Date: May 15 2010
Subject: Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Well I finally saw Dan Hicks for the first time last night at the Triple Door in Seattle. Been trying to see him since around 1972.
Lots of guys in Hawaiaan shirts. Lots of older guys and girls. I looked around wondering if I'd see anyone from out of the past and I probably did but couldn't recognize them. The one friend I saw was the last person I thought I'd see there. Armondino Batali, father of super chef Mario Batali was there with his whole family. Wife, kids, grandkids.
I'm having lunch with Armo next month so I'll find out more about why he was there. Not sure if he is a fan or his kids or wife or what.
Lots of older hipsters there. One old black guy in a white suit and fedora who looked like Duke Ellington. I've seen Dan on video here and there so the show was pretty predictable. I used to hear about his caustic banter with the audience but here he was just plain funny. I wanted to shout out two songs I wanted to hear: Cherokee and Cloud My Sunny Mood just to see his reaction. I bet he doesn't get much call for those.
For me the highlight was probably I'm an Old Cowhand. He did one bit on a song where he faked playing lead guitar while the lead was actually being played by the guitarist (David Bell?) with his back turned. Dan played the lead with his tongue, his fingers, his belly button, behind his back etc. I took my child bride and she had never seen anything like this band. This show was dinner too. The tickets were only $20 each which seems cheap but the evening cost about $150 for two. I heard one guy say "This is pretty upscale for Dan Hicks" Don't know. I suspect with his schedule he must play in all kinds of venues. I looked at a video on You Tube from 1972 and I must say they were really hot back then. It becomes more obvious how ahead of his time he was back then when you see the old videos. I suspect most of the young audience in 1972 was clueless as to what he was doing. Girton, Page, Leopold, Dan, Naomi and Mary Ann: all way ahead of the program.
I first heard about Hicks around 1972. I'd heard the name of the group but a friend was touting him around then. He loved Dan's interplay withe crowd. He said once a guy yelled "Hey when are you going to put out a new album?" Dan growled back "How many albums you got out Buddy!?"