Dan Hicks

I Scare Myself

'Dan is a national treasure and one of America's great songwriters.' - Elvis Costello. Dan Hicks didn't have his heart set on a career in music. It all just sort of happened to him. It didn't hurt, of course, that he was in the right place at the right time - San Francisco, 1966 - and had a front-row seat for the birth and death of the counterculture. Among other things, this is a classic story of the 60s. More importantly, it's a story of musical genius. By the time the Summer of Love limped to a close in the fall of '67, Hicks had quit the Charlatans - the pioneering psych-rock band with whom he played the drums - and turned to jazz, the music he'd secretly loved all along, as he began building his own band, the Hot Licks. 'I just started taking ingredients I liked and putting them together to see what came out,' Hicks writes. What came out was an amazing blend of complex time signatures, unusual instrumentation, and intricate vocal harmonies that took him to the top of the 70s rock world but also into a downward spiral of drink and drug abuse. Emerging from a long wilderness, which he writes about here with wit and candor, the man described by Tom Waits as 'fly, sly, wily, and dry' eventually returned to recording and performing, making a number of acclaimed albums, including Beatin' The Heat, a set of duets with Waits, Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, and more. Along the way, his music continued to subtly permeate the culture, turning up everywhere from The Sopranos to commercials for Levi's and Bic. Hicks passed away in early 2016, but his music, and the stories he tells here, remain as fresh and irresistible as ever. I Scare Myself takes readers on a journey behind the music, and into the life and mind of the fantastic artist who created it.