On October 22, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks Made a Special Appearance at Piper’s Opera House to help save the Virginia City National Historic Landmark from surface mining.
Lonesome Tom Ward opened the show, acquainting the SRO audience with the realization that they were beginning a splendid evening.
When Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks took the stage, the enormous old structure was already filled with fun and ready for more.
Dan’s show featured new songs from his “Tangled Tales” album, and old favorites served up with the unique fashion, attitude, and swagger that are embodied in his eccentricity and totally unique sound. Each of the band members contributed exceptional solos. They played a 90-minute set with two encores, and since no-one wanted to go home, half the crowd headed for the Afterparty at the Red Dog
Dan Hicks’ history on the Comstock goes back more than forty-five years, to the summer of 1965. A time that pre dates the music and cultural revolution, which occurred in San Francisco the following year.
The Red Dog Saloon was being born in Virginia City by a group of Bay Area bohemians, artists, musicians, poets, plumbers, house painters, Indians and the like. A house band was needed so the well-dressed and amazing “Charlatans” were brought over the hill to fill that need. The Red Dog Saloon is now recognized as the birthplace of the San Francisco dance hall and music scene of the 1960s.
Dan took a special interest when he heard of the threat that looms over the Comstock Historic District from open pit mining. In June, via Jeff Cotton, Dan suggested a concert at Piper’s Opera House to help benefit and create awareness of the Comstock’s plight. This “Landmark Performance” is his contribution to the cause.
An Afterparty was held at the Red Dog Saloon following the concert, and Dan joined with Darius Javaher and other Comstock area musicians on the “same stage” where he’d helped start something big as a kid with the Charlatans. The music went deep into the night, and along with the pleasant memories and sweet dreams we brought a couple of hundred visitors to Virginia City and realized some serious money for preventing pit mines on the Comstock. We’re very grateful to Dan Hicks and his talented Hot Licks for making this night unique.
With all of us working harmoniously together, we will prevent the intrusion of heavy industrial pit mining in the Carson River Superfund site, the Virginia City National Historic Landmark and in our peaceful communities. And we will keep it fun.