1.08.2013

BILLY GIBBONS + THE MOVING SIDEWALKS: Home Town Band Plays NYC


Jimi Hendrix with The Moving Sidewalks
Fort Worth, Texas, 1968
(left to right): Keyboardist Tom Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Bassist Don Summers, guitarist and lead singer Billy Gibbons (pre-ZZ Top), and drummer Dan Mitchell. Photographer unknown.
 
ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons pulls up to my house
Houston, Texas, 1973  
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon  
 
When the Moving Sidewalks opened for The Doors at the Houston Coliseum in 1968, their hit single 99th Floor was No. 1. It became one of the most famous Vintage Garage 45's.

BILLY GIBBONS, pre-ZZ Top fame, founded the '60's blues-based, psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll group, The Moving Sidewalks. They came into prominence opening for The Jimi Hendrix Experience during Hendrix's first American tour. Billy was still in high school when Hendrix, one of the greatest electric guitarist in rock history, named Gibbons his favorite guitar player on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson". Billy went on to ZZ Top fame (Sharp Dressed Man, Legs...).

In a recent New York Times 'ArtsBeat' piece, "The Return of The Moving Sidewalks," Allan Kozinn writes, "Before ZZ Top became a blues-rock band known for gritty, boogie-based rhythms, sizzling guitar flights, humorous lyrics and luxuriously long beards, it was a Houston-based psychedelic proto-punk garage band called the Moving Sidewalks. And though its following was decidedly regional at the time – its biggest hit, “99th Floor,” was a chart-topper in Houston for six weeks in 1967 – the group’s recordings can be found on more than half a dozen compilations of 1960s garage band tracks, not to mention the ZZ Top anthology “Chrome, Smoke & BBQ: The ZZ Top Box.”

"The group recently released an archival trove, “Moving Sidewalks – The Complete Collection” (Rockbeat Records), bringing together its only album, “Flash” (1969), a handful of singles (including a bruising cover of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”) and several outtakes. With ZZ Top between tours, Billy Gibbons, the guitarist and founder of both bands, has reconvened the Moving Sidewalks for a gig – its first in 44 years – at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in Manhattan on March 30."  (read the entire
NY Times piece here)


 Former producer and co-writer Steve Ames and his '66 Corvette
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon  
 Drummer Dan Mitchell and his Jaguar XK-E, 1967
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon  
Keyboardist Tom Moore, 1966

NY Times: The Return of Moving Sidewalks

3 comments:

theplantgardener said...

love vintage black and whites

Ricky Bush said...

Yea!!!! These guys used to play at our teen dances way down in West Columbia, Texas. We loved them...and when Billy G moved on, we moved with him.

Joanna Black said...

This is immensely cool