Luckily, I put my name and address on the back of all the pictures I sent him. His Mother now has all the stuff he apparently fastidiously collected and she passed the pictures on to the film makers. I lost the original negatives when I left them in the darkroom and the cleaner threw them away so I haven’t seen these pictures for a long time.
Although, Rykodisc recently did a box set on Bill Hicks and also contacted me to use all my pictures. I agreed, and sent them high resolution images, which they said they needed for the contract. They then sent a contract which I had to sign with Universal, telling me to hand over all the pictures for free for use in perpetuity and the territory was to be ‘The Universe’. I told them that I hadn’t even been able to bring myself to do anything with these pictures since hearing about Bills death and was not prepared to just hand them over for free for the rest of time for a big corporation to use over and over again and commercially exploit. Imagine, they could have used them for adverts, T-shirts, posters and all sorts of marketing. I reminded them of what Bill Hicks said, “If you’re in marketing, kill yourself!” They rang me and gave me all sorts of sob stories about how everybody was working on this box set for free. “What, even the printers?” I said. I gave them permission to use one shot if they gave £500 to cancer research. Since then I have not heard from them and they won’t return any of my emails or call me back. All I want is some reassurance that they did in fact not use my pictures, or if they did, they gave the money to the charity. Nothing. Typical record label.
Anyway, all the photographers on this project are being paid and that is the way it should be. I think Bill Hicks would be the first to agree that as artists we need to stand together and stand firm and not do anything for free. Having said that, I’ve been giving away the six.byseven:04 album and the Twelve:03 album away as a free download for weeks now! Still, the albums stopped selling a couple of years ago and it does work to bring in new people and I’ve noticed an upturn in sales too since doing it. Lets face it, if someone wants those records for free there is fuck all I can do about it now anyway, so they might as well get it from me in exchange for an e mail address. But let me tell you, I don’t like giving it away, not one bit.