ZZ Top call themselves "that little ol' band from Texas," a deceptively clever designation that explains everything about the trio while underselling their deep idiosyncrasies. At their core, the trio of Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, and Dusty Hill were a down-and-dirty blues band from Houston, cranking out greasy rockers and slyly sleazy boogies about "Tush," a "Pearl Necklace," and "Legs." Despite their deep roots in American rock & roll and blues, ZZ Top were the furthest thing from purists. During their hot streak -- which ran all the way from the mid-'70s through the mid-'80s –- there wasn't a fad they didn't exploit, twisting new wave, synthesized dance-rock, and music videos for their own purposes. Throughout it all, they wrapped all their hooks and riffs up in a smile disguised by bushy beards and flashy showmanship that not only earned the group a massive audience, but endured well into the 21st century, when they were surrounded by disciples and acolytes, proof that they were a beloved American musical institution.