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ZZ Top and Jeff Beck Play "Sixteen Tons" at Greek Theatre — Video

As we've reported, ZZ Top and Jeff Beck are in the midst of a summer North American tour that kicked off August 8 in Montana and is scheduled to wind down September 13 in Oklahoma.

On August 13, they made a stop at the legendary Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

Below, you can check out a bit of decent-quality fan-filmed footage from that night. It shows ZZ Top and Beck performing "Sixteen Tons," a Merle Travis song made famous in the mid-Fifties by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

For the rest of this story, I hereby borrow heavily from a fine latimes.com piece by Randy Lewis:

Even though this is the first tour by Beck and ZZ Top, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Beck did perform together for the first time in 2009 at Madison Square Garden for the 25th-anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. That night, they played ZZ Top’s “Rough Boy” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.”

A few years later, a bizarre fan-created video appeared on YouTube. The clip, which was full of footage from their 2009 performance, was set to a rocking new version of “Sixteen Tons.” The video was meant to be a hoax, since it made it seem Beck and Gibbons were actually performing the song.

When Beck heard about the clip, he said, “Bloody hell, we can do this!” and worked up the same arrangement used in the fan’s video.

Anyway, we've included the original fan-created video (bottom clip, also featuring the lovely and talented Tal Wilkenfeld on bass) and the recent performance by Beck and ZZ Top (top video, of course)! Enjoy!

As always, let us know what you think of the performance in the comments or on Facebook. Be sure to stay tuned for a taste of Beck and Gibbons in an upcoming issue of Guitar World!

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Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.