ZZ Top’s 2015 Tour Includes a Stop in La Grange
The Houston Chronicle points out that the fair's location — in La Grange, Texas, west of Houston — will give the band its first chance to play its 1973 classic "La Grange" in the city it's named after.
Originally recorded for their third album, Tres Hombres, "La Grange" gave ZZ Top one of its first tastes of mainstream chart success, rising to No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 — not bad for a song whose lyrics draw their inspiration from the brothel that was later given another lasting place in pop culture history courtesy of the play and film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
"La Grange" later proved controversial for reasons having nothing to do with lyrical content — the song's immediately identifiable rhythm, lifted from John Lee Hooker's blues standard "Boogie Chillen," was the focus of a copyright infringement lawsuit that ended in favor of ZZ Top, with the judge decreeing that because of its relative ubiquity, the rhythm belonged in the public domain.
"The 'La Grange' riff is another interpretation of one of the cornerstone staples of that splendid American art form, the blues," responded guitarist Billy Gibbons in 2013 when asked whether the band was inspired by "Boogie Chillen." "There are many ways to chop it. We just got really lucky and landed something with resonance that lasts and lasts."
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