#781: Tube Snake Boogie by ZZ Top
ZZ Top was formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has had three members since it began. Guitar player, Billy Gibbons, is the lead vocalist for the trio. Dusty Hill also shared lead vocals and plays bass guitar. The bands’ drummer is Frank Beard. Gibbons and Hill wear beards, however Frank Beard is clean-shaven. The band has sold over 25 million records of their blues-rock infused recordings. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They credit the rock group Cream as one of their major influences. Among their early singles was “La Grange”, in 1973. This was a song about a brothel actually called the Chicken Shack on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas, from 1905 to 1973. The Chicken Shack was the basis for a play called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas that debuted on Broadway in 1978. The song peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, but did not chart in Vancouver.
In 1975, ZZ Top released their single titled “Tush”. It climbed to #20 in the USA and #11 in Vancouver. They toured internationally and their fan base grew steadily. In 1981 they released their seventh studio album, El Loco. The Spanish phrase means “they crazy one” in English. One of the singles from the album was “Tube Snake Boogie”.
A tube snake is slang for a surf board. In addition, if you are snaking a wave, you are stealing a wave. In this case, you are snaking (or stealing) a wave by riding down the face of a wave after catching a wave. However, the song is about a guy who has three girls. One who lives across town, another who lives down the block and a third who lives on the hill. The first two girls like to do the tube snake boogie and boogie woogie all night long. The third girlfriend doesn’t like to do the tube snake boogie or the boogie woogie, but her sister will. The song is filled with sexual innuendo. “Tube Snake Boogie” peaked below the national pop charts in the USA on Billboard at #104. However, in Canada the song made it to #3 in Winnipeg, #8 Toronto and #9 in Vancouver.
In the mid-80’s, ZZ Top scored two top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Legs” and “Sleeping Bag”. Supporting their releases, ZZ Top launched their Afterburner World Tour on December 2, 1985, in Toronto. They played two dates in Vancouver: December 15 and 16, both at the Pacific Coliseum. In total, they performed 193 times by their finale in Honolulu on March 21, 1987. In 1990, ZZ Top was featured as a band at a party in the film, Back To The Future III. In July 2009, ZZ Top appeared as hosts of a World Wrestling Federation show. Their song, “Sharp Dressed Man”, is a theme song for the TV show Duck Dynasty.
In the summer of 2018, ZZ Top is performing in 38 venues across twenty-two states in the USA and four provinces in Canada.
June 19, 2018
ZZ Top bio, Rolling Stone
ZZ Top Afterburner World Tour: December 2, 1985 – March 21, 1987, Wikipedia.org.
Legendary Rock Band Makes Surprise Appearance on Final Episode of ‘Duck Dynasty’, Country Rebel
Surf Lingo Every Beginner Should Know, The Surfing Site.com
ZZ Top tour, ZZ Top.com.
“C-FUN Top 30,” CFUN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, October 24, 1981.
For more song reviews visit the Countdown.