Waitin’ For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago

By the 1980’s Z Z Top’s new songs were almost novelty numbers. They still put down some pretty nice grooves and some hot licks, but most of their tunes were cutesy little ditties designed to work well with the goofy vidoes they were grinding out for MTV. If anybody looked down their nose at that, the band cried all the way to the bank, I guess. Back in the seventies, though, Z Z Top was playing playing some strange, serious electric blues. They wore cowboy hats and rhinestone getups and marketed their stuff as southern rock, but it was electric blues. And it was good. For my money, their best album from that time was Tres Hombres, and the best thing on the album was an original medley called “Waitin’ For the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago”, both songs funky and bluesy.

My brother, Doug, and I played that medley many a night ourselves back in the seventies, in many a roadhouse in Kentucky, Missouri, and southern Illinois. We must’ve played it four or five hundred times. Usually in the night’s last set.  Usually the bar was smoky, the dance floor was packed, and everyone was seriously loaded. Playing that medley now always takes me back, even if I’m playing in a comfy little club on Chicago’s Northside. The songs are both good for dancing, but they’re worth just listening to sometimes. The words bear scrutiny, too. I’m posting a video here of us playing it recently at Chicago’s Heartland Cafe. Rudy Negrete is the other guitarist, Dorothy’s on bass, and Alpha Stewart is drumming. We’d never actually all played the song together before. Rudy and I had played around with it, and so had Dorothy and I, but the three of us had never done it together. Alpha had never played it. I just started doing the lick after we finished a song, and everybody fell in with it. It came off pretty good, though, I thought.

Here are the words:

“WAITING FOR THE BUS”

 

HAVE MERCY, BEEN WAITIN’ FOR THE BUS ALL DAY

 HAVE MERCY, BEEN WAITIN’ FOR THE BUS ALL DAY

I GOT MY BROWN PAPER BAG AND MY TAKE HOME PAY

HAVE MERCY, THAT BUS BE PACKED UP TIGHT

HAVE MERCY THAT BUS BE PACKED UP TIGHT

WELL, I’M GLAD JUST TO GET ON AND HOME TONIGHT

RIGHT ON. THAT BUS DONE GOT ME BACK

RIGHT ON, THAT BUS DONE GOT ME BACK

I’LL BE RIDIN’ ON THE BUS ‘TIL I CADILLAC

“JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO”

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO,

 AND HE’S BOUND FOR NEW ORLEANS

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO,

AND HE’S BOUND FOR NEW ORLEANS

WORKIN’ FROM ONE TO THE OTHER

 AND ALL POINTS IN BETWEEN

HE TOOK A JUMP THROUGH MISSISSIPPI,

WHERE MUDDY WATER TURNED TO WINE

TOOK A JUMP THROUGH MISSISSIPPI,

WHERE MUDDY WATER TURNED TO WINE

AND THEN ON OUT TO CALIFORNIA

TO THE FOREST AND THE PINES

YOU MIGHT NOT SEE HIM IN PERSON,

BUT HE’LL SEE YOU JUST THE SAME

I SAID YOU, MIGHT NOT SEE HIM IN PERSON,

BUT HE’LL SEE YOU JUST THE SAME

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY

‘CAUSE TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS IS HIS NAME

 

“Waitin for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago” written by Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hills.

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About kentmcdanielwrites

Writer and musician.

2 Responses to “Waitin’ For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago”

  1. You guys sound pretty tight for a first go-around. Gotta love that chemistry. Not familiar with the song, or really much ZZ Top period, but I seriously enjoyed this.

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