Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thinking Out Loud: Maynard James Keenan on religion, jiu-jitsu and Bill Hicks

What's really on the Tool and Puscifer frontman's mind?

In our regular feature Thinking Out Loud, we find out what's going on in the minds of the great and good. This week, we peek inside the brain of Tool and Puscifer frontman Maynard James Keenan....

"Bill Hicks' ideas really resonated with us. We were resonating similar concepts. Unity is the philosophical centre. Evolution. Change. Internally and externally. Individually and globally. That's pretty much the gist of his comedy no matter what he was talking about – music, porno, smoking. Whatever it was, it came back to the idea of unity and evolution. Evolving ideas."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rant in E-Minor: Variations - & Bill Hicks: A Life in Comedy

Following on from the unedited release of the Arizona Bay album comes Rant in E-Minor: Variations, an uncut presentation of one of the sets used in the creation of Bill's seminal Rant in E-Minor album. Originally aired on Sirius XM radio on April 1st and released for purchase today!

Along with the broadcast of Rant in E-Minor: Variations on April 1st, Sirius XM produced an hour long exclusive audio documentary called Bill Hicks: A Life in Comedy, presented by Ron Bennington and featuring interviews with Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Bob Saget, Barry Crimmins, Tom Rhodes, Ron White, Paul Provenza and Margaret Cho.

“Bill Hicks is one of the most important comedic voices of our generation, and his jokes and indictments seem as relevant and important today as they ever did,” said Jack Vaughn, Senior Vice President, Comedy Programming, SiriusXM. “We’re really excited to be able to have our listeners be the first to hear this amazing uncut show.”

Several clips of the audio documentary can be heard on Sound Cloud.

Rant in E-Minor: Variations now available in MP3, CD and Vinyl from -

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bill Hicks, Legend and Legacy: An Interview with Steve Hicks

Earlier this week (December 16) was Bill Hicks' birthday and Ron was lucky enough to have a chat with Bill's brother, Steve Hicks. Steve and the Hicks family still operate and maintain Bill's catalog and body of work. Ron and Steve discuss how that has been for the family, why they continue to do it and its significance. Steve also shares stories about Bill from childhood, his experiences with Kinky Friedman's entourage, the reissue of Arizona Bay, what went on concerning rumors of a Bill Hicks movie, and more! (Whoa, that sounded way too marketing-esque)
Also, Angie Dorin rocks a Monkey Minute and Ron discusses Holiday music he actually likes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"I heckled Bill Hicks and lived" - No Passouts

So. Son. Tell me. What have you done with your life? Huh? Lemme hear it. What have you done? No – don’t tell me. I can guess. What is it? Something selfless – the very model of altruistic, new age thought and action. Artesian wells in a struggling, underdeveloped African nation. Am I right? Unceasing lobbying of grimy politicians and vested interest corporations to wake up to the increasing horrors of global warming? A year spent throwing yourself in front of Japanese whalers? Tell me! What did you do? What have you done?

I heckled Bill Hicks.

Oh, yeah, and guess what: all my views are my own because somewhere, I’m reasonably convinced, I have the vague semblance of a spine. Pffft. Twitter. Twitter. Just a few lines to let your prospective new followers (ugh – right?) know you’re worth that all important thumb press. ‘Middle-aged sad lefty from Stoke with fondness for real ale’ was never going to be a stand out, let me assure you. But ‘Heckled Bill Hicks and lived’ is surely one of those wayward claims only open to the few. And so, for five years, it’s awkwardly sat there as my Twitter ‘come on in’ sign.

‘Heckled Bill Hicks and lived.’ Quite a claim…


Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Comedy Dynamics has released an extended version of Bill Hicks: Arizona Bay on iTunes, Google Play, and all other digital retailers and streaming sites.

This is Bill Hicks' portrait of life on the beach after the "big one" drops California into the Pacific Ocean. This extended version is a raw and uncut show that comprised the original Arizona Bay album. Now fully-restored, much longer, and without music, hear Arizona Bay like an audience did when it was first recorded and revel in Hicks' genius once more.

Google Play

Bill Hicks: do the legendary comic's jokes still stand up?

To comedy fans the standup legend’s death at the age of 32 was every bit as significant as those of John Lennon and Kurt Cobain. As his classic Arizona Bay is rereleased, does Hicks still have something important – and hilarious – to say?
In 1993, when Bill Hicks recorded Arizona Bay, he was at the peak of his powers. He had taken the UK by storm, performing two sell-out nationwide tours the previous year alone. He had experienced the dubious honour of being censored by CBS for a routine on the David Letterman show, only to subsequently rework that routine into a hit HBO special. He was the subject of a lengthy profile in the New Yorker which cast him as a unique voice in America, an outlaw in the culture. Within six months he’d be dead, at the age of 32.

The pancreatic cancer that took Hicks’s life had already been diagnosed before he finished Arizona Bay, an hour-long album that was originally released posthumously in 1997 and gets an expanded rerelease on Friday. In the valedictory statement he released shortly before his death, Hicks writes of how the diagnosis seemed “one of life’s weirdest and worst jokes imaginable”. He continued: “I’d been making such progress recently in my attitude, my career and realising my dreams that it just stood me on my head for a while. Why me!?”

For those of us who were fans of Hicks during his lifetime, his death was as definitive as that of John Lennon or Kurt Cobain. In one of those memories whose value lies in reminding you how much of an idiot you are, I passed up the chance to see Hicks on his Relentless tour in ’92. To make it worse, I did so because I’d just paid to see Dennis Leary perform his No Cure For Cancer show, a routine that is widely held to be a straight rip of Hicks’s material. No problem, I reasoned, he’d be back again soon enough. He wasn’t, and what was left were the cassettes of Hicks’s shows, recorded off late-night TV, committed to memory and, on occasion, adopted as maxims for living.