If you’ve had a bad day, I recommend watching the late Bill Hicks, who always manages to make light of the world by pointing out its darkest hypocrisies. A friend of mine introduced me to the late comedian just after I moved to England. I don’t think I’ll ever forget watching his “Revelations” show for the first time in that tiny bed-sit of mine above a fish n chips shop in Stratford upon Avon.
A couple of years later on a not so special day, I was made redundant from a particular crappy job in London town. I decided to buy myself a “hurray you got fired present” to celebrate. It just so happened that “love all the people”, a collection of Bill Hicks’ work, was on sale at WH Smith for just £3… a good price for a jobless musician.
I don’t often write songs that are specifically about one thing, but after finishing the last page, which ends in a quote from Hicks from when he already knew he wouldn’t have much time left on this earth, I felt compelled to write this song. I’ve enjoyed playing “Here’s Tome with the Weather” and have connected with so many people across the world over a shared admiration for Bill Hicks… except for on BBC Bristol, where I got into trouble for playing the song on air… it was deemed to “political” and “controversial”… but I’m sure Bill Hicks would have approved. I’m also sure he would have seen the irony of us all trying to get a little attention on this day, which marks the 20 year anniversary of his very untimely departure, 20 years ago… (I’m thinking he’d say something like: “Hmm… the commemorative dollar… a well proven marketing strategy…”).
Nevertheless, here’s to Bill, the relentless soap-boxer, who dedicated his life to the most simple and evocative truths, such as always choose love over fear and never listen to musicians who started their career in a shopping mall.
Yesterday I re-recorded my song “Here’s Tom with the Weather” at Folkstock Records with the most amazing Lauren Deakin (who is only 18 years old!) and my partner in stage crime, Raphael Knapp, on Cello. The song is available as a free download TODAY ONLY on Folkstock Records. Thank you to Helen Meissner, creator of Folkstock and full-time super woman, for having me on Folkstock Records!