Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lost and Found in Odessa: Dusty Hill's Hat

From the Odessa American:

Hat gone from dressing room before Odessa concert
January 19, 2011 4:40 PM

Missing: Gray-brown Stetson. Reward: $150 worth of ZZ Top merchandise.

After more than a month of waiting, ZZ Top’s bassist and vocalist, Dusty Hill, is ready to get his beloved Stetson back. Hill’s hat went missing a few hours before ZZ Top’s concert at the (Odessa) Ector County Coliseum Dec. 9 (which we attended - DK).

“You travel all over the world and then it comes up missing in Texas,” Hill said. “It just killed me.”

In an attempt to recover his hat, Hill and the ZZ Top team are offering up a $150 reward to spend at the ZZ Top merchandise website to the person who currently has the Stetson.

“We’re going to give that person the key to the ZZ Top website,” Bob Merlis, ZZ Top’s publicist, said.

Merlis said there will be no questions asked of the person, and they can even remain anonymous.

Hill has worn his Stetson, trimmed with a ribbon of black horse hair, to most of the shows for the past two ZZ Top tours. Fans at the Coliseum, however, may have noticed that instead of the cowboy hat, Hill wore a baseball cap.

The day of the concert started out normally for Hill, spending that Thursday afternoon performing a sound check with the rest of the band and crew. Shortly thereafter, Hill went back to his hotel room, leaving his hat in his dressing room. He returned later to find the hat gone.

“About 30 minutes before the show, my hat’s (still) not there. Everyone was scrambling around trying to find it,” Hill said.

Hill said he tried looking again after the concert, but the search turned up empty, and Hill left Odessa the next morning, hatless.

 “Dusty Hill walked into Ector County Coliseum wearing his hat, and when he left the hat was gone,” Merlis said. “It sounds silly, but it’s a big drag separating a Texan from his favorite hat – that’s harsh.”

Hill’s attachment to the hat is reasonable, considering the fact that it’s was custom made for him when he had a cameo appearance on the third season of HBO’s “Deadwood.”

“I went and had one made by the people who do that show. It’s not shaped like your everyday rodeo hat, it’s more round,” Hill said.

Hill hopes that the person in possession of his Stetson will return the hat as soon as possible. He even wants to thank the person, should they choose to return it.

“The thing is, if I were that person, I wouldn’t get my satisfaction out of wearing it or showing it to people under the circumstances,” Hill said. “It’s not going to create a lot of enjoyment in their hands.”

UPDATE 1/24 - ZZ Top bassist's Stetson returned

ZZ Top’s bassist and vocalist Dusty Hill can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

After more than a month of searching for his missing Stetson, the custom-made hat was found and is now sitting in the Odessa American office waiting to be returned to its owner.

Hill lost his hat just hours before ZZ Top’s Dec. 9 concert at Ector County Coliseum. The OA reported the hat’s missing status last week and that a reward to spend at the ZZ Top website was offered.

Photos of an unidentified man wearing the hat were emailed to the OA over the weekend.

Several people called and emailed about knowing the whereabouts of the hat through the weekend. On Monday morning, one person, who declined to give his name, discreetly dropped the hat off outside the OA office.

The Stetson will be shipped back to Hill later in the week, per arrangements with ZZ Top’s publicist, Bob Merlis.

Merlis said Hill was “over the moon” on hearing his hat was

The hat was made for Hill during a cameo on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

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