The Texas Invasion
Doug, a child prodige recorded his first album at age eleven. He would go on to play the Louisiana Hay Ride as Little Doug Sahm. By the time the sixties rolled around the British Invasion was well underway. Playing off this, manager Huey Meaux wanted to cash in on the new craze. He called on Dough Sahm, who got together with keyboard player and childhood friend Augie Meyers. Together with members from Doug's band, The Markays and Augie's band, The Goldens, they formed a rock group that Huey hoped could compete with the British acts. Huey gave them an English sounding name, the Sir Douglas Quintet. In 1965 "She's About A Mover" topped the charts international Pop charts. It was followed by "Mendicino", which saw Doug heading in a more "hippy" direction. He moved to San Francisco in 1966 and became a part of the vibrant west coast music scene. He continued making albums that were anxiously awaited by his cult following, but it wasn't until 1990 that he would gain internatinal success that would rival that of the "She's About A Mover" days.
Man, it's like a beautiful four ring circus!
I never had more fun than when I was playing onstage with Doug Sahm. He was pure rock and roll energy. The first time I met him was at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. I was playing a guitar sound on my synth. It was a real Jimi Hendrix sort of sound and he came over and said, "how'd you do that? Hey, let's put that in the show. Can you do a real trippy intro? We need something special like a tornado sound for when we come onstage." That was the first time I met Doug. He was always thinking. I loved the guy right out of the box. He made you want to play.
I love that crazy Mescan
In 1990 Doug, along with Freddy Fender (whom Doug had championed even before "Teardrops" and "Wasted Days"), Augie Meyers, and Flaco Jimenez would form what was to become a supergroup. The Texas Tornados were born. From 1990 to 1998 The Texas Tornados packed stadiums and concert halls. In Texas they were akin to a Tex-Mex version of the Rolling Stones. Each show was a major event, and each of the four principle band members brought with them their own fans while creating new ones. Doug and Freddy often fought like brothers on the road, but there was a real love there. When Freddy's name would come up, Doug was fond of saying, "I love that crazy Mescan". He meant it too. When they got on stage, their vocal blend was a magical combination of grit and beauty. Freddy's tenor singing a third harmony above Doug's raspy, soulful lead vocal. "Who Were You Thinkin' Of", their first big hit exemplifies the Tornados' sound.
I don't trust that dude, he should be selling cars somewhere.
Doug had a way of cutting through all the B.S. There was one guy in the band, who shall remain nameless, and the first time we did a show Doug came right back to me and said "Hey, I don't trust that dude. He should be selling cars somewhere."
A real rock star.
Doug was a real rock star, emphasis on REAL. He was serious about his music. He seemed to me the prominent driving force behind the idea of the Texas Tornados. While all four of them contributed equally to the music, it was Doug who seemed to harness that energy into a viable concept. It was Doug who "got the joke" and focused the diversity into an American Melting Pot of sound.
Take down the tent.
I remember the day Doug passed away. We had seen him just a few days earlier in California. He looked great. We had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong. We were all shocked, to say the least. Afterwards, the remaining Tornados did a couple of gigs. They even talked about getting someone new to fill the void that Doug had left, but it wasn't the same. Without Doug, it just wasn't the Texas Tornados. He will be sorely missed. In my humble opinion, they may as well just take the tent down. The circus left town.
We'll miss you Doug.
Still more stuff...
- Being taken seriously.
- How my father became a star.
- So, you wanna' be a country star?
- Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
- You'll eat what you're served...
- The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
- It's great exposure.
Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.
- Charlie Rich
- Freddy Fender
- Smokey Robinson
- Jo-El Sonnier
- Randy Meisner
- Billy Swan
- Flaco Jimenez
- Augie Meyers
- Doug Sahm
- Jerry Lee Lewis
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