Bill Hicks - Bill Hicks Live
by Greg Howell

[Bill Hicks was not a rocker but to many he still rocked! -ed]

Bill Hicks - Bill Hicks Live DVD

Genius. If I had to describe Bill Hicks in one word, that’s the first word that comes to mind. In the same vein as Sam Kinison and Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks and Denis Leary were bringing their own “Shock Comedy” to the forefront. Bill Hicks though seems to rise above the rest. Smarter than Andrew Dyce Clay and the inspiration for newer comedians like Lewis Black, Hicks’ comedy is shockingly still relevant to today.

Like so many other great entertainers though, Bill’s life was cut too short as he gave in to his fight with cancer at the age of 32. Hicks’ death can only be attributed to his living life ‘his way.’ He was unashamed about his smoking, drug use, and drinking. As he said, “Yeah I did drugs, and I had a good time on them.”

It’s that kind of biting sarcasm that spit in the face of the movements of that time in society. Trying to fight drugs, Bill was right there telling us he had done them and had a damn good time on them. Moral crusades against pornography and sex in society, Bill was right there arguing about the hypocrisy of sex in society and the true cause of sexual thought. Bill Hicks Live captures the energy that previously could only be glimpsed at on his cds.

Bill Hicks Live begins with ‘One Night Stand’ which lasts about 30 minutes. A black and white video of Bill Hicks trying to “make it to the show” is quite hilarious with him sounding off on time hijacking at airports.

When he gets to the show, he unapologetically goes off on non smokers. Rock fans who committed suicide get no love from Bill as he says with out remorse, “that’s two less gas station attendants.” The rather taboo subject of pornography also gets the Bill Hicks treatment before he signs off with his hope for peace in the world. An intelligent half hour, that makes you think and laugh at the same time.

‘Relentless,’ Bill’s second set which lasts about 65 minutes. This show originally aired on HBO and features both an edited and original version of the taping. From the get go Hicks attacks bosses, overly happy people, and the French. Ted Turner, hypocritical religious types and UFO followers get lampooned with such bite and such zeal that you can’t help but laugh.

‘Revelations,’ the last of Bill’s live performances on the DVD takes place in London. A mirror image of Bill’s relentless set, revelations is equally as funny and equally as satirical. 

The documentary filmed with Bill’s friends and family is very insightful into the private life of Bill Hicks. As his contemporary and friend, Brette Butler says, “Bill Hicks was on par with Richard Pryor.” That statement is one of the truest statements ever said about Bill Hicks. Whether you love him or you hate him, Bill Hicks was genius and this DVD can only shine a little light upon the man that was Bill Hicks.

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