Jared Dines Calls ZZ Top’s 17-String Bass “Ripoff”

As reported by American Songwriter, ZZ Top bassist Elwood Francis played an odd 17-string bass during the band’s recent November 5 show for the rock band’s 1983 song, “Got Me Under Pressure.” .

Well, now there’s some online beef surrounding the event.

In a social media kerfuffle, Francis and YouTube guitarist Jared Dines went back and forth on the instrument, with Dines calling it a “scam” of his 18-string Ormsby guitar, which he ordered in 2018.

“I can’t with this…” Dines wrote on Instagram. “When ZZ Top uses a fraudulent version of my 18 string guitar on a website. It even has ‘JD’ on the 12th fret, LOL.

After Dines posted the message, Francis added his own response on Instagram, claiming that his 17-string bass was, yes, in fact, a copy of Dines’ 18-string.

Francis wrote: “Thought I would use this bass once or twice for no other reason than for fun. It’s such an absurd instrument. We all laughed and moved on.

He added, “However, there’s been too much attention not to mention the guy who came up with the idea: Jared Dines. The bass I play is a Chinese-made POS. It’s a half copy of something he’s playing and he’s probably all pissed off.

“I don’t know if he designed it, but the cat is an amazing musician and sees me playing simple bass lines that I could play with just one string, while he worked the music to use this damn The dude has gone beyond the 17 string and I would suggest checking him out just to see what he does with it. I just hope he has a sense of humor.

Dines then commented on Francis’ post, wishing to crush any beef, “Not pissed at all! I thought the photo of you playing was touched up at first. I like it to be real! Guitars are changed and redone all the time, I’m glad you had fun with it.

Francis replied, “Man, I can’t believe you play that stuff! We thought it was a joke but then [found] learned about you and watched videos. Good damn! The joke is on me because I have to play this piece of contraband shit.

Francis received the instrument from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top who bought it for him as a joke.

Said Francis, “I was researching the internet at night [and] shot a photo of this crazy 17 string bass. I sent Billy a picture and we laughed and joked about trying to use it.

Francis added that Gibbons showed up with the instrument “a few weeks later” after Francis “forgot about it”.

Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns

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