We Live In A World …

Bill-Hicks-comedy01

My daughter went on a school trip to the United Kingdom last month, and when she returned her bag was chock full of the usual souvenirs – postcards, t-shirts and stuff.  But out tumbled a CD, and with it came a story: they went to a pub in London and they saw this band, the Foxes.  And this little CD single my daughter had was titled “Bill Hicks.”

Sure enough, it’s a song supposedly about the late, great Bill Hicks.  I can’t get that from the first few listens but I kinda get it from the video (see below).  For those of you who don’t know, Hicks was a standup comedian.  But he was more than that – Hicks was a savage social satirist.  His comedy tapped an ugly bloodstream and went straight to the infected core of a celebrity-obsessed, materialism-dulled American society.  His material was brutal and pulled no punches.  Audiences (the ones who didn’t walk out early) sometimes left his shows a little shell-shocked.  Hicks was the Lenny Bruce of the 21st century, but he didn’t make it past the millennium.

Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 and during his lifetime he was misunderstood at best, shunned and feared at worst.  He appeared on David Letterman’s show in 1993 but Letterman decided to cut Hicks from the final program.  The “lost” routine took on legendary status, and in an astounding move this January Letterman actually devoted a good bit of his show to remembering Bill Hicks and finally playing the censored bit.

Anyway: if you didn’t know, Bill Hicks was a giant.  Take a listen to the tracks enclosed here; they’re not for the squeamish and certainly not safe for work or children.  Like he says in “We Live In A World,” I remember when music had a conscience, and soul, and balls.  And I remember when we had Bill Hicks.

MP3: “We Live In A World” by Bill Hicks

MP3: “Gays In The Military” by Bill Hicks

MP3: “What Is Pornography?” by Bill Hicks

MP3: “The Sanctity of Life” by Bill Hicks

YouTube: “Bill Hicks” by The Foxes


The Foxes MySpace page

Bill Hicks official website

YouTube: David Letterman (and Bill Hicks’ mom) introduces the “lost” Bill Hicks bit

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