|ZZ Top Founder Dies, Age 64|
|by Tom McGregor||Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 07:43 PM|
ZZ Top, the rock band known for its musicians with long beards, is mourning the passing of its founder, Lanier Greig, the keyboardist, bassist, and composer. He died in his home in Austin while sleeping at age 64.
The Houston Chronicle reports that, “Greig’s tenure in ZZ Top was brief, but he could count himself an original member of the enduring blues rock band. The band’s name was trademarked in June 1969 when singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Dana Mitchell, formerly of the band the Moving Sidewalks, enlisted Greig to help them move away from psychedelic rock and into a more blues and boogie-based sound. Greig can be heard on the ZZ’s first single, ‘Salt Lick’ and its b-side, ‘Miler Farm,’ which were first released as a single in 1969. Greig’s snaky keyboard line is an integral part of the song’s eerie vibe before setting up a wild solo by Gibbons.”
Guy Schwartz, a musician and friend, said, “he was a brilliant natural musician. He was able to fit into any situation and add value to anybody’s music.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, “though Greig’s playing on the single was prominent, he nevertheless was soon out of the band; the given reason was ‘creative differences.’ Schwartz suggests Gibbons and manager Bill Ham were seeking a particular sound that codified with bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, the classic ZZ Top lineup has been playing since 1970.”
Later on in life, Greig recorded and composed classical piano music.
To read the entire article from the Houston Chronicle, link here:
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