In 1968, Hicks formed Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks with violinist David LaFlamme. LaFlamme was quickly replaced by jazz violinist "Symphony" Sid Page. Vocalists Sherry Snow and Christine Gancher, guitarist Jon Weber, and bassist Jaime Leopold filled out the band, unusual in having no drummer. This line-up was signed to Epic and in 1969 issued the album Original Recordings, produced by Bob Johnston. The first Hot Licks line-up lasted until 1971 and then disintegrated.
When Hicks reformed the band, Page and Leopold remained, and vocalists Naomi Ruth Eisenberg and Maryann Price joined, followed later by guitarist John Girton. This group recorded three albums, culminating in 1973's Last Train to Hicksville (on which the group first added a drummer). After existing as a critical success only, this last album gained the group wider acclaim, as evidenced by Hicks' appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone. Thus, it was a great surprise to many when he chose that moment to disband the Hot Licks. Asked why in 1974, he said:
"I didn't want to be a bandleader anymore. It was a load and a load I didn't want. I'm basically a loner... I like singing and stuff, but I didn't necessarily want to be a bandleader. The thing had turned into a collective sort of thing – democracy, vote on this, do that. I conceived the thing. They wouldn't be there if it wasn't for me. My role as leader started diminishing, but it was my fault because I let it happen; I cared less as the thing went on."
As time passed, this particular Hot Licks band became Hicks' "classic" band, in part due to Page's passionate fiddling, combining swing and classical training, as well as Price's sultry jazz vocals in the style of Anita O'Day, reflecting her pre-Hicks performing experience.
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
The Boarding House
San Francisco, California
02. Evening Breeze
03. How Can I Miss You (When You Won't Go Away)?
04. Caught In The Rain
05. By Hook Or By Crook
06. Presently In The Past
07. I Feel Like Singing
08. Station promo (KMPX-FM)
09. The Rounder
10. Shorty Falls In Love/Fujiyama
11. Reelin' Down
12. Where's The Money?
13. The Buzzard Was Their Friend
14. Peach Pickin' Time
15. He Don't Care (Stoned)
16. Woe The Luck
17. The Rounder
18. Shorty Falls In Love/Fujiyami
19. How Can I Miss You (When You Won't Go Away)?
20. KSAN station promo's from Dan Hicks