After nearly two years in his new home of Amsterdam, Shandon Sahm — son of San Antonio’s legendary Tex-Mex roots-rocker Doug Sahm — is back in the States touring behind a new EP of him covering his father’s songs.
A performance celebrating the release of Sahm Covers Sahm will take place at the South Texas Museum of Popular Culture on Saturday, October 19.
Although best known as the Meat Puppets’ drummer from 1999–2002 and 2009–2018, Sahm also played drums for San Antonio metal outfit Pariah and lent his percussion skills to Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes.
We caught up with Sahm to see how the response has been for his live shows, including his performance at the Austin City Limits Festival a few weeks ago. He also shared memories of his legendary father, including a prime piece of showbiz advice.
How was it playing ACL?
ACL went really great! I’ve got a really good band, and the response has been really good. The people that have been coming to the shows have been really great.
Did you deliberately want put out Sahm Covers Sahm on the 20th anniversary of your father’s passing?
I didn’t really plan it like that. The way the universe has been with my life has just been putting things in place at the right times, but this has been in the works for a long time.
With the EP now out, will you be putting out any original material soon?
When I get back to Europe, I gotta play a couple more shows, but I’m hoping to get an EP of new music out by February 2020.
What was the reason for your relocation to Amsterdam?
It’s a lot of things. I’ve been there a lot on vacation, I’ve toured there and it’s just one of those places that I thought “this would be a really neat place to live.” If you really want to know the truth, I was born in California, moved to Texas, graduated from Clark, moved to Austin, but I’ve never really moved anywhere. I’ve traveled the world, but I just knew I needed a new backdrop.
What’s it been like doing a whole set of your dad’s music?
It’s been festive, joyful experience celebrating Dad. And while we’re tuning in between songs I’ll tell the crowd little stories [about him]. We’re just here to celebrate.
Is there a memory of your dad you’d like to share with our readers?
By ’75-’76, I was a total KISS freak. And, in ’79, they were coming to town, and dad said maybe we could get to meet them. So my mom, in her secretary’s voice, called around and tracked down Gene’s bodyguard and said, “Hi, Doug Sahm and his kids would like to come to the show tonight.” He said, “Oh, no problem, be here by this time.” Boom — we were there — we get in. Basically, we met KISS with and without makeup … As we were leaving, I’m freaked out, because I just met KISS and got their autographs. And, right as we leave, dad points to some roadie dude and says, “Hey, see that guy? Thank that guy, because he’s the reason y’all were able to meet KISS today.”
Is there a piece of advice your dad gave you that always stays with you?
“Try not to be too hip, because you can real easily end up out-hipping yourself,” he always use to say. Kinda like how Austin became so cool it out-hipped itself! That’s probably what dad would say about Austin right now: “Oh man, I told you! You get too hip, you end up out-hipping yourself!”
$10, 7 p.m., South Texas Museum of Pop Culture, 1017 E. Mulberry Ave., (210) 858-8935, facebook.com/texpopsa.
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