Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sir Douglas Quintet: Michoacan

Since Greg G sent Doug south of the border in an earlier post today, I thought this was an appropriate time to take another excursion down there, this time in the form of a single-only song from the Kris Kristofferson film Cisco Pike, "Michoacan".

I guess that working with the Crazy Cajun Huey P. Meaux wasn't quite enough crazy for Sahm, because "Michoacan" was co-written by the king of crazy, Kim Fowley.

Sir Doug actually appeared in Cisco Pike, which features a PRIMO cast of 70s performers, from Karen Black to Harry Dean Stanton to Antonio Fargas, and is almost sure to be playing at a Fool's Paradise double feature near you in the near future.  As a teaser, here's Doug's scene (about three minutes in), talking about how much he hates complicated California psychedelic music and prefers to keep it simple.  He also, unsurprisingly, needs some weed.

The song itself is such a crazy, happy goofed up bounce, and the scene in the studio is so positively loco, that for a while the word "Michoacan", divorced from any geographical context or even an upper case letter, became a code adjective among me and my friends for a messed up but kind of awesome situation, as in: "That party last night was pretty michoacan." This has of course taken on darker meanings since Michoacan became one of the central spots of south-of-the-border drug cartel violence. Surprised this number has not made it into "Breaking Bad". 

Speaking of pretty michoacan, check out this photo of Doug Sahm, Steven T. (aka Venus of Venus and the Razor Blades), Question Mark, and Kim Fowley.  If that's not the essence of michoacan, I dunno what is.

Next stop Nuevo Laredo?


Anonymous said...

Busted link?

Mr. Soul Motion said...

Fixed! Thanks.

Tom Stein said...

Michoacan is one of the top ten Doug Sahm tunes, and damn, I wish I had the 45 picture sleeve!

Anonymous said...

awesome film clip, totally new to euro-non-informeds...doug and kris...unbelievable !! p.s. didn"t D do a song on Amsterdammm ?? He loved what it s famous about ( or used to be...)

Mr. Soul Motion said...

Yeah, the Amsterdam song is on Rough Cuts. We'll see if we can't get it on here in the next couple of days.

Greg G said...

I wholeheartedly embrace and recommend this post. I just listened to this song about 3 times last weekend! How great are these words:

A rusty car rolled across the border I was inside
I had 2 dogs, my red guitar & my teenage bride

I want to live in that song!

OK, that's enough rambling...almost. Try this listen to this tune and every time Doug sings the word "Michoacan", subsitute "Ichiban." Guaranteed good times.

Fiveash said...

Well said, Whitney. I played that clip from Cisco Pike on my show a couple of weeks ago.
The flip of the "Michoacan" single that I have features a vocal by Kim Fowley backed by the Sir Douglas Quintet called "Gulf of Mexico", under the name Rocky and the Border Kings. The last line of the song: "On the flipside of this single is a song we hope will be a hit."

Timmy said...

We wanna hear Kim's tune!

Mr. Soul Motion said...

I didn't know about the Rocky and the Border Kings 45, Matt. Is the version of Michoacan on that the same one that's on the Sir Douglas Quintet 45? My copy has West End Blues as the flip.

Fiveash said...

It sounds different to my ears from the one on the SDQ singles comp that Sundazed put out, although not radically so... maybe just a different mix?