In these interview clips, we introduce the characters who will take you through Bill Hicks’ story. These clips are not featured in the film itself, they are just great examples of each of the wonderful characters we met on this journey to discover the real Bill, with some great quotes about Bill. They are his family and lifelong friends, the people that knew him best.
Mary Hicks Bill’s mom moved to Little Rock with husband Jim in 1978, leaving the 17 year old Bill to attend his final school year in Houston, and resides there still. She is president of the Arizona Bay Production Company which looks after the copyright on Bill’s material. In January 2009, she made an unprecedented appearance on the Late Night with Letterman show, where Dave apologised for cutting Bill’s performance 15 years earlier. She didn’t let him off the hook. www.billhicks.com
Steve Hicks Bills older brother by 5 years recently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan with wife Marty, and they have two grown-up kids, Ryan and Rachel. He recently fulfilled a lifelong ambition by visiting Abbey Road Studios, to remaster some of Bill’s acoustic guitar music for the forthcoming album Lo-Fi Troubadour. He currently lists his job description as ‘another capitalist at the corporate gang bang’.
Lynn Hicks Bill’s big sister is a pharmacist in Dallas Fort Worth, and recently attended her first Bill tribute night in London, where the family were mobbed like rockstars. She now spends much of her time in Europe and is currently attending to her expanding property interests while browsing the flea markets of Paris.
Kevin Booth Bill’s lifelong friend and producer, was responsible for much of Bill’s audio output including posthumously completing Arizona Bay and Rant in E Minor to Bill’s specifications. He has just completed a major documentary called American Drug War and is working on the sequel from his LA base, helped by wife Trae and their three Alaskan wolves. His family still owns the ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas where he and Bill had their famous UFO encounter by the ranch pond. www.americandrugwar.com
Dwight Slade Bill’s first comedy partner, Dwight met Bill in 8th Grade and they started making up routines together, leading to their first nerve-wracked performances at the Comix Annex in Houston 1975. Later, they spent two years living together in a one room apartment in LA while working at the Comedy Store. Dwight has become a successful comedian in his own right, starring at Just For Laughs 3 times -he has also recently toured Afghanistan.
David Johndrow Bill’s friend and photographer, David first connected with Bill aged 16 over their shared religious background, and spent much time exploring the spiritual side of life. David’s intimate, iconic images of Bill, many never seen before, record both David and Bill’s development as artists, culminating in his inspiring current photo series of nature ‘seen through new eyes’ which have graced magazine covers and exhibit all over the States. He didn’t really want to go on camera for us -he did it for Bill. www.davidjohndrow.com
James Ladmirault was known by Bill and everyone on the circuit as Jimmy Pineapple, Esquire. He was one of the Houston comics who took Bill under their wing and watched him grow as an artist, putting on group shows as the Texas Outlaw Comics and gaining notoriety as a hard partying bunch of politically-aware performers. As his sponsor, he credits Bill with helping him get sober. He now combines comedy and directing theatre in Houston with his fervent support of New Orleans football -Go Saints!
John Farneti Often seen as a fun uncle figure to Bill, John, the oldest of the comics was also a full-time husband, father and lawyer (Twenty four hours is a long time if you don’t watch television.) Having been with Bill at many key moments in his career, including the famous ‘mushroom pizza/missed phone call’ incident, he was ideally placed to recall fond memories of Bill and the Houston gang in the 80s. Now too old and too busy to chase ambulances, he merely shoots out their tires.
Andy Huggins was dragged from LA back to Houston by Jimmy and the gang -’he was just more of a Houston comedian.’ A great performer with a gentler side, he often house-sat for Bill when he was on the road, and they went sober at the same time. He has written for Jay Leno and Billy Crystal, still hangs out with Jimmy and John, is a theatre actor and also works at the Laff Spot in Houston.
Steve Epstein (aka Epicstein) was the founder of the Texas Outlaw Comics and ‘flopped around like an unattended firehose’ but got everything going. He was at Bill Hicks’ very first performance at the Annex, and his last full performance at Igby’s. A co-resident of the famous Houston House with Bill and Jimmy, he still makes his living as an entertainer in Los Angeles.