top of page

Flashback Video: 'Legs' by ZZ Top

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.

This issue we will cover "Legs" by ZZ Top. This would be the third in a trilogy of music videos from the band's 1983 album Eliminator. "Legs" was released in May of 1984 (more than a year after the album originally came out) and it would eventually peak at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late July no doubt thanks to its popular music video which was in regular rotation on MTV.

The "Legs" music video was directed by Tim Newman, who had directed the other two music videos in the Eliminator trilogy, "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Sharp Dressed Man", as well. Newman had also directed the "I Love L.A." music video for his cousin Randy Newman and would later direct "The Power of Love" for Huey Lewis & the News.

The "Legs" music video featured the three "Eliminator Girls" and Billy Gibbons' 1933 Ford Hot Rod, which he called The Eliminator. Unlike the first two videos, in "Legs" the main character is a girl. The beautiful Eliminator Girls rescue a girl who desperately needs some confidence and help her get revenge against her bullies. They give her a makeover and teach her how to handle guys to get what she wants. The young lady was played by actress Wendy Frazier. The three Eliminator Girls were played by Jeana Tomasino, Danièle Arnaud and Kymberly Herrin. Tomasino and Arnaud also starred in the first two ZZ Top videos, but Herrin replaced a third girl that did not return for "Legs". Both Tomasino and Herrin were former Playboy playmates: Tomasino (later Jeana Keogh) was Miss November 1980 and Herrin was Miss March 1981. The band also of course appear in the music video kind of shimmering in and out of visibility almost like ghosts. Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill had their beards in full effect, but also drew attention with their spinning sheepskin-covered guitars maneuver. Dean Guitars created the pair of matching guitars shown in the music video, based on the Dean Z model, but painted white and covered in fluffy white sheepskin. Gibbons had picked up the sheepskin while touring in Scotland, and sent it to Dean for the custom project. Dean also painted the band's ZZ logo extending the length of each fretboard. That shot of those bearded guys with their fuzzy guitars rotating after they took their hands off the instruments went on to become an iconic early-MTV image. They had many key elements of the formula for a successful '80s music video: rockin' music, a cool car, and some beautiful women. Check out the music video for "Legs" by ZZ Top...

It's pretty cool when a music video tells a little story like this one does. "Legs" won the 1984 MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video at the inaugural event. The video for "Sharp Dressed Man" was also nominated as was "Jump" by Van Halen, "Every Breath You Take" by The Police and "The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis & the News.

Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!



bottom of page