It's Kicking In

The Sahm Family Archives

Given that his father is being honored on (at least) two separate occasions during this year's South by Southwest music conference -- at the Austin Music Awards and an Antone's showcase on Friday -- Shandon Sahm brought the Chronicle a few photos from Doug Sahm's life that he wanted to share. The Sahms have received overwhelming support from friends and fans since Doug's death November 18, 1999, and Shandon encourages everyone to honor his memory by taking care of their health and getting regular medical checkups. He notes that Doug had not had a checkup in years though he knew of his family's medical history, in which heart disease played a role. According to Shandon, Doug preferred taking herbs and it's possible he was mistaking heart disease for carpal tunnel.

The photos Shandon chose are few but heartfelt, and it was difficult to sit with him going over these; the pain of his father's death is still very fresh. Like his sister Dawn and brother Shawn, he adored his father and making music with him. From behind the scenes at the Armadillo to the carefree days of California, the photos make one thing clear: Doug Sahm loved his life as much as his family.

A friend in the Chronicle office told me that Doug had been in Waterloo Records about a month before he died, buying a Jackson Browne CD with the song "Everywhere I Go." He was talking about having the Tornados record it, and my friend pointed out the lyrics that now seem both appropriate and poignant.

"I hear your heart beating everywhere

When we're apart I can hear you there

I hear your heart beating everywhere

Everywhere I go."

We miss you, Doug.

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