Billy Gibbons: My Life in 15 Songs

ZZ Top's guitarist on how the Stones, Devo and a backwoods cathouse inspired some supercharged Texas-blues classics

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"Sharp Dressed Man" (1983)

I went to see a film. The credits were rolling, and one of the players was described as "Sharp Eyed Man." That started it. The track had this heavyweight bass line from a synthesizer. You know who was poppin' at this time? Depeche Mode. I went to see them one night, and it was a mind-bender. No guitars, no drums. It was all coming from the machines. But they had blues threads going through their stuff. I went backstage; I had to meet these guys. They were surprised — "What brings you here?" I said, "Man, the heaviness." We became friends. Martin Gore was a guitar player trapped behind the synthesizers. He was like, "Man, let's talk guitar."

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