Video Classics: ‘La Grange’ – ZZ Top
It’s time to check in with those three (mostly) bearded blues-rock pioneers,[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]ZZ Top[/lastfm]. Together now and active with the same lineup for over 40 years, the guys (appearing here on The Tonight Show a while back) haven’t lost a step on their trademark shuffling dance and (more importantly), haven’t lost a note as they make their way through their hit single from way back, “La Grange.”
Released on their album Tres Hombres in 1973, “La Grange” is considered to be almost a “one-chord blues,” and is one of their most successful songs. The song rose to #41 in the Billboard Pop Singles list in 1974. The song refers to a bordello on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas (later notoriously known as the “Chicken Ranch”). This brothel is also the subject of the Broadway play and film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
In recent years, when the band played the song in concert, it has become a tradition for them to abruptly stop playing in the middle of it, at which point guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill shout out, “Hell yeah!” before resuming the song. The initial groove of the song is based on a traditional blues lick also used by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]John Lee Hooker[/lastfm] in his “Boogie Chillen” and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Slim Harpo’s [/lastfm]“Shake Your Hips.”
Take a look at Video Classics past.