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Billy F Gibbon’s isolated guitar parts in ZZ Top’s “La Grange”

Jumping@Shadows

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Dec 11, 2003
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Awesome! I'd have guessed an LP and a tight '50s tweed perhaps goosed with something, so a fun expose!
 

sws1

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If I didn't read the article and just listened to the clips, I would have said that those are not the real clips, and somebody else trying to cop the song. They sound nothing like what I would think they would, given what I hear from the full mix.

Update: if you launch the video in YT and read all the comments, guess I'm not alone. Most everyone thinks it's not Billy, or it's a re-recording. Even one person suggested it's the track from Guitar Hero, not the original recording.
 

CFOwens

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Mar 14, 2015
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The first album I ever bought was Tres Hombres, I was maybe 5 (my dad was so proud!) and since then I've worn out several copies on several formats....

I'm just not sure I believe this is the real isolated track.
 
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MIKE LEAF

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Sep 22, 2003
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He talks about this and the use of the 55 Strat on La Grange in his book that came out some years ago,
some of the stuff you would think is the LP is a Telecaster.
 

lpnv59

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Not as familiar as some here with this track. It sounds genuine. If it's not whoever played it is a BG ringer. What occurs to me is this was an isolated track from the dreaded box set remixes from back in the 80's and not the original organic guitar track.
 

58burst

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I guess technically since he played it on a strat, this thread is misplaced... :laugh2:
 

chuckNC

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Oh good gracious! I listened to that track with some suspicion until it hit the lead break. That is not the original! He may be playing a Lester on the above track for all I know. The original record is different. When you get to the first (not outro) solo it sounds like a strat through a plexi. Not just sorta. Almost the definitive sound you would hope you would get if using such a setup. The outro solo may be Pearly but I'll leave that to those more steeped in the Rev's biz than I am. Here's the original. Go to 1:10 if you're impatient:

 

mistersnappy

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I'm kinda thinking this is isn't Billy but, anyway, I always thought the first solo on the original was a Strat and he does say that it was recorded at least partially with that Hardtail.
 

markguitar

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Nov 27, 2001
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I always knew there was a lot of strat on that song as he used the strat a lot on the first few albums. The 2nd solo sounds like humbuckers to me and maybe Pearly. Jesus Just Left Chicago is all strat.
 

Wally

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Feb 27, 2003
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Put me in the camp that thinks that these guitar tracks in the OP are not what is in the original recording. I might even think the player is not The Reverend. There are some points in the first 'quiet' section that are not up to par for what Billy Gibbons does in that original track from Tres Hombres....things like being to far behind the beat in a few places..and there is one clunker of a note....right note but it is hit incorrectly and stands out like a sore thumb to my ear....around the 025 mark. For my ear there are just too many 'timing' issues.....rough, imho. I agree with chuckNC that the first lead is definitely not the original cut...whoever is playing.
I also question the amount of effects in the cut in the OP.....I don't hear it in the original track from Tres Hombres. I hear a guitar and an amp...maybe an overdrive of some sort because that is a STrat in the original cut's first lead section for sure...as Chuck notes....there is no mistaking it, imho.....and a Strat won't push an amp the way a Les Paul will.

But....my naivete in the recording and mastering process might lead me to an erroneous conclusion. I do know that my ear tires of hearing that cut in the OP...my ears are hurting right now...too much trash. I have never tired of listening to the Tres Hombres cut.....or much of anything else Z.Z. Top has ever done. Maybe they 'fixed' everything in the mastering, right?? (;^)
 

mistersnappy

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I always knew there was a lot of strat on that song as he used the strat a lot on the first few albums. The 2nd solo sounds like humbuckers to me and maybe Pearly. Jesus Just Left Chicago is all strat.

Another notable example is "Apologies To Pearly", which is probably the most obvious, I guess. :2cool
 

cjp54

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May 21, 2006
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Cool track but I'm with the camp that thinks this in definitely not original tracks nor is it the Reverend! I've listened and tried to emulate this song too many times.
 

latestarter

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From what I hear in the original recording, and this "isolated" track, they are not the same take. Whether they're the Rev or not I could never say...but it is not an "out take" from the final version.

This song blew me away when I heard it 27 years ago for the first time. Still does now (the "proper" version that is).
 
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Red Baron

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I always knew there was a lot of strat on that song as he used the strat a lot on the first few albums.

I've long thought that Billy was more of a Fender player rather than Gibson, in the studio at least, and especially on albums up until (and including) Deguello - which is predominantly Tele.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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Billy told me ages ago that it was the Strat on the rhythm track and then Pearly on the solos... Don't know why there's any big mystery about. You can hear it plain as can be in this w/o all the extra stuff(drums, vocals and 2nd guitar mixed out..
BTW, cool to hear it w/o all that stuff too! Thanks Blewsbreaker!!
 

cjp54

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May 21, 2006
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Definitely not original recording and definitely not Billy Gibbons!!
Just listened to the original recording and the OP.
No Cigar!!!!!!
 
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