“Tush” by ZZ Top
As put forth by ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, where he grew up the term “tush” had two different meanings. One would be it referring to a person’s backside, as most universally used. But in his ‘hood, people also utilized the word to refer to something that is “very lavish [or] luxurious”.
And the point he’s trying to get to is that as used in this piece, the meaning of “tush” – which as the title implies is the central expression of this entire narrative – is open to interpretation based on respective listeners.
Well either way the vocalist is very much “looking for some tush”, even to the point where he’s entreating the “Lord” to help him in this endeavor. More specifically, it would appear that he considers “downtown” to be the place he can get some and is therefore requesting a higher power to “take” him there.
The implication would be that, being a grown man and all, he can get downtown on his own. Thus that sentiment is most likely meant to allude to the notion of him praying for favor in scoring “some tush”, which he feels “ain’t asking too much”.
What is “Tush”?
And whatever tush may be – a slang term for sex or a referral to something luxurious – the vocalist perceives it as some form of major relief. He’s been moving about quite a lot and is now idealizing returning “back home”. Yet he wants to do so “not by (himself)… alone” but rather, obviously, alongside another individual.
Well, without getting too wordy on the matter, let’s just conclude by saying that out of the two aforementioned premises, all lyrics considered this song would read more logical if the vocalist were in fact referring to some tush – i.e. a “piece of a-s” as opposed to some type of high-end item or what have you.
Facts about “Tush”
Being the second single from the band’s album Fandango!, “Tush” itself was officially released 1 January 1975. London Records was responsible for its issuance.
“Tush” was a hit. At a peak position of number 20, it marked the second highest ZZ Top ever reached on the Billboard Hot 100. But beyond its chart showing it is considered a classic by likes of VH1, who in 2009 ranked it amongst the “Top 100 Hard Rock Songs” ever.
Indeed in the years since its release, “Tush” has enjoyed quite an extensive pop media usage.
The writers of this track are Dusty Hill, Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons, i.e. the members of ZZ Top from 1969 into the 2020s. In fact the latter two are still active as of the writing of this post, but Dusty Hill passed away on 28 July 2021.
And according to Gibbons, Hill instructed him, on his deathbed, to keep the band going with Elwood Francis taking his place, which is exactly what he and Beard are currently doing.
Meanwhile Billy Ham (1937-2016), who helped establish ZZ Top, is credited as the producer of “Tush”.
According to legend, this song was written “in about 10 minutes”. Indeed it was one which ZZ Top put together on the fly.
Former US President George W. Bush is known to be a very big fan of ZZ Top’s, as they have proven to be big stars in the city of Houston, where Dubya himself was also raised. And at the celebration of his first Presidential inauguration in 2001, the band played “Tush”.