ZZ Top is an American rock trio formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has, since 1970, consisted of vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill, drummer Frank Beard. Music critic Michael "Cub" Koda has stated: " As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers. Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support."The band released its debut album, ZZ Top's First Album, in 1971. Beginning with blues-inspired rock, the trio incorporated new wave, punk rock and dance-rock by using synthesizers, their songs have a reputation for containing humorous lyrics laced with double entendres and innuendos. The band's top-selling album is their 1983 release Eliminator, which sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Total record sales of 25 million place ZZ Top among the top-100-selling artists in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America; that includes eleven gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum albums as of 2016, according to the RIAA.
By 2014, ZZ Top had sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004; the original line-up was formed in Houston and consisted of Gibbons, bassist/organist Lanier Greig, drummer Dan Mitchell. The name of the band was Gibbons' idea; the band had a little apartment covered with concert posters and he noticed that many performers' names used initials. Gibbons noticed B. B. King and Z. Z. Hill and thought of combining the two into "ZZ King", but considered it too similar to the original name, he figured that "king is going at the top" which brought him to "ZZ Top."ZZ Top was managed by Bill Ham, a Waxahachie, native who had befriended Gibbons a year earlier. They released their first single, "Salt Lick," in 1969, the B-side contained the song "Miller's Farm." Both songs were credited to Gibbons. After the recording of "Salt Lick," Greig was replaced by bassist Billy Ethridge, a bandmate of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mitchell was replaced by Frank Beard of American Blues.
Due to lack of interest from the major American record companies, ZZ Top accepted a record deal from London Records, the American affiliate of the British Decca Records label. Unwilling to sign a recording contract, Ethridge quit the band and Dusty Hill became his replacement. After Hill moved from Dallas to Houston, ZZ Top signed with London in 1970, they performed their first concert together at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Beaumont, Texas, on February 10, 1970. In addition to assuming the role as the band's leader, Gibbons became the main lyricist and musical arranger. With the assistance of Ham and engineer Robin Hood Brians, ZZ Top's First Album was released and exhibited the band's humor, with "barrelhouse" rhythms, distorted guitars, double entendres, innuendo; the music and songs reflected ZZ Top's blues influences. Following their debut album, the band released Rio Grande Mud, which produced their first charting single. ZZ Top released Tres Hombres in 1973; the album's sound was the result of the propulsive support provided by Hill and Beard, Gibbons' "growling" guitar tone.
Dan Erlewine wrote that the album "brought ZZ Top their first Top Ten record, making them stars in the process." The album included the boogie-driven "La Grange". On the subsequent tour, the band performed sold-out concerts in the US. ZZ Top recorded the live tracks for their 1975 album, Fandango!, during this tour. Fandango! was a top-ten album. Tejas, released in 1976, was not as successful or as positively received as their previous efforts, although the album went to number 17 on the Billboard 200. ZZ Top continued the Worldwide Texas Tour in support of Tejas, though they had been touring for seven years; the band went on what was supposed to be a 90-day break from public appearances. Gibbons traveled to Europe, Beard went to Jamaica, Hill went to Mexico; the break extended to two years, during which Hill grew chest-length beards. In 1979, ZZ Top signed with Warner Bros. Records and released the album Degüello. While the album went platinum, it only reached number 24 on the Billboard chart; the album produced two popular singles: "I Thank You", a cover of a song recorded by Sam & Dave, "Cheap Sunglasses".
The band toured in support of Degüello. In April 1980, ZZ Top made their first appearance in Europe, performing for the German music television show Rockpalast, their next album, El Loco, was released in October 1981, featured the singles "Tube Snake Boogie", "Pearl Necklace", "Leila". ZZ Top's next album was more successful. Eliminator, released in March 1983, featured two top-40 singles, two additional Top Rock hits, with "Legs" peaking at number 13 on the Club Play Singles chart. Eliminator was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 10 million copies, several music videos were in regular rotation on MTV; the band won their first MTV Video Music Awards in the categories of Best Group Video for "Legs", Best Direction for "Sharp Dressed Man". The music videos were included in their Greatest Hits video, released on DVD and went multiple-platinum. However, the Eliminator album was not without controversy. According to former stage manager David Blayney in his book "Sharp Dressed Men", sound engineer Linden Huds
Bautzen II was a 20th-century political prison in the town of Bautzen in Saxony operational during the communist regime in East Germany. It was the only East German prison directly under the control of the Stasi, it now stands as an open memorial to its harsh history, accessed at no charge. The history of the prison may be divided into four broad phases: court prison, prison under Nazi regime, prison during communist period, present day museum; the building was built in 1906. It was advanced for the time having electric lighting throughout and steam air heating. From 1906 to 1933 the building served as a commonplace prison linked to the encircling police headquarters and courtrooms to the south on Lessingstrasse; the building had 157 cells holding up to 203 prisoners. Occupancy was shorter sentences for lesser crimes at post-trial. Due to a general under-occupancy, the prison was shared with captured prisoners-of-war from 1916 to 1918. From 1923 to 1933, due to reforms in the Weimar Republic the prison went through its most lenient period.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933 Bautzen changed in atmosphere and became a place where political prisoners those with communist views, were imprisoned. From 1939 resistance fighters captured in other countries were placed in Bautzen II; the fall of the Nazis in 1945 did not bring any improvement to Bautzen. Although all the former communist sympathisers were released, the overall role as a political prison continued. From 1945 to 1949 it was run by the Soviet Secret Police; this period was the prison's most crowded, with up to 400 prisoners in the space designed for 200. From 1949 the prison was run by the Saxony Judiciary. After a period of reorganisation, it was used as a detention centre from 1951 to 1956. However, in 1956 it passed to the newly created Ministry of State Security; the nature of imprisonment changed radically and punishments became unusually harsh. People aiding escape to the west were sentenced to 15 years, an harsh punishment designed as a strong deterrent. Overall numbers grew further, peaking at 260 in 1962.
During this period Amnesty International became involved both in prison conditions and the nature of those imprisoned. From 1963 one wing on the first floor housed female political prisoners. Only one known escape was realised: Dieter Hötger in 1967, he was recaptured nine days later. Political prisoners were released in 1989 soon after the reunification of Germany. FRom 1989 a small number of petty criminals were still held in the prison, but in January 1992 it closed completely. After some discussion it was decided to retain the prison in its entirety as a memorial and free museum, it is accessed from the north-east, as the police headquarters and law courts remain operational to south and west. It opened as a museum in 1993. Most of the building is preserved untouched; some of the larger rooms contain exhibits explaining the history of the building, some of the prisoners, some of the guards. The exercise yards are only accessible by special request. There is no fee to visit. Volunteers offer some information.
The outer buildings contain a display of East German prison transport. The prison is accessed from the north off Weigangstrasse. A graveyard for prisoners who died of illness or from beatings lies on Talstrasse in northern Bautzen, close to Bautzen I; this represents death in the Soviet period 1945 to 1949. The area was formalised in 1990 into an area capable of public visitation, information boards were added. A memorial chapel was erected in 2000 providing more information on the victims. See Julius Fučík Helmut Brandt Georg Dertinger Karl Wilhelm Fricke Otto Maercker Herbert Crüger Walter Janka Gustav Just Heinz Zöger Wolfgang Harich Erich Loest Kurt Vieweg Heinz Brandt Rudolf Bahro Armin Raufeisen Hannes Sieberer Peter Gross
Dries Holten is a Dutch singer, songwriter of Indo descent. He represented the Netherlands at the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest alongside Sandra Reemer. After he and Reemer broke up Holten formed a new group with Rosy Pereira and called it Rosy & Andres. In 1980 Holten final group was of Ria Shield Meyer. In 1972 at Eurovision, along with fellow Dutch-Indonesian singer Sandra Reemer he represented the Netherlands with their song "Als het om de liefde gaat", the meaning in English is when love is concerned, he co-wrote the song with Hans van Hemert. In 1975, now having teamed up with another Indonesian singer, Rosy Pereira the daughter of steel guitarist Coy Pereira, they released the single "Sausilito". Holten co-wrote it with Marshal Manengkei. In the Netherlands it spent four weeks on the charts; the following year, it was reported in the 9 October 1976 issue of Billboard that their single "My Love" reached position number 3 in the Dutch chart, just behind "In Zaire" by Johnny Wakelin and with "Dancing Queen" by ABBA at no 1.
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