I hate to call Bill Hicks a comedian.
I mean, there was no one funnier.
But, he also had something to say.
About things that deeply troubled him.
Like the state of our world and the way we live our lives and treat each other.
So, he said those things in a unique and entertaining way and, as result, found more people to say them to.
Alot of what he chose to talk about were not naturally ‘funny’ subjects.
And political correctness was not a concern of his when it came to getting his point across.
Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at 32 years old.
He found his greatest recognition right here in the UK.
He was a rock star.
He would have done the big arenas next if he hadn’t fallen ill so suddenly.
Ironically, when he was back home in the good ol’ USofA, he continued playing half full comedy clubs in the deep south and other places that just didn’t get him.
Perhaps he frightened them with the truth.
He was capable of taking your breath away.
He never got thru to the American audiences the way he probably wanted to.
The way he should have.
Of course, he’s become quite a cult figure there and all over the world since his passing.
You can watch and listen to Hicks today, as many do - there are dozens and dozens of video and audioclips on the internet - and swear he’s talking about right now.
He was so on top of things it’s scary.
Sadly, most of the conditions he railed against and ranted about are still prevelant today, and, in almost every case, a great deal worse.
I feel cheated that I’ll never get to hear his take on the present state of things.
It’s a serious old planet these days.
It’s weirder and more dangerous than ever.
We need somebody with the guts to try and make us laugh at ourselves again.
At the sinkhole we seem to be allowing ourselves to be sucked down into.
We sorely need the counterpoint, clarity and, most importantly, the relief.
There is a new documentary about that, after a short run in select theatres, has been recently released on DVD and BluRay.
It’s called American - The Bill Hicks Story.
It was done by a couple of Brits (of course) with the cooperation of Bill’s family and closest friends.
It's a lovely film and one lots of people should experience.
The guy was really important and left us before he had the chance to show us all just how fucking important.
He would have been deemed a global treasure today or public enemy #1.
And, would probably have needed round the clock protection.
Hicks said not to worry or be afraid.
That it was all ‘just a ride’.
I think I agree with that.
We don’t book passage on this trip.
We wake up onboard and do our best to make sense of whatever's up ahead.
BILL HICKS - December 16 1961 - February 26 1994
Official website: http://www.billhicks.com/