Wednesday, November 12, 2014
MIX -- Originally from Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, Hicks was a drummer in his high school years but took up the guitar in college at San Francisco State during the folk music boom. Still, he was drafted to be the drummer in what turned out to be the first psychedelic band of Haight-Ashbury’s counterculture era, The Charlatans, who were as famous for their eccentric Edwardian/Old West look as the rather conventional blues- and folk-rock they played. Never as original or musically proficient as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service or any number of other local bands, The Charlatans had a star-crossed few years before dissolving at the end of the ’60s. Far from being just the drummer in The Charlatans, Hicks also sang, played guitar and was the group’s best songwriter, turning out a number of tunes he would later transform and bring to the Hot Licks, including “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away,” “By Hook or By Crook” and “’Long Come a Viper.