Doug Sahm's 'Mendocino'

SXSW panels

Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson

Doug Sahm's 'Mendocino'

Austin Convention Center, March 21

Although this lively panel was ostensibly about the Sir Douglas Quintet's landmark 1969 single, "Mendocino," anyone who knows anything about the late Doug Sahm could guess tangential asides would overwhelm the assigned subject matter. Moderator Bill Bentley chose the 1966 Corpus Christi dope bust that compelled Sahm's move to California as the starting point. "The judge said, 'You can't come into my court unless you cut your hair,'" recalled SDQ organist Augie Meyers, "'but before you cut your hair, my daughter is a big fan, and she wants a picture of you.'" Once in the Bay Area, Sahm appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with son Shawn to represent the tide of Texans fleeing cultural repression. He also met girls, including the "teenybopper" who inspired "Mendocino." "I had stepmothers in every corner of the world," joked Shawn. "Mendocino" became a national hit, but to 15-year-old future Chronicle Music writer Margaret Moser, the song's Chicano soul and country undertones encapsulated San Antonio's musical essence. From there, the discourse rolled from how SDQ stashed pot in microphone stands and Bob Dylan hiring Sahm to babysit son Jakob to George Lucas expressing interest in having SDQ appear in More American Graffiti, only to be rebuffed because Sahm thought it might interfere with watching baseball. Off topic or on, the panel found Sahm's storied "groove" in spades.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Panel: <i>The Messy Truth</i> With Van Jones
SXSW Panel: The Messy Truth With Van Jones
CNN commentator takes on our new reality television society

Kahron Spearman, March 11, 2017

Ballroom Dancing
Flying the Indie Flag
SXSW panels

Jim Caligiuri, March 18, 2011

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Patricia Vonne
Top of the Mountain (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, June 22, 2018

Texas Platters
Leti Garza
El Unico Para Mi (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Nov. 24, 2017

More by Greg Beets
Texas Platters
Marmalakes
Please Don't Stop (Record Review)

June 1, 2018

Texas Platters
Powell St. John
Sultan of Psychedelia (Record Review)

May 4, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Doug Sahm's "Mendocino", sxsxm, Sahm, Doug, SXSW panel

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle