Michael Hann: They have put buffalo on hydraulic lifts, made crack-rap cover versions and taken part in Dada-inspired art projects. ZZ Top are the veteran absurdists of 12-bar blues.
"We thought: 'Let's have a stage the shape of Texas.'" In dark glasses, 10-gallon hat, cowboy boots and – of course – long beard, ZZ Top's bassist Dusty Hill is remembering the time the band decided to take their home state to the world – or as much of it as they could reach. "There was a screen in the back that looked like the desert. Then, let's get some animals. We had a longhorn buffalo that came up on hydraulic lifts before and at the closing of the show – you don't want it up there during the show. Bad idea. Javelina [skunk pigs], which are mean little guys. And a coupla rattlesnakes in a Plexiglass dome. You could put your foot on top of that glass."