COMBINED REPORTS - The Thristy Ear, Columbus OH, October 9 2000

From: Jim Gladieux
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 00:35:13 -0000
Subject: [hix] Columbus Show Report

Dan Hicks Show Report
The Thirsty Ear
Columbus, Ohio

Well, I managed to get off work early and get to Columbus in just under 3 hours.  Not a bad drive considering how long many of you hixsters are willing to travel.  As my friend and I pulled into the parking lot we looked into the place and there was Dan et all doing their sound check.  We ran inside and managed to watch/listen to the sound check for 45 minutes.  It was like a mini-show (although Dan was hard at "work").  While sitting there we met Mike Z. from the e-group. Hi Mike.

Dan started around 9:30.  The waitress said he was supposed to start around 8:00.  Dan told her he'd be back around 9 ≠ 9:30. I would never expect Dan to start before 9.  Anyway, by the time he started, the place was full ≠ about 130-150 people.  It's not a very big place, but everyone was there to see the man.  Being the consummate professional and gentleman, he put on another great show.  I've seen more interactions with the crowd at other shows, but the audience was very intent on watching the show.  He played for almost 2 straight hours.  The band was great, Dan was great.  The music was a mixture of old songs, new songs, and tunes that aren't on CD's, but he's played in concert before.  Some titles may not be the actual title.

Here's the playlist:

1. Canned Music
2. Chatanooga Shoeshine Boy
3. Wild about my lovin
4. Caravan/4 Brothers
5. Cello
6. Payday Blues
7. By Hook or by Crook
8. Somebody tell me the truth
9. How can I miss you when you won't go away
10. I Scare Myself
11. Hell, I'd Go
12. Long Comma Viper
13. Capo on my Brain
14. Strike it While it's Hot
15. End of a Love Affair
16. I Don't Want Love
17. Milk Shaking Momma (encore)
18. The Buzzard Was Their Friend
19. Four Five Times (2nd encore)

Dan will be greatly missed while he heads south and then west towards home.  I can tell that all you folks back in the Bay area are looking forward to his return.  Thanks for letting us have him here in the midwest this past year.  And Steve, I hope you have good (or dumb or any kind of) luck and can get him booked in Japan while you're there.


Mike Zim's 4-27-00 Columbus show report

At: Jerry and Margo Flahertyís Thirsty Ear Tavern.
Seats 140, cabaret style, with an original 1930ís art deco bar. Has a high quality collection of R&R memorabilia, posters, and albums. Voted by "Columbus Alive" readers as Columbusí Best Blues venue, Best Beer Selection, and Best Open Stage. Jerry searched out Dan, so a tip of the hat. (and thanks Margo, for the swell Dan poster.)

Dan and Tom arrived at 6:30, sat by the stage, checking out the place, reading the local weeklies. I approached, stood expectantly nearby holding up my record albums and a pen, and Dan amiably asked, puzzled, "What, should I sign those or something?" I confirmed that was the plan, so he got to work, muttering resignedly "Yes sir, yes sir", and complimented their quality.

The pen I gave Dan was thick, black felt. He inspected the first autograph, and said "This might still be wet. Letís not pull the plastic covers over them just yet." Aaahhh, what a craftsman. He Does Care.

Some signature comments: "Dan Hicks wuz here", "Dan Hicks 2000", and "Yes sir! Dan Hicks". He thanked me for that daysí Dispatch Hicks writeup, and tucked it in his guitar case.

After refreshments and receiving fans, Tom and Dan did the sound check, to "You say you will, then you say you wonít". (In-depth enough reporting for you?)

When I came back from the car after stowing his albums, Dan was noodling with his playlist. I asked if it included "Spirit in the Sky", and he said, without missing a beat, "Yeah. Do you know harmony?" [Several years ago, on a San Fran Saturday nite radio show, (By the Bay?) the host asked him about his earliest recording, and Dan said he played washboard on that old classic. "The problem with the N. Greenbaum thing was the man made me play with 2 thimbles on each hand (for clarity, he said) and everybody knows Iím a 4 thimble man. Never again!)"]

The 9:00 opening act didnít show, so our hosts called Donna Mogavero, and she got started at 9:30. Sheís an active regional singer/songwriter with 2 CDís out, hosts the Thirsty Earís Wednesday nite Open Stage, and a Sunday morning radio show on WCD101, Acoustic Cafe. musiccentral/

Dan got started 10:30. Of course he was stylish, in alligator slip-ons, and harlequin swinger dress shirt. (Donít recollect EVER seeing him wear tie shoes.) In the footwear dept, Tom was in the swing of things with 2-tone B&Wís.

Playlist + patter:
PEACH PICKIN TIME IN GEORGIA - (Heís done this in previous Columbus shows.
HONEYSUCKLE ROSE - (Guitars were ripping! Tom showed Lang/Reinhardt influences.) (Curt Scheiber, the Dispatch reviewer, said it included an extended quote of a Charlie Parker tune.) Ad Jay, youíre right on the money about Danís stalwart sidemen.)
- A blind guy with a Dalmation guide dog was crowding the stage. Right out of R. Crumb.
- Shouting fan. Dan, steady gaze, pause, "OK ladies and gentlemen,weíre going to resume playing." Zing!
∑ Audience shouting requests, Dan "We are taking no requests at this time, but we do appreciate the input. We have entered that stage of our careers where we have to WANT to do the song."
BEATING THE HEAT [First time Iíve got to hear new Hicks straight from the source.]
STRIKE WHILE ITíS HOT - "Yes, this song is going be the turnaround for our career. Itís gonna get us back on the Johnny Carson show." (Lukewarm reaction from audience.) Pause "That was a heart-warming response." "It makes all the hours spent to write it worthwhile." "When the album comes out, youíll say, "Why, I never heard that before." "Retention can slip away." Much laughter.
- "And now itís novelty time. I donít know how funny this song is, but itís supposed to be funny. Capo, capo."
Audience shouter. Dan paused, "I think this song is right up your alley. We like the interplay, the verbal feedback from the audience. Some bands donít like it, we do." "Fuck you"
CAPO ON MY BRAIN - Dan jerking head comically, having a good time.
THE BUZZARD WAS THEIR FRIEND - Dan: "This was originally recorded on Blue Thumb, and is available at record stores everywhere. Especially Ebay." (He laughed)
- Audience shouting requests, I threw in Evergreen, (from recent joke on Hickslist) He picked up on it, and sang a few bars: "EVERGREEN, and the livin is easy. The fish are jumpin, etc," to the tune of "Summertime".
- He asked "Is anyone going to be reviewing this for the internet?" (I eased down a few inches.)
Then he sang "Thirsty Ear, and the liviní is easy, ...."
- Hicksters: Any idea what the Summertime/Evergreen connection is?
I SCARE MYSELF - Tom switched to mandolin. Dan: "As we climb to the top, we will not forget this evening."
PAYDAY BLUES - Crowd noisy "If you canít hear the mandolin, imagine you can."
- "After the show, Iím going to give away my guitar. Tom and I have been talking, and we figured we need a gimmick. So weíre going to Give a Guitar Away a Night. I donít know how it will work, but...."
- "Now, everybody thatís on the dole and donít give a shit, sing along." Big response. Some chucklehead DO DE DO, DO DE DO song, audience joining in, clapping rhythm. (dunno title)

Thanks to Caffreyís Irish Ale sales rep for the T-shirt and other goodies. [People, I can give an unbiased, unqualified rave review for that brew. And good on to that fifth columnist DJ I met in the parking lot, who subversively slips Hicks tunes into his country program.

CARAVAN/4 BROTHERS - LOUD scratch noise, problems with sound system. "Their baaaack ladies and gentlemen. Can you say "Technical Difficulty"?" Audience acting up. "Can you say "Blow Job"?"
HOW CAN I MISS YOU? - Tom executed some nice country picking technique. Dan interpolated lyrics of "Iíve seen fire, Iíve seen rain". "2 songs at once, Ladies and Gentlemen."
CANNED MUSIC [Side note: In the The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Englander David Nobbs uses the term "canned music". Book came out in Ď75, Striking It Rich came out in Ď72, so maybe Nobbs is a Hicks fan, or maybe thatís a common Britishism?]
EVENING BREEZE - "This is a song we used to do with the female singers the Lickettes." "This is not a nostalgia band, not a reunion band, not a tribute group, out to milk another $ out of the public." Dan sang guy and gal parts. "Tom, nice licks. You know, he never had a lesson in his life. Heís been playing like that since he was 4."
- Itís now about 1:00 a.m., and a couple are leaving. Danís seated close to the front door, and as they walk out, he watches them intently, points and says ominously "Iíll see YOU later."
- In a B. Murray-esque lounge-singer kind of voice, "And now, another original song. Ladies sitting at the bar, getting mildly plastered. "Leave me alone" kind of people."
BOTTOMS UP (Some good facial bits)
- Tom on a medley, swing deals, jump tunes, potpouri of flourishes.
SLOW BOAT TO CHINA Tom sang well.  Exiter, Dan: "Iíll see YOU later."
- Dan: Hereís a "Tom Waits song, depicting a surreal gig."
THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING [Menus are drinking, the piano tuner has a hearing aid, the ashtrays are on fire, the barstools have retired, the piano has been drinking, not me]
COWBOYíS DREAM NO. 19 - "This is a song about a drugstore neurotic, and then weíll play some heavy Rock and Roll after that. Lots of R&R in Cleveland. [His gig the next night.] The goddam R&R Hall of Fameís there."  [Ouch. I checked, and heís not in. Any Hixters in the music industry? Anyone know how to lobby for induction?]
- Audience shouter. Dan: "He may not be monetarily successful, but spiritually you canít touch the man." "Can you say "Blow Job"?" ... to self, ponderingly, "I could add that to the act."
NO. 19 Staccato/stutter singing, Dylan parody, lots of singalong.
I GOT MINE - They were smokin! The joint was jukiní!
NEWS FROM UP THE STREET - Dan stood to sing. [Otherwise, both Tom & Dan sat for the whole show, unlike his previous Columbus shows. This befits his seignorial status, and being a 2-man band, thereís less need to choreograph & direct. The more relaxed, intimate arrangement also encourages more audience interaction. It Works!] Tom did some sweet variations.
- "Timeís running out. The entertainment lease is expiring" Couple of exiters, the inevitable: "Iíll see YOU later."
- "One more song, then Iíll feint to the door, then come back, and do OíReilly.  Thatís a crowd pleaser, but the song I least like to do." Audience member:  "Fuck It". Dan: "Can you say "Blow Job."?" Aside to self, "Hmmm, or maybe Iíll become the "Blow Job" guy."
Show over at 1:20

In summary, Dan was in great form, singing, guitar-playing, joking. He was in absolute control of the rabble, truly a Master of Ceremonies. (And yeah, the revelry was intense, but not as bad as KC sounded. This clubís clientele is a little more with it.) His banter was smart & funny, and it felt damn good to briefly inhabit Hicksville. Why, one couldía just setup a fixed video camera for the duration, and walked away afterwards with an outstanding concert video. (THATíS something I definitely need.)  Wait! Why donít we petition him to let one be made? Folks, this is one show thatís too good not to chronicle for posterity. (Hell, Iíll fess. I want it for ME!)

I could stretch this out further, but you get the point. Hey Dan! Now can I join your posse?*

Itís Bad Grammar, Baby

Mike in Columbus, hoping not

*Thatís right, Iím no Ben Sidran.