ZZ Top’s Elwood Francis Reveals Which YouTuber Inspired Him to Play 17-String Bass
ZZ Top bass player Elwood Francis has moved past explaining why he whipped out a massive 17-string bass guitar onstage with the classic rock band. Now, he's frankly admitted which YouTuber inspired his choice.
Watch the video toward the bottom of this post.
Francis shared in a Nov. 12 Instagram post, "Well now…I thought I'd use this bass once or twice for no other reason than amusement. It's such a strikingly absurd instrument. We'd all laugh and then move on."
He continued, "However, it's gotten too much attention to not talk about the guy that actually came up with the idea: Jared Dines. The bass I play is a Chinese made POS. It's a mid copy of something he plays and he's probably all pissed off. I don't know if he designed it but the cat's an amazing musician and sees me playing simple ass bass lines that I could play with one string, while he has worked up music to make use of the damn thing. Dude has moved beyond the 17 string and I'd suggest checking him out."
Francis added, "I just hope he has a sense of humor."
On Nov. 5, as ZZ Top took the stage at the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Francis momentarily swapped his regular bass for the bright yellow 17-string, as fan-captured footage shows. The video went viral due to the visual spectacle.
And while many laughed at the ridiculous-looking curio, as UCR reported, others noted similarities between Francis' 17-string bass and the custom 18-string Ormsby guitar owned by Dines.
Dines addressed the similarities on Instagram, posting a picture of Francis with the caption, "When ZZ Top uses a ripoff version of my 18-string guitar from some website. It even has 'JD' on the 12th fret LOL."
But Dines did find the humor in it. "Not pissed at all!" he commented on Francis' post. "I thought the picture of you playing it was photoshopped at first. I love that it's real! Guitars are modified and remade all the time, I'm glad you had fun with it."
Francis responded to him, "Dude, I cannot believe you play these things!! We thought it was a joke but then find out about you. … Bravo motherfucker! The joke's on me 'cause I have to play that bootleg piece of shit."
Francis donned the 17-string during a performance of "Got Me Under Pressure" from ZZ Top's Eliminator, the same ZZ Top album that features rock hits such as "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs."
ZZ Top are on tour now. Get ZZ Top concert tickets here.