A Birthday Look at ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons

(Gibson) William Frederick Gibbons is not just a guitar player. He is one the great guitar players. He's ZZ Top's beard of weird. A titan of Texan twang. A peso-pickin' primo. A scholar, yet warper, of the blues.

Billy F. Gibbons turns 62 on December 16, and remains an American guitar treasure. In the late '60s, Jimi Hendrix praised Billy Gibbons as America's greatest new talent "one of the few guitarists I'd pay to see," said Jimi and the "Reverend Willie G" has delivered on Jimi's promise. At Billy's command throughout has been his legendary 1959 Gibson Les Paul sunburst, known as Pearly Gates.

ZZ Top, inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, have been the same trio for over 40 years and are currently recording a new album with Rick Rubin producing.

Want a 101 on Billy Gibbons' six-string style, wit and savvy over five decades? Have mercy! here it is.

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