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Rock & Roll Gearhead By Billy F Gibbons with Tom Vickers

Rock & Roll Gearhead By Billy F Gibbons with Tom Vickers
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Photography by David Perry


Billy F Gibbons’ hot rods and custom car fixation is the stuff of rock ’n’ roll legend. Beyond this bona fide bluesman’s mastery of the six-string and his love for internal combustion, one discovers a noted collector whose designs have manifested in his cars and in hundreds of mind-bending custom guitars.

Gibbons also gives the lowdown on 10 of his outstanding rods and customs, including Kopperhed, CadZZilla and the famous red Eliminator Coupe. In addition to exclusive photography by Bay Area shooter David Perry, the book features dozens of images from Gibbons’ personal archive.

Chapter one starts out with some history of Billy Gibbons and his first band “The Moving Sidewalks”. He tells stories of meeting the great guitar players of the past, like Jimi Hendrix and Chuck Berry.  His life on the road is quite entertaining. He continues on to the best little band in Texas “ZZ Top”.

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The Moving Sidewalks                                                               A very early London-era ZZ band shot


Chapter Two is about the cars, starting with a '54 Packard Clipper that was won in a car dealership give-away, to the Eliminator Coupe and all that followed.

Here are some excerpts from the book and the pictures of his 10 most famous cars.

“One fateful Saturday morning, my buddies and I-Nickie Wiley and John Davidson, Chic Downs, Nicky Cobb, and Miguel Thompson-arrived on time for the drawing. We tossed in a peso coin and drew our ticket. Lo and behold...lucky winner! Pay the front line! A ‘54 Packard Golden Clipper.”

Around 1976, I ran into Pete Chapouris and Jake Jacobs, the Two cool cats runnin’ Pete and Jake’s Hot Rod Repair. Both their ‘34 coupes branded the attitude of pure, Holy-Hell hot rod. After some gearhead Tete a tete, we chased down a primo ‘33 three-window and set about starting about what we wanted...just a hot rod! After five long years of real, hands-on hard work, hammerin’ down with metalsmiths and engine specialists, and stunning squiters of candied paint, the Eliminator Coupe-artistically complete, top to bottom, side to side, repowered, repainted, loads of “go fast”-was seeing light at the end of a long tunnel. It was a hot rod.

After the wait, the curtain lifted for the unveiling of the lil’ red coupe, which ultimately graced the cover off ZZ Top’s Eliminator album. Coast to Coast, border to border, the Eliminator Coupe was everywhere, burnin’ rubber into this new world called MTV, showing up on screen with the release of “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharped Dressed Man.” and “Legs.


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Cadzzilla                                                       Hogzzilla                                                     Kopperhed

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Leapin’ Limo                                                       Mambo Coupe                                                     Slampala

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    ‘32 Highboy Roadster COUP DE GRACE                         ‘61 Cadillac                                                             325I Custom

Chapter three of the book is about Billy’s incredible Guitar collection. Everything from guitars that were given to him by some of the greats to a great guitar he found under a bed. (“Pearly Gates,” the 1959 Sunburst Les Paul tonemonster) He has some that came out of the back door of Gibson & Son Classical Instruments. He also has quite a few Bolin Guitars and  many in his collection have a car theme.


Pearly Gates

If you are a fan of Rock and Roll, Cars, Guitars, then this is a must have book. Billy F Gibbons is a true artist and it shows in his music, cars and guitars. 

-Tom Henderson,

Order Now at or you can pick up a copy at your local bookstore.