Billy Joel had some company on Sunday at his home-away-from-home, Madison Square Garden, where he welcomed ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons for a sit-in. The surprise collaboration at the World’s Most Famous Arena saw the two classic rockers join forces on ZZ Top classics “La Grange” and “Tush”.

Midway through his set, Joel introduced the next number, “This is a song by another band,” before his guitarist Tommy Barnes plucked out the iconic bluesy opening of “La Grange”. He must not have had it quite right because before long Gibbons emerged from the wings, stroking his chest-length beard, ready to hand down a guitar lesson. “From a Billy to a Billy,” Gibbons said addressing Joel, “he’s almost got it.”

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Gibbons guided the band through ZZ Top’s breakout single, eventually taking on the role of conductor as he directed solos by Barnes, Joel, and saxophonist Mark Rivera. After confirming that everyone was indeed having a good time, Gibbons rolled into another ZZ Top classic, “Tush”. The Fandango! radio favorite is often included in Joel’s live setlists, tacked on to the end of “The River of Dreams”, and sung by rhythm guitarist Mike DelGuidice. Late ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill originally sang the song, and the band now performs it alongside his pre-recorded vocals while out on tour with longtime roadie Elwood Francis, who took over on bass following Dusty’s death in July 2021.

Sunday’s show arrived as the 88th of Joel’s monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, which began back in 2014. The Piano Man recently extended the run with a new show added on September 10th, which will mark the 94th show of his residency and 141st all-time at MSG. Between trips to the Garden, he will share a bill with Stevie Nicks at stadiums around the country. Tickets and a full list of tour dates are available here.

Watch Billy Gibbons join Billy Joel for “La Grange” and “Tush” at Madison Square Garden.

Billy Joel, Billy Gibbons – “La Grange”, “Tush” – 3/26/23

[Video: Jim Powers]