Pass it Around

"If I made records for my own pleasure, I would only record Charley Patton songs." - Bob Dylan

Texas Tornado Doug Sahm

No one had written a book on Doug Sahm that I know of, despite all the good copy he has provided Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly over the years, not to mention, I presume, thousands of issues of Austin, Texas freebies and rags. From the Sir Douglas Quintet to the Texas Tornados is a ride as long as a trip through Texas and the story is well told here by Jan Reid.

Doug Sahm was one of those rare musicians who never had a day job, a fact which is pointed out in the book. He was also in the business 50 years...there is a photograph of a very young Doug sitting on the knees of Hank Williams, he was a performer even then ("Little" Doug Sahm) In a particularly striking passage, the author writes Sahm had inhaled the whiskey breath of Hank. No wonder Bob Dylan was his friend for so long, and the bio is littered with a few wonderful little anecdotes and quotes from Dylan.

Additionally, the Impressive, powerful man known as Augie Meyers played with Dylan, and he is on nearly every page, having played in so many groups with Doug one could lose track. A giant of a man with a pony tail down to his ass, Augie pretty much invented the Vox and Farfisa sound in pop music, and used it to great Tex-Mex advantage in all the incarnations Sahm assumed in his long, long, long career. He has also contributed keyboards to some of Dylan's late work.

The author previously wrote "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" which I also enjoyed. A good read about a wonderful character with one of the great rock and roll voices, and highly recommended. Appropriately published by the University of Texas Press.