Created and maintained by Ken Rodenas


 

ZZ Top was formed by Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums) in 1969 in Houston, TX. In 2003, this little ol’ band from Texas was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and in 2007 they were honored on VH1 Rock Honors. Their music and their legend speak for themselves. This reference guide of ZZ Top guitar picks and drumsticks is my little way of saying "thanks" to Billy, Dusty and Frank for a soundtrack that's lasted a lifetime.

 

I've assigned a numbering scheme to be able to differentiate between the picks when describing them, especially when multiple variations arise within the same tour. All of these picks shown on this page are in my collection except for the few described in white. As you can see, I am getting very, very close to complete! I am very interested in obtaining these picks if you or someone you know have them to offer!  Feel free to contact me if you have one of the ones I need!

 

By no means do I consider myself to be an expert, and indeed there are some significant gaps, especially in the early years.  So feel free to drop me a line if you have better or additional information.

 

And before you even ask...no, none of the items are for sale!

 


 

1970'S Picks
(exact years unknown)

 

BG1 - white on tortoise - BILLY [over] G SPECIAL / blank

BG3 - white on tortoise - BILLY G [over] HAVE [over] MERCY / blank

BG3 - white on tortoise - Z Z TOP /  BILLY G. [over] HAVE [over] MERCY

 

BG4 - white on red - HAVE [over] MERCY / blank

BG5 - white on red - Z Z TOP / BILLY G [over] HAVE [over] MERCY

 

1979 DEGUELLO TOUR

DEG-BG1 - white on tortoise - BILLY G. [over] HAVE [over] MERCY / blank

 

1981 EL LOCO TOUR

ELL-BG1 - white on tortoise - ZZ TOP / HAVE MERCY! [over] BILLY G.

 

 

 

BDJ-TECH - white on tortoise - BIG DICK JIM/ blank

 

 

1983 ELIMINATOR TOUR

 

Eliminator picks

 

ELI-BG1 - white on tortoise- logo / Rev. Willy G

ELI-BG2 - gold on white - logo/ Rev. Willy G
ELI-BG3 - gold on tortoise - logo/Rev. Willy G
ELI-BG4 - gold on black - logo/Rev. Willy G
 

 

ELI-DH1 - gold on tortoise - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

Note: thicker font than subsequent years

 

 
 
1985-86 AFTERBURNER TOUR

 

 

AFT-BG1- gold on tortoise - logo/ Billy G

AFT-BG2 - gold on white - logo/ Billy G

AFT-BG3 - gold on tortoise - logo/ ALL NIGHT SERVICE

 

 

 

AFT-DH1 - gold on tortoise - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH5 - black on day-glo pink - logo / DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH2 - gold on white - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH6 - black on day-glo green - logo / DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH3 - black on day-glo yellow - logo / DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH7 - silver on tortoise(?) - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

AFT-DH4 - black on lavender - logo / DUSTY HILL PLEASER

 

 

 

 

In 1987's "Guitar Player" magazine, it was revealed that Billy  enjoyed playing with a "modified 1979 U.S. Quarter" for those rich ZZ tones. We later learned he switched over to the infamous peso pick in 1994. So these must have been used during the 1970's.

 

 

1990 RECYCLER TOUR

 

 

REC-BG1 - gold on white - slanted logo/ Billy G

REC-BG5 - gold on red - slanted logo/ Billy G

REC-BG2 - gold on black - slanted logo/ Billy G

REC-BG6 - gold on yellow - slanted logo/ Billy G

REC-BG3 - gold on tortoise - slanted logo/ Billy G

REC-BG7 - gold on blue - slanted logo/ Billy G
REC-BG4 - silver on tortoise - slanted logo/ Billy G REC-BG8 - gold on pink - slanted logo/ Billy G

 

 

 

REC-DH1 - gold on white - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER REC-DH5 - gold on black - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER
REC-DH2 - gold on red - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER REC-DH6 - gold on pink - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

REC-DH3 - gold on tortoise - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

REC-DH7 - gold on yellow - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

REC-DH4 - gold on blue - slanted logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER

 

 

1994 ANTENNA TOUR

ANT-BG1 - gold on white - logo / Billy G

ANT-BG2 - gold on tortoise - logo / Billy G

ANT-BG3 - gold on confetti - logo / Billy G
ANT-BG4 - silver on tortoise - logo / Billy G

ANT-BG5 - silver on tortoise - logo / ALL NIGHT SERVICE

 
ANT-DH1 - gold on white - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER
ANT-DH2 - gold on tortoise - logo/ DUSTY HILL PLEASER
ANT-DH3 - silver on tortoise - logo/ OLD PLEASURE
 

 

From 1994's "Guitar Player" magazine: "This South-of-the border beauty came in 1981 along with the note: "Way out here in Texas, down near the cactus line, the ZZ Top experimental crew keeps on workin'.  This may take the place of the famous Quarter pick. Works great for that "Hot Tamale sound'".

 

 

1996 CONTINENTAL SAFARI TOUR

 

SAF-BG1 - silver on tortoise - KING BEE Social CLUB / crown

SAF-BG2 - silver on tortoise - KING BEE Social CLUB / Billy G

SAF-BG3 - silver on black - KING BEE Social CLUB / Billy G

SAF-BG4 - dull silver on white - KING BEE Social CLUB / Billy G

SAF-BG5 - bright silver on white - KING BEE Social CLUB / Billy G

SAF-DH1 - silver on black - logo [over] skull / Dusty Hill PLEASER

SAF-DH2 - silver on white - logo [over] skull / Dusty Hill PLEASER

SAF-DH3 - silver on tortoise - logo [over] skull / Dusty Hill PLEASER

SAF-DH4 - silver on confetti - logo [over] skull / Dusty Hill PLEASER

 
1997 MEAN RHYTHM TOUR
 

MR-BG1 - white on tortoise - ZZ TOP/ MR. TROUBLE

MR-BG2 - white on tortoise - ZZ TOP/ $100

MR-BG3 - white on tortoise - NEGRO / $100

MR-BG4 - gold on tortoise- picture of woman/ Rev. GIBBONS' Lucky MO-JO

MR-BG5 - silver on tortoise- picture of woman/ Rev. GIBBONS' Lucky MO-JO

 

1999-2000 XXX TOUR

XXX guitar picks

 

XXX-BG1 - blue on orange - Excello Records / blank

XXX-DH1 - silver on black - logo [over] tone-taste-tenacity / Dusty Hill's Pleaser

 

 

  XXX guitar picks
XXX-TECH - silver on black - BULLYHELL [over] skull & crossbones / "GO SELL CRAZY SOMEWHERE ELSE"
 
Note: The two black on silver picks were made right before the Australian leg of the tour.  Since the European leg was cancelled, the Down Under dates were the only ones where these picks were present.

 

 

2003 BEER DRINKERS AND HELL RAISERS

 & 2004 SUMMER TOURS

 

BDH-BG1 - smaller black on transparent neon green - Billy G [over] Old No. 44

BDH-BG2 - white on transparent neon orange - Billy G [over] Old No. 44

BDH-BG3 - white on transparent gold - Billy G [over] Old No. 44

 

BDH-TECH - black on orange - ZZ Top / ZZ CREW 2003

   
UNP-BG1 - Mexican Un Peso pick

Since 2003, Billy's infamous peso picks have been made by Stu Brady at Some Dude's Peso Picks

 

 

2005 WHACK ATTACK & 2007 HOLLYWOOD BLUES TOURS

 

 

WAT-BG1 - smaller white on transparent neon green - Billy G [over] Old No. 44
WAT-BG2 - larger white on transparent neon green - Billy G [over] Old No. 44
WAT-BG3 - smaller white on transparent neon orange - Billy G [over] Old No. 44

WAT-DH1 - gold on grey abalone - torch & GOLDUST / Antenna caricature & DUSTY HILL

 

 

2008 EL CAMINO OCHO TOUR

 

  

ECO-BG1 - silver on black - recycler logo/ A Friend Of

ECO-DH1 - black on white - recycler logo/ DUSTY HILL

 

  

 

ECO-BG2 - smaller white on transparent orange - Billy G [over] Old No. 44

ECO-DH2 - silver prism on black - ZZ Top [over] XXV Eliminator / Antenna caricature [over] DUSTY HILL

 

 

2009 DOUBLE DOWN LIVE TOUR

 

 

DDL-BG1 - smaller white on transparent neon green - Billy G [over] Old No. 44
DDL-DH1 - gold on transparent gold - logo [over] Est. 1969 / blank  (misprint)
DDL-DH2 - gold on transparent gold - Antenna caricature [over] DUSTY HILL /blank  (misprint)
DDL-DH3 - gold on purple - logo [over] Est. 1969/ Antenna caricature [over] DUSTY HILL

DDL-DH4 - metallic purple on yellow - logo [over] Est. 1969/ Antenna caricature [over] DUSTY HILL

 

2010 SUMMER TOUR

 

 

2010BG1 - smaller white on transparent neon green - Billy G [over] Old No. 44
2010-DH1 - black on red - logo [over] DUSTY HILL / devil skull
2010-DH2 - gold on black - logo [over] DUSTY HILL / devil skull

2010-DH3 - black on red - logo [over] DUSTY HILL / angel skull

2010-DH4 - gold on black - logo [over] DUSTY HILL / angel skull

 

2011-12 REBELS AND BANDOLEROS TOUR

 

 

RAB-BG1 - smaller white on transparent orange - Billy G [over] Old No. 44
RAB-BG2 - white caricature on transparent orange
RAB-DH1 - green on white - logo / yellow rose of Texas

2012 GANG OF OUTLAWS & LA FUTURA TOURS

GOO-BG1 - white caricature on transparent orange

GOO-DH1 - gold on white - Texicali logo / The Dust
GOO-DH2 - silver on black - Texicali logo / The Dust
GOO-DH3 - yellow on white - Texicali logo / The Dust

 

2013 LA FUTURA TOUR
 

LF-BG1 - black caricature on transparent orange
LF-BG2 - white on transparent orange - Billy G [over] Old No. 44 / Billy G [over] Old No. 44 with white triangle
LF-DH1 - gold on black - Texicali logo / The Dust
LF-DH2 - black on orange pearl - Texicali logo / The Dust

 


 

 

Thanks for visiting my site!

Comments, suggestions, feedback and updates gladly welcomed.

Please contact me if you have any ZZ Top guitar picks that I do not have!

Email address: krodenas@fuse.net

 

1999-2014  Ken Rodenas
All text and photos posted on this page are the sole property of Ken Rodenas.
Any copying, reproduction or use of these texts or images without the express written consent of Ken Rodenas is strictly prohibited.