ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons was reunited with a long-lost rhinestone suit on a recent episode of the History Channel reality show “Pawn Stars.”
The rhinestone suit was brought into the Las Vegas’ Gold & Silver Pawn Shop by a woman, who said, “My dad told me it was ZZ Top’s.”
“The rhinestones are in pristine condition,” she said, noting that her asking price is $25,000. “There’s not a single stone missing, not a single stain. So I think that this suit is the real deal.”
“Pawn Stars” host and shop owner Rick Harrison examined the red jacket and pants and immediately recognizes it as the work of Nudie Cohn.
He then called in an expert to authenticate the suit, which turns out to be Gibbons himself. Gibbons authenticates the suit and also provides its backstory.
“The Nudie suit has kind of come into its own over the years,” the songwriter says. ” We became clients with Nudie in 1972. Those suits appear on the cover of ZZ Top’s Fandango! record. So we’ve had a long history with the shining rhinestone suits. It’s pretty fun.”
He also explained how he lost the suit in 1974. “I inadvertently misplaced it, left it on an airplane,” he admitted. “By the time I realized it was MIA, I called the airline, and the cleaning crew had gone in, so I completely thought this had vaporized.”
Gibbons also elevates the asking price, noting, “It might be your very lucky day. [With] a garment of this rarity and at this quality, it’s not surprising to see a real, genuine Nudie go [for] as much as $50,000.”
He and Harrison agreed to pay $20,000 apiece, with the goal of donating the suit to “Antone’s blues museum” in Austin.
(Photo: Tilly Antoine)
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