Bill Hicks: It’s Just A Ride: Royal Exchange, Manchester, 1991
Bill Hicks was a truly great American stand-up comedian. His material which enveloped a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and philosophy was contentious and often soaked in black comedy. I was extremely fortunate to see him live at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in 1991. The routines and rants from the show It’s Just A Ride have become legendary in the comedy world. he was unafraid to say what he wanted regardless of the consequences and his amgry rants were delivered with duch precision and perfect comic timing. From his views on advertising and marketing: ‘If anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself…’ to smoking: ‘I smoke. If it bothers anyone, I suggest you look around the world in which we live and shut your f****g mouth!’ and everything in between, he was a true pioneer of the art of comedy and made everyone sit up, listen and engage.
From the moment he sauntered onto the stage, dressed in black, smoking a cigarette to the impressive encore about like being just a ride, I could sense that the audience were watching something and someone very special. It is a crying shame that Hicks died at just 32 years of age from cancer and I often wonder what he else he could have achieved. I am blessed to have seen him live on stage.