ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas (2019) - Review
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
I became a fan of ZZ Top back in the 80s with the album, “Eliminator” which included hits like “Gimme all Your Lovin” and the iconic “Legs” with their ground-breaking music video. There was something about their sound and look that made them unique. Billy Gibbons (guitar lead vocals), Dusty Hill (bass, vocals) and Frank Beard (drums, percussion) became popular in the 80s, however the band was together since 1969. The documentary ZZ Top: That little Ol’ Band from Texas is a great historical view of this band, and on top of that we get to hear the band members give their thoughts of the different events that made them a global phenomenon.
As I mentioned above, the film presents a thorough look at the bands career, which takes them from the Houston Texas blues rock scene to the mega super Rockstar status in the early eighties. Sam Dunn, the film’s director, brings us the ZZ Top story by having the 3 band members speak to the camera and bring in some celebrities like Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Edge) and Billy Bob Thornton for some brief commenting about the group. The interviews are also intertwined by concert footage and classic cuts from the group’s early days. The only time we see all three members together is at the end where they reminisce of old times and why and how they stayed together all these years. Check out the documentary trailer below:
I will not get into all the detail of the history of ZZ Top. The documentary is excellent in bringing you the history of this iconic band. If you are a fan, you will definitely enjoy this gem.
One of the great achievements of this film is being able to illustrate the evolution of the ZZ Top sound always being faithful to their roots of blues and rock. We can also see to what extent Texas influenced not only the band’s sound, but also their image throughout their career. Their interest in other music trends helped them to stay relevant in the late 70s and early 80s. All this is demonstrated in a quite entertaining way for a documentary.
If you are a fan of old concert footage, well there is plenty of that in this documentary. It is also cool to see Gibbons and Hill without their iconic beards. We also get to hear from Frank Beard why he chose to stay clean cut.
There is always a mystical sense about this group. As you look at their career, it did not start once they became popular in the early eighties but was always there from the beginning. Maybe this comes from always being low key. Whatever it is, not only it worked, it is still there today.
My only real critique about the film is that I would have liked the three band members together a little longer at the end. That being said, this must be one of the better music documentaries I have seen in a long time. It is informative, yet entertaining, which is not always the case with these types of films.
The Bottom Line
If you are a ZZ Top fan, this is the perfect film for you. It brings you an in-depth interview of each band member, a history and evolution of the band, and where they stand today. For a band to have this type of longevity, something special was developed in this group and that does come through in this documentary.
I give this a 9 out of 10 stars. It is a great documentary for any music lover.
The documentary is available on Netflix. You should definitely check it out !!!!!