The first time I ever came across Bill Hicks was when my older brother brought a couple of VHS tapes (Yes those) during one Christmas. For some reason the tapes didn't work properly, but the audio worked. And the message he was spreading was immense. He didn't really do stand-ups, he delivered sermons. If he had taken a job a as a vicar, that church would have been on the brink of world domination by now. He was a major influence in terms of philosophy, politics and life. He raged against organized religion, consumerism and any restrictions towards personal freedom. Sure he did have his conspiracy theories(well one of them), in the form of the JFK assassination. He was a big drug user, but quite very soon. But the stories he used to tell about his experience were great like this sketch:
So... He didn't kill anyone. Didn't rob anyone. Didn't rape anyone. But then, why did he stop? Well in his words "once you've been taken aboard a UFO, it's kind of hard to top that".
His influence was very outreaching. Tool asked him to open their concerts during the Lollapalooza festival. Radiohead have sampled him. Tom Waits loves Rant in E-Minor.
As I said in a previous blog entry, Bill possibly had a bigger influence on my political leanings then any other figure I can mention(besides my parents). His values of freedom, social justice and equality, are still values that I hold very dearly and live my life by.