It seems incredible that it's nearly eight years since the great Doug Sahm died. I am reminded of the last time I saw him perform - at the Blues Estafette in Utrecht a few weeks before his untimely death in 1999 - because at the weekend I picked up a copy of an LP that I really should have had in my collection years ago. It's Doug Sahm and Band, released in 1973, which includes contributions from Bob Dylan and Dr John, as well as more likely collaborators such as Augie Meyer and Flaco Jimenez. Doug's Tex Mex sound, as exemplified by the Sir Douglas Quintet and much later the Texas Tornadoes (which also included the late Freddy Fender) had so many influences it's hard to know where to start - blues, country, rock, Cajun, Mexican and a few more besides. One of the greatest gigs I can remember was the Texas Tornadoes at the Town and Country Club in the early 90s, and another (but with Roy Head replacing Freddy) was at Tipitina's in New Orleans a few years later.
Another hero whose life appears to be in the balance is Bo Diddley, who suffered a heart attack a few days ago. Coming so soon after his stroke the signs don't look good. But what a giant of rock and roll and blues he was and, hopefully, still is. I first saw him at the ABC Croydon in 1963 I think it was (with the Everly Brothers if my memory serves me right) and later with Chuck Berry and I've seen him many times since, including a stunning show at the House of Blues in New Orleans in 2000 and most recently at the Jazz Cafe a couple of years back. Get well soon Bo.
Another hero, who may well shortly be a fallen one, is Phil Spector, whose marathan murder trial is nearing its end. There have been so many twists and turns in this amazing case that it's hard to know how it will end, but for a good review look here: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/law/09/03/spector.trial.ap/
Meanwhile I'm about to become something of a jet setter. I'm off to Belgrade on Thursday (to train some of our executives in how to deal with the media) and as soon as I get back to Heathrow on Saturday I'm off to Jo'burg (for media interviews with our CEO). No time for music I fear.