Beatles, Saint John, Hossan High discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio


I said who could forget and I meant it if you were a child or had one within the last two decades. You've never forgotten those songs. Because the original wiggles were the Beatles of kids music like the Beatles they wrote indelible pop songs that drew millions of screaming fans to their concerts unlike the Beatles. Those those fans were toddlers. Also the band Never grew beards or did drugs or got into transcendental meditation or look. They weren't much like the Beatles except zapped. The original wiggles did split up at the height of their fame amicably. Mind you now. The original wiggles are reuniting for two shows in Sydney for an extremely good would cause a benefit concert to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Australia and at first it might seem weird that both shows are eighteen plus but tickets just went on sale today and both shows are already sold out. So maybe they couldn't book an all ages venue but more likely the original wiggles know their demographic either way if you're grown fan who didn't score tickets you're out of luck there is no wiggle room so it's hard to believe but it's been three years since Hossan high. I don to Merman tail and posed for a photo and in those the three years he's been joined by men from across Newfoundland and Labrador. They are many they are manly and they are proudly Mur a rather they are. The mur buys since two thousand seventeen. They've raised hundreds of hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity by selling copies of their annual merb`ys calendar but to the dismay Ahah fans around the world. There twenty twenty counter will be their last. We reached Merg is founder Hossan high who also happens to be the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador or beard and Mustache Club in Saint. John's has an. Can you take us back to the first time you slipped on a mermaid tail. What possessed Zesty to do that? What possessed me it started with a dare believe it or not A friend of mine had shared on my facebook wall. A photo of a big burly Bearded man dressed as a Merman. As part of this sort of do duar photo shoot and I figured what the Heck I can. I can do something with this. And few weeks later We were shooting calendar. Okay so moved very quickly to be a bigger scale so to speak from date of the dare to. It was a few weeks later that I called a meeting with a bunch of volunteers. Here's who wanted to participate and within three weeks of that. We were doing her first holder. Shoot so I would say seven weeks from the idea to photography. Starting many you. Oh have had been rabbis over the through the street years of your calendar we're talking about a really wide assortment of fellows. I mean they're. They're different sizes and shapes shapes their big burly guys. Slim guys be guys with tattoos. How did you persuade them to do it? There was no persuasion. Fight him off the stick thick we once we put out a call that we were doing it We had tons of interest right away like men were chomping at the bit to do something kind of fun and and sort of nonstandard third and by the time we did the second calendar we had to start holding We had applications for it and I said we had probably over one hundred people apply. We had turn down to about thirty three. She hold had to hold in person. Audition sort of A Canadian idol And that was that was a second layer after the applications applications and meet them face to face and that sort of these ten minute interviews. Just add that personal dimension to it had been lacking in previous years. Wait if you get on the tails there were made. So we had a number of crafters mostly local Who made them? Your it was pretty low key was fabric and they look more like potato sacks or Until we could use carport to make the Finns look a bit more Stylish and then by your three we commissioned a number of crofters after to make really exquisite tails and they spent months doing it they beat all kinds of one year we actually had a scale mill tail made of this golden silver type metal It's phenomenal the things that were produced. The fellas really got into it didn't they. I mean it's not just putting on these tales uh-huh and and being topless and these hairy chest tattoos and everything else but I mean they. They got made up they were. They wore things in their hair. They they would get. They play the roles. I mean so they. They really enjoyed it. Didn't they. Absolutely and they get out. That wasn't faked we. There was varying levels of comfort when certainly guys taking the shirts off in public knowing that. There's a camera there But also just letting loose and relaxing and having fun and these were all natural troll real emotions and that really is the spirit with merb`ys calendar of out which is expressing those emotions that we have I understand for some of the some of the key it changed them one hundred percent the one fellow in the first year calendar. We'll take a shirt off public since childhood so for over twenty years and as a result of during the calendar where we had sort of launch event which which was open to the public he spent the whole day like shirt was a tail grabbed photos and it just changed his old body image and confidence in a way that had never happened in his life before she got all these guys take shirts off where these tales and stuff in their hair put on makeup. And there's there's there's the pub drinking beer there draped dover rocks at on beaches park benches fishing boats there barbershops. They're all over the place. How did you choose the actual locations where you would shoot these these as long as so every year was a little bit different in year? One There was very little planning. It's like wh- What are our options and knew Flynn has no shortage of of beaches but a look very similar. So we you know we picked as many as we could in year two. We actually did a broad sweep of the province we went across Newfoundland Labrador and picked various locations nations that were known to be scenic then ear three was less travelling but more about different story. So for example a nineteen twenty style Themed want sort of a flappers flappers theme What what can be speakeasy Sort of environment and then informed the location all right so now you have raised. How much money with the merb`ys calendars camping? And you said you when he started off you might just get some change and give that to a charity. Did you ever expected affected. You'd make making hundreds of thousands of dollars. Carol might my lofty goal in the year. One was raised a thousand dollars. High fiving everyone in the streets and calling it a successful year ear So five hundred thousand dollars over what became a three year. Venture was not anything I had imagined or does it just took off in ways. That could not have imagined. Where's the money going for? Heard Twenty twenty. This year's primary recipient is planned parenthood and then we have two small recipients of this community grant the SPCA Saint. John's and home again furniture. Pink Doc so why are you shutting down. Aren't you going to do anymore calendars. But we're not shutting down it's an evolution. As as opposed to index. The calendar itself is coming to an end for now now but we have so many other fun things that we're working on so the themes of the merb`ys about body positivity in healthier expressions of masculinity we want to tell that story in a more substantial way okay so working on a merb`ys animated series with a local animator. There's a documentary coming out later this year. The calendars put Herald Earl volunteers. We've been doing this as a side site side hustle and after two and a half years of no breaks and doing this year round. It's it's sort of pause on that one and sort of take a little moment for ourselves and then boldly go forward in other ventures the're not mothballing your tail. The tail sees regular. I'm talking to you right now. There's two details looking great to talk to you. Best of luck with your next project by Hossan high is the founder of the merb`ys and and the man who just introduced me to the term dwarf photo we reached him in Saint John's and while the group's calendar may be sunk. The merb`ys swim on. You've been listening to the as it happens. podcast our show can be heard Monday to Friday on. CBC Radio One and on Sirius Xm following the world at six. You can also listen to the whole show on the web this Goto. CBC DOT CA slash. Ah and follow the links to our online archives. Thanks for listening. I'm Carol off and I'm Chris. How for more C._B._C.? PODCASTS GO TO C._B._C.. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts..

Coming up next