I've loved the songs of Dan Hicks since I stumbled on "Where's The Money?" back in 1972.
That was one of Dan's early albums with The Hot Licks and like, "Striking It Rich" and "The Last Train To Hicksville" - filled with swinging music, sharp wit, dark humour and unique melodies like, "I Scare Myself".
He even offered an epitaph, way back when, with the song, "It's Not My Time To Go".
It never will be time.
Dan Hicks was a unique artist and a true hipster before that was a dirty word. A close friend of his wrote to me today, he didn't suffer fools "but was long on talent".
The last time I saw Dan, we met in the street on a Mill Valley afternoon.
He immediately started giving me a hard time, telling my friends, "He says I'm his favourite songwriter but he won't have me on his T.V. show".
Given his imposing stature, his mock indignation was pretty intimidating until he let me off the hook of the put-on.
Sadly, we'd run out of money and luck before I could make the invitation for him to appear on a proposed third season of "Spectacle".
We only ever got to sing together once, on "Meet Me On The Corner" for Dan's, "Beatin' The Heat" record of the year 2000, an album that also featured, Brian Setzer and Tom Waits.
I only include the link here on the understanding that you do yourself the favour of seeking out and purchasing one of Dan's many great records.
If you don't already have one, you'll be glad you did, as you don't need any more of what Mr. Hicks called that "Canned Music".
My condolences go to Clare and to all of Dan's family and his many colleagues with thanks and respect for all of his wonderful music.