During a recent performance in Huntsville, Alabama, ZZ Top bassist Elwood Francis performed with a 17-string bass! If you think that sounds badass as hell, wait until you see the footage of Francis playing that bass!
Francis has the 17-string bass with him as he is walking out on stage; this bass is HUGE. As you will see in the video footage below, this bass is quite wide, which is necessary to fit all those strings.
So how did Francis come into possession of such an epic instrument? Well, via a recent conversation with Ultimate Classic Rock, Francis shares how he ended up owning this 17-string bass.
“I was doing night internet searching [and] turned up a picture of this crazy 17-string bass. I sent a picture to Billy and we laughed about it and made some jokes about actually trying to use it.” Francis goes on to add, “A few weeks later, after I had forgotten about it, Billy shows up with [the 17-string bass].”
We absolutely adore this instrument, and it is so badass to watch Elwood play it! You can find footage of the ZZ Top bassist playing his 17-string bass below.
When it comes to other badass instruments, have you seen guitarist Steve Vai’s multi-neck “Hydra”? The guitar features three necks! Per a past interview Steve was involved in, he speaks to the origin of his “Hydra” guitar. You can find a link to that full story below, but we have also included a brief excerpt pertaining to some of that origin story.
“So, the construction of the Hydra took my entire career, basically – if you consider the evolution of the influences. So, when it finally started to move its way to the front of the line, it was probably about seven years ago that I saw this Mad Max movie [2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road], and I saw the guy play the guitar at the front of the truck, and the guitar was very ‘steampunk And it was just cool. It was wicked – blowing flames and all this stuff. And the ham in me just lit up, and I’m like, ‘OK, I got it. I’m going to make it real.’”