I must confess that I never paid much attention to Hicks during the Hot Licks days, although I grew to appreciate him and them years later.
But what really blew my mind was discovering his original band The Charlatans via a 2004 best-of anthology on the British Big Beat label.
That's Hicks, second from the right, on the album cover for those of you playing at home.
And here's a representative song from the album.
Those guys pretty much kick-started the entire San Francisco scene of the late 60s -- Jerry Garcia famously said that the Charlatans' Mike Wilhelm was his favorite guitarist -- and, as you can see, although they didn't have the commercial success of the Dead/Airplane/Quicksilve/Grape etc., they were by far the snazziest dressers of the bunch.
Meanwhile, you can -- and definitely should -- order that Charlatans compilation over at Amazon HERE.
Have I mentioned that this death shit is really starting to piss me off?