When Dan Hicks performs in San Luis Obispo tomorrow, it will be a homecoming of sorts.
When he was in the sixth grade, his family lived in Cambria — a few months, anyway.
“My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around quite a bit,” said Hicks, who will perform at Cal Poly with his band the Hot Licks. “I was in three different grade schools in that one year. But it had a lasting impression. We had no television. So it was a real rural, woodsy thing.”
That was a few years before he wound up in Haight-Ashbury, where his band the Charlatans was a pioneering group in the psychedelic rock movement. And it was a few more years before he formed Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, a jazz-flavored, swing-influenced folk outfit.
In the early 1970s, the Hot Licks had success with “I Scare Myself” and “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?” After breaking up the Hot Licks in the ’70s, he went 16 years without a record deal until Surfdog Records signed him in the 1990s.
After releasing “Tangled Tales” a year ago, Hicks—with a newly configured Hot Licks — is planning to release “Crazy for Christmas” next month.
Bruce Willis sang a little bit of a song of mine back in the “Moonlighting” days. He was walking in a hall or something, and he’s singing something a cappella to himself as he strolls around, and it happened to be one of my tunes. ( “The Buzzard Was Her Friend.”)
I like him showing up, though. It’s cool. He showed up last time with (music producer) Lou Adler. He’s been a good supporter. You can’t help but dig it when somebody like that likes what you do.