Hill's place in the band, as per the late bassist's wishes, was taken by the band's longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis.
Now, even though ZZ Top have famously used some rather colorful guitars over the course of their lengthy career, fans at the band's recent (November 5) gig at the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall in Huntsville, Alabama were probably a bit taken aback by what they saw when Francis first stepped onstage with the group.
The bass in Francis's hands wasn't a four-string or a 5-string bass guitar, nor was it a six-string model.
No, readers, this yellow-finished low-end behemoth was a (by our count, at least) 17-string bass. You can see it in action in the fan-filmed footage of the band's opening number that night (Got Me Under Pressure) below.
Now, not to be a kill-joy, but a spin of the video does seem to show Francis only using three or four of the beast's strings.
Still, the skill involved from swinging from the low notes at the very top of the bass (fretted, of course, over the top of the neck) to the middle and higher notes all the way at the bottom is pretty impressive. The Little Ol' Band From Texas has always known how to take simple elements (in this case a steady-grooving bass line) and put on a show with them, after all.
Now, all we need is for Billy Gibbons to invite Jared Dines and his 20-string Mountain Dew Meme Guitar onstage with the band for the djentiest ZZ Top show ever...
Also of note at this particular gig were the purple "fuzz" guitars the band used for Legs.
"The fuzzy guitars have gone Royal," the band wrote of the guitars in an Instagram post last month. "Royal Purple that is!"
For tickets and more info on ZZ Top's forthcoming shows, visit the band's website.