and illegally claiming the song was composed by band members Frank Beard, Joe Hill and William Gibbons. Hudson's attorney, David Showalter, said his client is acquainted with the band members but did not characterize the relationship as friendly. Agents for ZZ Top could not be reached immediately for comment."
RHAPSODY DOT COM (ELIMINATOR album review): "Taking their endless choogle and contrified blues rock into the synthesizer age was the band's first smart move; writing great songs was another."
AMAZON DOT COM: "ELIMINATOR also marks the first time that the rough and tumble outfit turned to studio wizardry to goose up their meat and potatoes boogie. And while some early fans may have been dismayed, truth be told, their new studio sophistication added finesse and depth to ZZ Top."
ROLLING STONE: "Pure Americana: This song cycle about burning rubber, high heels and adrenaline took fuzzed-out Texas blues guitar and lashed it around rollicking boogie. ZZ Top's megaplatinum album also had a high gloss eighties sheen and singles like SHARP DRESSED MAN."
WRITING365: at http://writing365.org/msuigussaar/2014/12/11/interview-linden-hudson/
PLANETROCK DOT COM: "There's no weak point on ELIMINATOR. While it's undoubtedly commercial it doesn't feel forced or fake; it contains some of the greatest, most recognisable rock hits of the past 40 years but it doesn't feel overplayed; it's fun, with being clich'ed."
NEWS.RADIO.COM: "ELIMINATOR is the album that made them household names, and is the reason they still play in large venues today."
SAFEKINDOFHIGH DOT COM: "It has been claimed that a sound engineer named Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material for the ELIMINATOR album - indeed, he proved himself to be the copyright holder of the song THUG."
TVTROPES.ORG: "for all intents and purposes, ELIMINATOR is a Billy solo album with contributions by pre-production engineer Linden Hudson, who contributed drum machine programming and keyboard sequencing, and was alleged to have co-written most of the material, to the pont that the band got into a legal conflict that was settled with him being granted the copyright to THUG. Hudson had also showed Billy some research he'd done previously that most popular rock songs used the tempo of 120 beats per minute, which influenced Billy to write most of the album's songs at that tempo. And when the combination of blues guitar and incongruously synthesised backing tracks sent the album to diamond status, the formula was repeated on AFTERBURNER and RECYCLER."
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "1983's ELIMINATOR is the record tht turned the dust-covered boogie band from Texas into global pop stars. It still sounds like a monster today, charging forward with some of the era's most inventive blend of synth-pop hooks and old-school rock."
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "Very few classic rockers went through a transformation as jarring, or as triumphant, as ZZ Top did 30 years ago (March 23, 1983) with the release of ELIMINATOR."
ROCKER INFO DOT COM: "ELIMINATOR featured a darkly innovative and distinctive sythesizer-laced sound which wove into and augmented the band's guitar-bass-drums formula, a rarity in the blues-rock genre."
CNET: (July 8, 2014: CNET interviewed guitarist Billy Gibbons. A certain question was asked with regards to Linden Hudson. Billy's answer is not included here, as he did not address the Linden Hudson matter, he rambled carefully away from that subject. However, the question asked by CNET was a telling part of the interview moment. Here is the question): "Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful ELIMINATOR album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album, and what did you learn through that experience?"
TRIBUTEAPPAREL DOC COM: "This is the big one: over 10 million copies sold. But did you know that sound engineer and co-songwriter Linden Hudson did a study of the tempos of popular songs at the time, and the results of his research influenced the tempos of the songs on this album? As a result, most of this album is recorded at a tempo of 120 beats per minute, the most popular tempo of that time according to Hudson's research. Now that's music making with science."
VINTAGESYNTH DOT COM: (A blogger got it right when he posted): "... 80% of ZZ Top's fan basee wouldn't know who ZZ Top are without Linden Hudson's pre-production of ELIMINATOR, sything up and syncing up ZZ Top's sound...".
WWW DOT LAST DOT FM: (a posting summed it up pretty well): "Frank isn't even on this album, it's all drum machines. I mean, seriously, it's so blatantly a Linn drum machine! Hell, even Dusty gets replaced by keyboards. This should be more accurately called an album by Billy Gibbons and Linden Hudson."
MICROMART DOT UK: (A writer/blogger got it right in 2013 when he posted) : "Talking of drum machines, it's only in the last twelve months I've come to realize that ELIMINATOR by ZZ Top is all but a Billy Gibbons solo album, with virtually the entire album written and played by Gibbons, a drum machine, and the totally overlooked Linden Hudson, the sound engineer. He's still fighting his corner for due recognition."
EN.WEBOT.ORG:"...despite continued denials by the band (ZZ Top), it settled a five year legal battle with Hudson, paying him $600,000 after he proved he held the copyright to the song THUG which appeared on ELIMINATOR." (end quote)(footnote to that quote: Linden only received a small portion of the settlement after legal expenses and paying a questionable share to a legal funder.)
A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK SHARP DRESSED MEN by David Blaynet (15 year employee of ZZ Top), David said: "In the end, Frank's drum contribution to ELIMINATOR wound up being primarily the tom-tom overdubs which no one would argue against artistically."
WIKIPEDIA: Under the MUSICAL PLAGIARISM page in Wikipedia: "Despite continued denials by the band (ZZ Top), it settled a five year legal battle with Linden Hudson in 1986 after he proved he held the copyright to the song THUG which appeared on ELIMINATOR."
AS YOU'VE SEEN, DAVID BLAYNEY WROTE A BOOK ABOUT HIS 15 YEARS WITH ZZ TOP (FROM THE VERY BEGINNINGS WITH THE BAND). DAVE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON AND HE'S PROBABLY THE BEST SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ZZ TOP'S FIRST 15 YEARS. AFTER HE SPLIT FROM ZZ TOP, HE WROTE THE BOOK "SHARP DRESSED MEN" (HYPERION BOOKS, OUT OF PRINT, BUT AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND EBAY). HERE IS A FULL SECTION FROM DAVE'S BOOK WHICH GIVES A PRETTY GOOD PICTURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LINDEN HUDSON AND ZZ TOP:(From "Sharp Dressed Men" - from end of page 195 to mid page 197):
BLAYNEY SAID: "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as ELIMINATOR was constructed. What had gone on before was evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (so to speak) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank.
When you've got a fairly serious pile of gold to sit on top of, as Ham and all the boys did after the turn of the 1980s, it's possible to indulge a fantasy or two. Frank had bought a large hom on the southwest side of Houston, and after everybody got to talking once about how ZZ Top needed a private state-of-the-art rehearsal facility, he more or less volunteered to have one built in a wing of his place. It was a nice gesture; he wouldn't have to do any driving around to rehearse, and he probably got a nice tax write-off to boot.
An old acquaintance of the boys, Linden Hudson, was hired to build the studio. Starting with EL LOCO, the band began using Frank's place as their permanent rehearsal hall and test recording studio. Linden, as the electronic architect who had handled the studio's assembly, slid naturally into the role of permanent rehearsal engineer.
The facility's equipment was good, if not truly state-of-the-art; enough so that some of the synth and percussion parts recorded at Frank's turned up on the EL LOCO tune HIPPIE PAD, somehow without Linden geting credit as recording engineer. Linden never raised a stink about this, as he might have. This was partly because he went back with the boys o 1970, when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor. The other reason Linden didn't complain about not getting his due credit for HIPPIE PAD was that Billy had a little talk with him on the subject of "rewards down the road". Shades of the promises to poor old Lanier Grieg over a decade earlier!
Linden remained at Frank's place as ZZ's live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family. He figured the EL LOCO sessions had been a test more than anything else, and anticipated receiving credit when ELIMINATOR was produced. For a virtually unknown producer/engineer, working with a major band like ZZ Top could be a big break. As he worked at the controls day after day, watching the album take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtedly soared.
ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with all the recording studio gadgetry Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
(end David Blayney excerpt)
LISTEN TO ORIGINAL ZZ TOP ELIMINATOR SONG PROTO-TYPES RECORDED BY LINDEN:
( Click Links Below )