ZZ Top’s Elwood Francis Plays Huge 17-String Bass In Alabama

Watch Francis wield the instrument on “Got Me Under Pressure” in Huntsville.

By Scott Bernstein Nov 11, 2022 8:32 am PST

ZZ Top fans were treated to a wild scene last weekend, when bassist Elwood Francis emerged for band’s concert in Huntsville, Alabama on November 5 with a massive 17-string bass. Francis, who joined the trio last year after the death of founding member Dusty Hill, used the huge instrument for the rendition of “Got Me Under Pressure” off 1983’s Eliminator that opened the show.

Elwood Francis came across the giant bass while cruising the web. “I was doing night internet searching [and] turned up a picture of this crazy 17 string bass,” the bassist told Ultimate Classic Rock. “I sent a picture to [ZZ Top guitarist] Billy [Gibbons] and we laughed about it and made some jokes about actually trying to use it.”

“A few weeks later, after I had forgotten about it, Billy shows up with [the 17 string bass],” Francis revealed to Ultimate Classic Rock and called the scenario “one of those ‘hold my beer’ moments.” Elwood stashed the monstrous bass following “Got Me Under Pressure” and went on to use more typical instruments for the remainder of the evening. No mention was made at the show.

Watch fan-shot video of Francis wielding the 17-string bass in Huntsville below:

ZZ Top (See 2 videos)

ZZ Top continues their tour on Sunday, November 13 in Pompano Beach, Florida.


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ZZ Top
  • Got Me Under Pressure
  • I Thank You
  • Waitin' for the Bus
  • Jesus Just Left Chicago
  • Gimme All Your Lovin'
  • Pearl Necklace
  • I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
  • I Gotsta Get Paid
  • My Head's in Mississippi
  • Sixteen Tons
  • Just Got Paid
  • Sharp Dressed Man
  • Legs
  • Brown Sugar
  • Tube Snake Boogie
  • La Grange
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