ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons - or Billy F Gibbons, as he prefers to be known on his solo releases - has launched a Christmas single, a cover of James Lord Pierpont's 1857 banger Jingle Bells.
Gibbons has turned Jingle Bells into something altogether more righteous: Jingle Bell Blues, a low-slung, greasy blues shuffle, and has adapted the lyrics to include references to "bells on hot rods" and a "drop top sled."
Jingle Bells will be available as a translucent red vinyl 7" single, but buyers beware: the single comes with a large, jukebox-friendly centre hole.
"I suppose it could have been produced with a small hole and we wouldn’t have had to deal with the adapter," muses Gibbons. "but this is, at its essence, a juke box record. It was even mixed with that in mind.
“Around Christmas, it always seems that there are five to ten holiday selections listed in the lower right corner of a typical juke box in a typical juke joint, the song titles and artist names printed on wreath-bedecked title strips.”
The flip side of the single is adorned by an etching that replicates the sidewall of an old-fashioned tire, with raised letters spelling out the song title and Billy’s name. It's available to order now (opens in new tab), and will ship in December.
“Our hope is for Jingle Bell Blues to be one of those records," adds the lustrously-bearded rocker. "Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Elvis, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Otis Redding, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, and not forgetting Adam Sandler, need some company and we’d be thrilled to provide it in the spirit of the season.”
Billy Gibbons' most recent album, Hardware, was released in June.