Someone just spent over $300k on Dusty Hill’s fur-covered bass from ZZ Top’s Legs music video
It sold for nearly four times its original estimate of $80,000.
Image: ZZ Top Legs
It’s not everyday you see a bass fetch over $300,000 at an auction, even if said bass is a furry one once played by Dusty Hill in ZZ Top’s Legs music video.
Last Thursday, Julien’s kicked off its The Collection of Dusty Hill auction, an event that featured the sale of instruments, wardrobe pieces, and memorabilia from the personal collection of the late ZZ Top bassist.
Headlining the sale was one of the most recognisable instruments in pop culture history – Hill’s fur-covered bass guitar from the band’s Legs music video, which sold to an unidentified bidder in the room for an eye-watering $317,500, nearly four times its original estimate of $80,000.
The 1983 Dean Explorer style bass famously featured a sheepskin finish with a ZZ Top logo painted on the fretboard, and was attached to a rig worn around Hill’s waist to make it spin during performances.
According to the instrument’s creator Dean Zelinsky, the bass’ iconic fur covering was the result of a 3am phone call from ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbon while the band was on tour in the UK.
Gibbons told the luthier at the time, “I’m sending you some sheepskins I purchased while in Scotland, I want you to put them on some guitars.”
“Weeks later, the sheepskins showed up and I got to work, ” Zelinsky recalled in his blog. “I made a matching pair of Dean Z guitar and bass, painted them white including the fingerboards, painted the Eliminator Logo down the necks and applied the sheepskins. I cleared a path down the centre with an electric horse sheers to accept the pickups, tailpiece and strings.”
Joining the furry bass on the auction block was Hill’s signature 1953 Fender Precision bass guitar, which sold for $393,700, cementing its place as the second-highest selling bass in auction history.