San Francisco Musician Dan Hicks Dies

Dan HIcks

Music artist Dan Hicks died February 6 at his Mill Valley, California home as a result of liver cancer at the age of 74.

Hicks began performing in the San Francisco area with his band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks in the sixties.

When the world was turning to peace, love, and rock and roll with fellow San Francisco bands Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead; Hicks was turning more toward a quieter folk sound. His band consisted of two guitars, a violin (fiddle), a string bass, and female backup singers providing the harmony. Influenced by Jazz, Swing, and folk music; Hicks called his work folk swing.

Before forming his own band, Hicks performed with The Charlatans. Hicks broke up The Hot Licks in 1973, saying that it was getting old. Later he formed the Acoustic Warriors and some 20 years after breaking up the band, Hicks revived the Hot Licks with new personnel.

Hicks recorded songs like “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”, “Milk-Shakin’ Mama”, “Hell, I’d Go”, and “I Scare Myself”.

Hicks and the Hot Licks never became the household name like The Rolling Stones or the Grateful Dead, but they did have enough success to headline at Carnegie Hall and Hicks did manage to get his face on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine.

Throughout his career Hicks has worked with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, and Jimmy Buffett.


He was born Daniel Ivan Hicks on December 9, 1941 in Little Rock Arkansas, the son of a military man. The Hicks family moved to Santa Rosa, California when Daniel was still a child.

Hicks played rhythm guitar with his band; but he got his musical start on the drums in sixth grade; the guitar came later when he was in his teens. Hicks earned a degree in broadcasting from the then San Francisco State College.

His is survived by his wife Clare and stepdaughter Sara.

Dan Hicks Discography:
“It Happened One Bite”
“Beatin’ the Heat”
“Alive & Lickin’”
“Selected Shorts”
“Tangled Tales”
“Crazy for Christmas”
“Original Recordings”
“Where’s the Money”
“Striking it Rich”
“Last Train to Hicksville”
Shootin’ Straight”
“The Amazing Charlatans:
“Return to Hicksville”
‘Early Muses”
“The Most of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks”
“Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks With an All-Star Cast of Friends”

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