American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story
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Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman -- add Bill Hicks to that list of brilliant, fearless comics. Just emerging from underground cult status when he died at age thirty-two, Bill Hicks spent most of his life making audiences roar -- and censors cringe -- with biting social satire about everything from former president George Bush to rock stars who hawk diet Coke. His nervy talent redefined the boundaries of comedy in the '80s and won him a list of admirers that includes John Cleese, George Carlin, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
This posthumous biography reveals for the first time what made Bill Hicks tick -- what made him laugh, what pissed him off, and what he saw as his ultimate mission: to release people from their prison of ignorance. From his first comedy gig at Bible camp to his infamous cancellation on The Late Show with David Letterman, Cynthia True portrays an artist whose outrage, drive, and compassion fueled a controversial body of work that still resonates today.
Lilly, whose book Center of the Cyclone he couldn't stop talking about. Mostly, though, Bill and David studied astrology texts, trying to test the compatibility of their charts to their girlfriends'. Laurie was an Aries to Bill's Sagittarius, both fire signs with fire rising. "Bill had this duffel bag full of books that he would carry when he was going to go talk to his parents or have a discussion about religion with somebody," David said. "Then it became a joke: The Duffel Bag of Knowledge."
place but it was a real yuppie place. We would come in there: loud, obnoxious, if we weren't drunk, we very quickly got drunk. We would insult all his regular customers, who spent more money than we ever had. By all rights, we should have been barred but he thought we were great. He was always buying us drinks." The owner even gave Jimmy and Bill a special Birraporetti's credit card. They ran up quite a tab, by some accounts as much as thirty-five hundred dollars, and later ended up doing a show
In front of Pa and Ma. We gots to get on that fertilizer job and make some money, show 'em we can make money, too, Errol. Let 'em know Errol and Pal ain't no Roy Gene. We work for our livin'. Chapter Fourteen "I'll sell you this car for fifty dollars. Right now. It's yours." It was April 1988 and Bill was getting rid of his little white Chevette. He wasn't going to need it in New York City. The new owner, a tenant at Houston House, handed over the cash and asked if he could have the title.
hysterical. That had to go in the act. One night Hedge's phone rang as he was trying to leave the office. It was almost eight o'clock and he was nursing a hangover from the night before. It was Bill from Melbourne and again he was talking about not feeling right. "What do you mean you don't feel right?" "I just don't feel well. Maybe I've picked up a tropical parasite or something." "Well, Bill, go see a doctor," Mike sighed. What the hell could he do about it from six thousand miles away? "Go
own. It took four hours, not five minutes. She hadn't known that he liked nice soap, candles, a heavy blanket. "He loved his little things, his books, a nice pressed shirt. He was very genteel." Bill was scheduled to play Len Austrevich's club in Chicago the following weekend. Colleen had planned to clear his schedule, but having done three rounds of chemo, Bill saw no reason he shouldn't go. He felt fine. Ironically, he hadn't had any stomach pain since diagnosis, and he was handling chemo