You probably wouldn’t have picked it but Billy Gibbons, frontman and guitarist of legendary rock band ZZ Top, is apparently a surfer.
The bearded musician is more notably known for hits like Sharp Dressed Man, his love for hot rods and more recently buying into a tequila brand but not so much for carving up the ocean. Perhaps he was pulling our legs at the Illawarra Mercury prior to his concerts in Thirroul.
The 68-year-old (listed at number 32 of Rolling Stone’s greatest guitarists of all time) is in the country for a holiday with his Australian mate Rodney Brewer and decided to bring some instruments and hot rods along for the ride.
Gibbons will be doing a series of “up close and personal” concerts in Thirroul, Newcastle and Brisbane this month with Jimmy Shine (a fellow hot rod enthusiast) along with checking out car shows and a beer or two with Brewer.
The rock entourage will head down the coast road to the Illawarra on Friday but Gibbons doesn’t think he’ll stop to catch a wave.
“Today it’s unseasonably chilly,” he told the Illawarra Mercury on Thursday. “It’s some sort of a cold front, so we’re having to rethink getting into the water.”
On home soil Gibbons like to ride a vintage redwood board from the 1950s – a “delight” to ride on Californian surf breaks – also noting his signature beard isn’t too much of a nuisance though depends on which way the wind is blowing.
“It goes where we go so sometimes we’ve got to be careful,” he said. “[Surfing is] one of the great pastimes, if we have a day off we’ll definitely be hitting the water.”
Hear more of Gibbon’s stories at his Up Close and Personal Shows, Anita’s Theatre Thirroul on January 5 and 6.