The third installment of the Back to the Future franchise saw the cast travel more than 100 years in the past to the Old West, where, in one scene, they encounter the members of ZZ Top as part of a band playing at a dance. As bassist Dusty Hill remembers in an exclusive interview, it took a bit of persuading on his part for them to get into the film.

"We got asked, somehow, to write a song to be in the movie, called 'Doubleback,'" he tells us. "Well, we stopped by the set one night. I can’t remember where it was, somewhere out in California. They built a whole damn Western town. It was really cool. Anyway, they were doing all-night shooting, so we stopped by at midnight or 1AM and they were shooting this scene. They broke for lunch and I remember that I made sure I was sitting over there by Robert Zemeckis, the director. I kept saying, 'You know, it looks like we belong in this movie! I mean, you don’t hardly even need to use makeup on us!'"

Zemeckis was up for it, but they had to make a slight adjustment, as well as come up with a bit of silver screen magic that winked at the audience. "They already had a band, so they just added the three of us. To get it where Frank’s drum would spin like the guitars did in 'Legs' was funny. It turned out to be great. I’ve got a Back to the Future pinball machine that’s got the song in it. Anyway, it was fun. I love movies and I’m interested in watching how they’re made and everything."

Hill also recalls another incident from that night, where a bit of goofing off during downtime almost led to a problem: "I did cause a little bit of trouble on the set. It was a scene where nobody was supposed to have a gun. Everybody’s supposed to give up their guns to go to this dance. I wanted the gun and I said, 'Look, I’ll take it off before we film.' There’s just a lot of sitting around time, so I got one and I was twirling it and doing this and that. Well, then Frank had to have one. Before I knew it, about 10 or 12 people had to have guns and the producers and directors are going, wait a minute, somebody’s going to forget and have a gun on and the continuity is going to get screwed up here! [Laughs] You’ve got to cause a little trouble."

 

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