Billy Gibbons has shared a the video for Desert High, the new single from his forthcoming album, Hardware, and it features name checks for The Doors’ former frontman Jim Morrison, late country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
The video sees ZZ Top guitarist Gibbons cruising across the Californian desert around the iconic Joshua Tree, offering spoken word shouts out to Morrison (“The desert toad takes me for a ride/The Lizard King’s always by my side”) and Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers singer who died in a Joshua Tree hotel in September 1973.
“Gram died in room eight and left it all to Keith/Just a couple of miles from the salt and sea,” Gibbons sings, referencing Keith Richards; the Stones had encouraged their friend Parsons to record Sticky Fingers classic Wild Horses before they themselves released it.
“The song is, perhaps, not typical of Hardware as a totality but it gives an indication of the album’s desiccated sonic sensibility,” Gibbons says of Desert High. “The desert is a truly mysterious place and we were privileged to have spent all that time there absorbing the heat, the vibe, and cranking it out. It’s where natural background is at its most raw and untamed. We suspect what we’ve done is something of a reflection or, perhaps, a mirage, that relates.”
Hardware, co-produced by former The Cult/Guns N’ Roses’ drummer Matt Sorum, will be released on Concord Records on June 4.