I Scare Myself, the memoir of the late singer-songwriter Dan Hicks, will be published by Jawbone Press on April 17. The book, which was in the works before Hicks became ill with cancer—he died in 2016, at age 74—includes a foreword by Elvis Costello, who writes, “There are lots of people who can point to music on the shelf. Some like to light candles to it, others seek only to snuff them out. Dan burned them all brightly, and here is his tale.”
According to a press release for the book, “Among other things, I Scare Myself is a classic story of the ’60s. More importantly, though, it’s a story of musical genius. By the time the Summer of Love limped to a close in the fall of ’67, Dan 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.”
[On his Facebook page, Hicks’ wife, Clare, wrote: “This was a very special undertaking for him — he spent a couple of hours on the phone every Friday afternoon with the amazing writer Kristine McKenna sharing his life, stories and thoughts — a rare move for a very shy guy. The memoir is in Dan’s original words — he wasn’t able to completely finish it before he got sick, but Kristine brings us fully to the present.”]
In the book, Hicks, who led the band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, chronicles his “downward spiral of drink and drug abuse.” The press release continues: “Emerging from a long wilderness, which he details here with wit and candor, Dan eventually returned to recording and performing, making a number of acclaimed albums, including Beatin’ The Heat, a set of duets with Tom Waits, Elvis 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.”
Related: Remembering Dan Hicks
The book is 240 pages and includes approximately 100 photographs. It also includes a discography by the writer Kristine McKenna and an afterword by the late producer Tommy LiPuma, who worked with Hicks in the early Hot Licks days. Pre-order is available here.
Watch Dan Hicks sing “I Scare Myself”