Skip to main content

Fender PlayThe #1 guitar learning platformTRY FOR FREE


ZZ Top might be best known for their smash 1980s hits "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Legs," but the Texas gunslingers released what might be their most popular song a decade before.

After forming in 1969 and releasing two well-received but middling album, ZZ Top officially broke through with 1973's Tres Hombres, largely on the popularity of its sultry, boogie-driven single "La Grange."

Riding a relentless riff inspired by John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillun," this simple ditty was ZZ Top's first hit, as it rose to No. 41 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in 1974.

And years later, it continues to resonate, as Rolling Stone placed it 74th among it's list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time."

Perhaps part of the popularity of "La Grange" was influenced by its racy inspiration. The line about a "shack outside La Grange" refers to Edna's Fashionable Ranch Boarding House (a.k.a. the Chicken Ranch), a Texas brothel located in the titular town.

Frontman Billy Gibbons, who famously played the lead parts on a 1955 Fender Stratocaster, noted that fans still clamor for "La Grange" at ZZ Top's rocking live concerts.

"It was our first Top 10," he told Dan Rather on AXS TV's THe Big Interview with Dan Rather. "And to this day, 47 years later, we stil play it nightly. It's still one of the favorites."

While ZZ Top didn't truly become a household name until 1975's Fandango!, which featured the blockbuster single "Tush," it's undeniable that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees planted the seeds for international acclaim with "La Grange."

If you'd like to learn "La Grange," check out the video above from Fender Play. Click here for a free trial of Fender Play that includes even more skills and songs.

Don’t miss out!

Be the first to know about new products, featured content, exclusive offers and giveaways.