ZZ Top

ZZ Top's "La Grange" and John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen".

Boogie Chillen

The bearded Texan rock group known as ZZ Top has been accused of ripping off blues legend John Lee Hooker.

Shortly after WWII, legend John Lee Hooker, along with Bernard Besman, penned a classic blues song called "Boogie Chillen".

Hooker went on to record three versions of the song. The first recording was a 1948 single, the second was a 1950 remake, and the third was a 1970 version recorded by Hooker and the band Canned Heat, which was featured on a double album called "Hooker 'n Heat".

The Best of ZZ Top

In 1973, ZZ Top recorded their classic hit "La Grange" which was featured on their third album "Tres Hombres". A signature riff tune, "La Grange" was ZZ Top's first top 40 hit, and "Tres Hombres" went on to become their first gold album.


"La Grange" subsequently appeared on "Best of ZZ Top", which was released in 1977.

"La Grange appeared again on another best-of album, "ZZ Top Six Pack" in 1987.

In testimony of its staying power, "La Grange" appeared for the fourth time on their third best-of album, "Greatest Hits" in 1992.

Deja Vu on Boogie Chillen

In 1991, Bernard Besman heard "La Grange" and got a severe case of deja vu. Then in his eighties and head of La Cienega Music, the copyright owner of "Boogie Chillen", Besman decided to take a run against ZZ Top. By 1996, the judge dismissed part of the suit stating that the 1948 single and 1950 remake were in the public domain.

Consequently, the issue of whether the ZZ Top recordings infringe on the 1970 version of "Boogie Chillen" was supposed to have been heard sometime in 1997.


"La Grange" by ZZ Top

Rumour sprendin' a-'round in that Texas town 'bout that shack outside La Grange
and you know what I'm talkin' about.
Just let me know if you wanna go
to that home out on the range.
They gotta lotta nice girls.

Have mercy.
A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw.
A haw, haw, haw.

Well, I hear it's fine if you got the time
and the ten to get yourself in.
A hmm, hmm.
And I hear it's tight most ev'ry night,
but now I might be mistaken.
hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm.

Have mercy.

"Boogie Chillen" by John Lee Hooker

Well, hey hey
When I first came to town, people
I was walking down Hastings Street
I heard everybody talking about
Henry's Swing Club
I dropped in there that night
I did the boogie
I did the boogie, boogie
I did the boogie
Yeah, hey hey
One night I was laying down
Well I heard,
My mama and papa talking
About the boogie.
Do you wanna boogie
Do you wanna boogie
Do the boogie now
Hey hey hey hey
I'm gonna tell you something
One night when I was laying down
I heard, I heard, I heard..
Do the boogie...
Feel good, feel good, feel good, feel good...
Feel.. feel.. feel.. feel.. feel..
Thank you...