Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines by Bill Hicks

This is it, folks: the definitive collection of Bill Hicks stuff all in one book. Interviews, letters, lyrics, live routines, etc. are all compiled inside. For the uninitiated, Bill Hicks was the best comedian to ever jump on stage and bless the mic with his wisdom. Constantly railing against governmental idiocy, corporate control, censorship, and the indolence of America, among other things, Hicks took on all the evils of the world and the enemies of the open mind. You’ve heard him — even if it came from someone else’s mouth, you’ve heard his brand of intelligent, caustic wit. Nothing and no one is safe in the range of Bill Hicks’ comedy.

Love All the PeopleAnd Hicks walked his talk. Like a modern day Guy Debord, he lived according to his own philosophy, and died before he could reap the benefits of his talent. His routines will make you laugh, make you think, make you reassess the society in which you live, make you angry, and then make you laugh again. He was a revolutionary comedic genius, and a true master of the form — and I’m not the only one who thinks so: Richard Pryor, Dennis Miller, Tool, Henry Rollins, John Cleese… The list of his admirers goes on ad infinitum. As Tom Waits put it, “…blowtorch, excavator, truth-sayer, and brain specialist, like a reverend waving a gun around, he will correct your vision. Others will drive on the road he built.”

So, as I said above, Love All the People (Soft Skull Press) collects a vast amount of his live material, interviews, previously unpublished writings, letters, etc. — including a detailed account of Bill’s infamous 12th appearance on Letterman (which never aired) through letters to New Yorker critic John Lahr (who also wrote the Foreword to this book), Letterman, Leno, etc. It’s an excellent introduction to his thought and wit and its decided outsider status in entertainment industry, as well as an essential read for the converted.