ZZ Top tried to keep Randy Johnson in Houston 25 years ago to give their Astros a chance at a World Series. Now their RBI (Rock Beard Index) has them rooting for the Boston Red Sox in the Fall Classic while Johnson stands near the stage taking photos of the band.
ZZ Top befriended Randy Johnson in 1998 in hopes of keeping the rock junkie with the Houston Astros. Johnson was acquired late in the year to go along with one of the best line-ups one could put together once adjusting for the ridiculous dimensions of the Astrodome, as Johnson went 10-1 in 11 starts with a 1.28 ERA.
The Astros had acquired Johnson from Seattle, where he had been able to hang out with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and the Astros made a desperate attempt to convince him to stay in Houston after finishing the remaining months of his contract. The band let Johnson jam with them, but the team was shocked by the San Diego Padres in the playoffs, and Johnson still left for Arizona via free agency.
Now that ZZ Top’s home town Astros are one of the worst teams in the history of baseball, they had to pick another team. Two of their three members are known for long beards, and the only member without a beard is named Frank Beard, so the beards worn by all the past and present Red Sox gave them someone for whom they could cheer.
”It’s really no surprise as we’ve long been within the curve as far as our RBI (Rock Beard Index) goes!” Billy Gibbons told the AP.