September 29th, 2016 - It's been way too long since this website has been updated...The only excuse I can offer is that life and death sometimes get in the way of rock'n'roll. It's been a tumultuous couple of years for myself and the Hickoids. Things seemed to be going so well at the beginning of 2014. Our then new album 'Hairy Chafin' Ape Suit' album was being well-received. The band was solid and playing great. In March of that year we were celebrating the 30th anniversary of our first advertised show, were inducted to The Austin Music Hall of Fame and preparing to tour Europe for the second year in a row....then disaster struck. My best friend and longtime co-conspirator in the Hickoids Davy Jones was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Davy was forced to forego the trip, missing shows for the first time after a string of 600-plus appearances with the Hickoids over the previous 29 years.
Initially the prognosis seemed pretty good. We were hopeful and had been told that Davy might have as much as another eight years to live, which seemed pretty good, previous lifestyle considered. We held and played benefits for his living and medical expenses. We went in the studio that autumn and recorded some cover songs that we had originally intended to record while on break in Europe for an album to be called 'The Out Of Towners'. Davy was in an unbelievable amount of pain. Still we held out hope.
In January 2015 and after some urging, Davy went and got a second opinion. The news was not good. Now his timeline was two years. Still he fought. I never heard him express any self-pity of the "why me?" nature. And indeed, after his pain medications were sorted out he seemed to improve some. He was more lucid and seemed to be having better days. However, he continued to lose weight. In April we staged a benefit and tribute for him and in his honor called "Plaidstock". We wanted him to know how much we all loved him and appreciated the gift of his friendship, his art and his music while he was still in good enough shape to attend. I truly hope he felt the love that night as hundreds of his friends from all over the country gathered to be near him, That night several tornados ripped through Austin, it seems that one might have even sucked up the tent where we were selling donated items and t-shirts for Davy's benefit.
Davy passed away the day before Thanksgiving. I last saw him a week before he died. His mother was visiting. He was smoking pot and cussing up a storm. We watched 'It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' on TV. We were laughing, talking trivia about the film's actors. It seemed like so many times we'd had before and he didn't complain any, except about the fuss his mom was making over him.
God bless you my friend. If I ever find myself in the situation you were in I hope I have the kind of guts that you showed me. There will never be another like you.
We are releasing those final recordings via Saustex Records on October 21st, 2016. The album is called 'The Out Of Towners' and features our take on songs by Willie Nelson, The Dicks, Rich Minus, Roky Erickson, Terry Allen and Doug Sahm. It's not perfect, but, neither was anything else we did before...
Jeff Smith - Hickoids