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Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers: A ZZ Top Guide

Album Review

Whistlestop guide to the ultimate blues-rock hairballs.

Daniels stresses that his book is by no means definitive, but it certainly covers a lot of ground.

For the first 123 pages, Beer Drinkers fools you into thinking it’s a traditional biography, told via snappy narrative and second-hand quotes. It’s thorough, fact-packed, pub-quiz-winning stuff.

Beyond that, the format is more scattershot, as Daniels changes tack, offering us potted biographies of the Top’s associates, their formative blues influences and the bands who drifted into their orbit in the early years. These sections feel less essential – it’s unlikely you pick up a ZZ Top book to learn about Wet Willie – and in the Wikipedia age, so does the discography. Not one for the hardcore but, for furtive dipping, it’s bags of fun.

Via Soundcheck Books

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