February 27, 2006

# 53

The number of people that I can truly label my heroes; people who've stood out in this prime-time, fast food inflicted, vomitous popularity contest of existence, can be counted on one of my naturally acquired hands.

If I were to choose a digit to symbolise the person with more influence on my life than any other, I'd choose my thumb. And as my thumb dramatically perked towards the ceiling I'd scream the name Bill Hicks because he'd be the only person worthy of being represented by my thumb.

Bill Hicks died twelve years ago today (February 26th by American standards). There's nothing I can write to adequately explain the impact the man had on people yet to dedicate their lives to living in fear. His premature departure robbed the world of a comic genius well before his prime.

Here are some links to help you understand more about who he was and why he was so profound. I suggest searching high and low for his CDs and videos as they're timeless reminders of his outstanding work as a social commentator.

People Who Hate People Party HQ is the official Bill Hicks web site. It's run by close friends and relatives of Bill Hicks.

Bill Hicks Wikipedia outlines the factual side of Bill Hicks's life and times. It's well worth a read.

Happy Birthday, Bill. Hopefully your twelfth year away will be the material that legends are made of. If not, keep the fuckers honest for us.

PS Is there anything you can do about Lleyton Hewitt?

Photo credit: The image of Bill Hicks in this post is available in original format at the official Bill Hicks web site. The image is used without permission. It is not being used for financial gain.


Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

My favourite Hicks moment is probably when he is talking to a fox executive about one of his shows. The executive says they have to cancel it because "it's not suitable for our audience"

"YOUR audience?" says Hicks. "Do you grow them on farms?"

Kaufman said...

For me it's hard to pin a specific moment in his repertoirrroirre because... you know the rest.

However, the sheer absurdity of the situation Reginald Denny (sp?), the truck driver who stopped during the LA riots, found himself in, the manner in which Hicks delivers the lines from people from around the world and their interpretation of what he ought to have done never ceases to wet my dacks.

Relentless is still brilliant from start to finish. Many of the themes, to paraphrase a Hicksism, still ring true today, telling me we haven't really progressed a hell of a lot.

I loathe politics, politicians, religions and religious politicians, which is part of the attraction to the great man.

He said his elder brother was a certified genius. I wouldn't at all be surprised if it ran in the family. Not counting his parents.

It's only a ride.

Ben Mack said...

Here's something you haven't heard before...


Bill was really sick when he did his 14th appearance on Letterman. Nobody outside of his immediate family knew how sick he was. In his hotel room that evening, he received a call that his performance was being censored from the show. Bill then performed some of his strongest rants ever. These were thought to be lost because nobody knew to record them...One has emerged.

Free Download available of this audio recording that's surfaced after 13 years.

These shows have long been thought uncaptured. This last week, one of these shows has emerged...dated 10/5/93.

I'm one of the creators of the above site. We've had the site up for 4 days and over 30,000 unique visitors.

Multiple members of this site were involved in the Bill Hicks project www.WhatWouldBillHicksSay.com where participants were asked if Bill Hicks were alive today, What would Bill Hicks Say? Top entries from this project were published as a book recently released, 2/14/06, from Soft Skull Press.

"Of course it was released on Valentine's Day. Bill Hicks was all about love...Love and Noam Chomsky." Said Howard Campbell, founder of WhatWouldBillHicksSay.com

(okay, I'm also Howard Campbell)

The book What Would Bill Hicks Say features cartoonists Jeff Danziger and Martyn Turner; writers Neal Pollack, Robert Newman, and A.L. Kennedy; and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Kaufman said...

Ben Mack: Thanks for stopping by and making us aware of the recording. I appreciate it.

For anyone experiencing difficulties with the link, try THIS, then scroll down to 'New Bill Hicks? 10/5/93' and read the piece. It'll guide you to the side of the page and to the audio file.

Again, many thanks.

Captain Berk said...

I can sort out the Hewitt problem for you.

He can be beamed wherever you like.

This Hicks fellow is renowned throughout the galaxy.

He once gave a big rant about Stovokor being a religious myth invented to control the whole klingon empire.

I think that was censored too.

As was his torture shortly after.

reverendtimothy said...

Hear hear. Has it been twelve years already? *sigh* What a waste.

OOooh, I'm interested in that link now! Will check it out when I get home. ;-)