Joe Hardy ZZ Top Collaborator Dies at Age 66

HardyProducer, musician, and engineer Joe Hardy, who worked with ZZ Top died on Feb. 12, 2019, after a brief illness. He was 66 years old. Hardy died at his home in Houston and Trish Hardy, his wife, verified the news.

The Commercial Appeal reported that Hardy collaborated with many artists during his 45-year career.

He worked with a variety of artists in different musical genres as both a producer and engineer at Memphis’ Ardent Studios. Some of his notable clients were The George Satellites, Ry Cooder, Alice Cooper, and the Replacements.

Hardy was best known for his collaboration with ZZ Top which ran for decades. Hardy worked with ZZ Top on all their projects starting with “Afterburner” in 1985 to lead singer Billy Gibbons solo album in 2018 “The Big Bad Blues.” Hardy helped develop the bands signature sound.

ZZ Top write a tribute on their Facebook page, saying Hardy “was a true innovator in a field where many just did it ‘by the book.’ He threw away ‘the book’ and wrote his own.”

In 1994 Hardy spoke with Billboard magazine about his philosophy regarding the music business. He said that one does not play music, and one does not consider the music business a job. People do not start their careers in music to make money. One gets into the music business because it is fun, and one should never forget that.

Written by Barbara Sobel


Commercial Appeal: Longtime ZZ Top collaborator, Ardent Studios engineer/producer Joe Hardy dead at 66
Messenger Inquirer: Owensboro native and longtime ZZ Top collaborator Joe Hardy dies at 66
Ultimate Classic Rock: ZZ Top Collaborator Dies

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