Agent Of Evolution
The Definitive Biography by Kevin Booth
Bill Hicks Agent of Evolution
Written by Bill Hicks' lifelong friend, producer and co-creator Kevin Booth, this book offers the inside story on a unique talent.
Adored in the UK for his unique style of savage, hilarious comedy, the one person who knew him inside and out tells of a man whose life was just as impassioned and off-the-wall as his comedy. Even back at High School, in Houston, Texas, Kevin was Bill's co-conspirator, as they sneaked out of Bill's strict Baptist home at night, and headed for the Comedy Workshop, where at the age of fourteen, Bill was going down a storm.
They virtually shared every experience -- from magic mushrooms to girls, but it was their music and their vision of comedy, which bound them so closely together. Kevin produced, engineered and performed on, many of Bill's recordings, and it is largely due to him, that so much of Bill's comedy is readily available on CD and video.
Hicks was only along for the ride for a tragically short time, yet left an indelible mark on comedy enthusiasts and free-thinkers everywhere. Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution offers a rare fly-on-the-wall insight into the life of one of Britain's most loved US comedians. Michael Bertin, a hugely talented author from Austin, Texas, is the co-writer of Kevin's fly-on-the-wall biography of Bill Hicks.
You can now view a special slideshow video with excerpts from the book read by Trae Booth. Click the play now button below to watch the video or the buy now button to purchase the book from the Sacred Cow Store.
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Five stars is not enough, 18 Dec 2006
Reviewer: Kev Wallace
You know you are reading a good book when the narrative pulls you in and are fully engaged in its story. "Agent of Evolution" the biography of comedian Bill Hicks,written by his life long friend Kevin Booth fully succeeds in giving an emotive roller coaster ride of Hicks's life. A very personel and candid account indeed.
The author's friendship with Hicks started at school and remained close throughout until his untimely death. Booth was clearly best qualified to write the comics life story. The visits to the brothels for some carnal pleasures had me laughing out aloud, and Bill's drunken/drug fuelled behaviour, the parties, long nights, well its a long list but Booth does not shy away from telling it all. There is no sweet and sugary treatment in this biography, its warts and all, and i hazard a guess that the author may have found the writing of some sections in this book a somewhat carthartic process.
The inclusion of Hicks's many friends and associates whose accounts of him works well in shaping the form and tone of this biography, as many contributers are interconnected to one degree or another with Booth and Hicks, and helps to give a fuller picture of the comedian. The aptly named "Agent of Evolution" was such an enjoyable and revealing read and anyone familiar with Hicks' work will find this book to be an absolute gem.
Missing page from Agent of Evolution
Bill could eat with me. I'm a huge eater, and that was our thing. We used to go down to Stevie B's for ribs. We also went to Twin Anchors, which used to be a Sinatra joint, but Bill definitely preferred Stevie B's. It was so weird because you would sit down and eat with him, and he was so focused on his food. I remember chuckling, going, "This guy eats like an Austrevich." He'd get the huge double slab of ribs and his face would just be covered with the stuff. I just looked at him and laughed. He was totally into eating. But he wasn't fat. He'd always go, "Gonna put a little paunch on," and rub his belly.
I used to take him to get steaks. He was a big meat eater. Stevie B.'s the Steakhouse and the polish sausages were his big things. Oh God, he loved these Maxwell Street Polish sausages to the point where he was addicted. If he was flying through Chicago, I'd go get them and bring them to him at the airport. We would go after shows. It got to the point where, well, the worst was the time he came in town for a show and right after I picked him up at the airport, went and got a Polish sausage. He did the show, after show we went and got a Polish sausage. We were up late bullshitting after the show, then went back and got a polish sausage. Three times in one day. You see on his albums he gives a special thanks to Jimmy's Maxwell Street Polishes.
You go down there and you are always accosted by street guys, trying to sell you shit. And the funniest thing I ever heard him say. It was freezing out, it was like 5 degrees, and we were sitting there eating the sausages. And the guys come up trying to sell you tube socks or anything. One was selling pornos. He had all of this porn, and there was one that was like, "Cum Liking Black Whores." It had this enormous naked black woman with giant boobs, and the guy is going, "Porno for your lady? Porno for your lady?" And Bill tilted down his big sunglasses to look at it and goes, "No, I believe my lady already has that one." It was the funniest thing I'd ever heard.
My son was born in 1992, and we were at Richard Jeni's house hanging out when Rich was out of town .I had my newborn with me there and Bill was saying, "Man, I want to do this. I want to be able to relax like this." He was jealous. Of course I'm envious of him, thinking if I could do a tenth of what he could do on stage, but he felt like something was missing. He was with Pamela, but Pamela had a kid, and he would say, "What am I doing? I'm dating this girl, she's got the 12-year-old kid? What am I doing?" He definitely felt, from what he confided in me, that he wasn't fulfilled in that relationship, and wasn't fulfilled in his working career. There was a time in there where he was kind of lost. It was a little sad to talk to him at that point because he was searching and yearning for things that were so simple to solve: "Bill, Cut the workload back."
He was being managed by Jack Mondrus, and Jack was killing him. My big joke to him was, "I can tell you in four words why you should fire Jack Mondrus."
"Willie Lester &. Tyler"
The dummy act, the ventriloquist.