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Sharp Dressed Men: ZZ Top Behind the Scenes from Blues to Boogie to Beards Paperback – May 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786880058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786880058
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

For 25 years, the thunderous Texas twang and turbo-charged blues of ZZ Top have scorched pop music hearts and charts. You might expect that a behind the ob-scenes rock memoir written by a veteran roadie would be on the ripe side of raunchy, and this insider's account of life under the big ZZ Top will not disappoint. In his 15 years with Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard, and control-freak manager Bill Ham, Blayney schlepped, drove, and partied his way through innumerable tours and concerts, accruing a wealth of stories that in their presentation and language are reminiscent of listening to an extended barroom monolog in some Texas dive. Be forewarned that the prose is at times very raw, as when Blayney alliteratively describes a drinking contest with drummer Beard: "my throat was hotter than a fresh-fucked fox from a flamin' forest fire." Blayney also conveys a genuine love of the music and the band. Not for the faint of heart or politically correct, but if you have always wanted to steal a peek behind those stony shades and Smith Brothers' beards, read this.
Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., Tex.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

ZZ Top was once one of the top rock concert draws. Its popularity has since ebbed a bit, but the trio, purveyor of a music called Texas boogie, remains, thanks to the Father Time beards two members sport and the dark glasses all three wear, a familiar entity. In this chronicle of the band's career, Blayney, a longtime friend and employee who has known band leader Billy Gibbons since high school, takes us back to the formation of the band in the late 1960s, through personnel changes, and into the promised land of stardom. Along the way, he relays plenty of adventures, high times, and low comedy. Like Marcus' Mystery Train or White's Catch a Fire, this book is about rock music as both art and life-style. Though ZZ Top's commercial potency has waned somewhat, its story is thoroughly enjoyable and an important contribution to the study of regional forms of rock music and the rock ethos. Mike Tribby

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
If you are a longtime fan of ZZ TOP, you must read this book. David Blayney really gets the lowdown on the early days of this Texas band. I found the stories of the early tours hilarious. The off stage lives of Billy, Dusty, and Frank are revealed in this must-have easy reader. If you are a real fan, this book will entertain you. Much was learned about Bill Ham, their manager. Find it! Read it! It's funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mac Pfeiffer on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are a big ZZ fan, you will rip through this tome in no time. A great glimpse into the band's history. Too bad it's out of print because David Blayney's observations as to the importance of not only talent and chemistry (interpersonal, that is) but how a good/great manager can make or break a band is damn good reading for any musician looking to make a go of it.
But nothing about the Green Toilet Seat Guitar! Have mercy y'all....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Blair on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book offers very little if you are looking for any insight into the evolution of the band. The book is an easy read but offers so little and is so cliche ridden that it becomes a trudge. There is almost no discussion of the bands music which renders the book pointless.
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By Wizemax on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not read yet, but would have liked more phots!!! Getting ready to see the boys from Texas again soon.
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