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"I don't push anything on my kids," he said, again and again.
July 5, 2013 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Balloon Boy's Tween Heavy Metal Career Lifts Off Remember the Balloon Boy hoax of 2009 when the Heene family falsely claimed that young Falcon Heene had stowed away in his father's large balloon as part of a stunt to bring the family some sort of reality TV show fame? Not one to go quietly into that good night, the Heene family is back to trying to be famous. They've become the self-proclaimed world's youngest metal band: the Heene Boyz! Patriarch Richard Heene has roped his family into another of his get-famous-quick schemes with songs like "Duct Tape Man" and "Cactus People" off their four-track debut album, American Chili, based on his own failed B-movie script.
"Duct Tape Man" is the third track on American Chili, the Heene Boyz' recent EP, a four-song concept album loosely spun from a demented comedy-horror script of the same title that Richard drafted in 1999. One of the kids' home-school projects was to craft their own collaborative comic book based on their father's B-movie concept; such intimate familiarity with American Chili's premise helped them adapt the storyline into a soundtrack.

"It's called an EP for now, but it's going to be a full album," Richard announced in the basement, once the kids paused their practice. "If a record company picks them up, they can always go, ‘OK, you guys can finish it.' It's already written." That's an adult ambition, but the kids seem to have adopted it.
posted by Servo5678 (71 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really hate to do the point-and-laugh routine at this family after all that's gone on with the Balloon Boy event, but the Heene story is stranger than fiction. I feel bad for the kids constantly being pulled into their father's schemes, although I think his wife looks sadly resigned to the whole situation based on her photo in the article.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:32 AM on July 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Does this douchebag really deserve more attention ?
posted by Pendragon at 10:32 AM on July 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


Right. Because if there's one thing nine-year-olds are totally into these days it's starting Quiet Riot tribute bands. Also, why do I suspect that their recording engineer is dad?
posted by 1adam12 at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2013


A message from Peter Bagge.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:35 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


May no man or woman ever find themselves married to a guy like that or have children with him.

What did he do to trick that poor woman into marrying him and having 3 kids with him? I shudder for her.
posted by discopolo at 10:45 AM on July 5, 2013


Okay but are they gonna cover Oh Balloon Boy or not?
posted by cortex at 10:46 AM on July 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


The only great work of art that's going to come out of this family is the anguished tell-all memoir Falcon writes in his mid-20s about the hell of his childhood.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:46 AM on July 5, 2013 [24 favorites]


I'm with Pendragon on this one...we're either doing a point and laugh or we're hyping this guy's delusion... neither one feels right to me...
posted by HuronBob at 10:47 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does this douchebag really deserve more attention ?

this
posted by lampshade at 10:50 AM on July 5, 2013


Not one to go quietly into that good night, the Heene family is back to trying to be famous.

And here you are, helping them succeed.


urrrgh I still regret my participation in that thread
posted by Think_Long at 10:55 AM on July 5, 2013


And here you are, helping them succeed.

Admittedly, I feel bad posting this here, but it's just such a train wreck that I cannot look away.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2013


What did he do to trick that poor woman into marrying him and having 3 kids with him? I shudder for her.

Wait a second, am I remembering the balloon boy fiasco incorrectly? Was the "poor woman" jumping up and down waving her arms telling the law enforcement officials and national media that her son was in danger hanging out in an unfinished attic space above the garage without HVAC or food or even a railing? I don't recall that happening.
posted by trackofalljades at 10:57 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


No thanks Heene Boyz. I pledge allegiance to Unlocking the Truth.
posted by naju at 10:57 AM on July 5, 2013 [29 favorites]


That's great, Dick, and ima let you finish, but Mini Kiss is still the best shtick-metal band ever.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:01 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, obviously no one endorses what Papa Heane is doing to this family, but I feel like someone needs to point out the following: "Duct Tape Man" is a great song title, and American Chili is kind of a fun name for an album.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:01 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


He named his youngest son Falcon. He's obviously been planning to make him into a metal singer for 10 years. If this doesn't work, he'll probably get into that flying wingsuit stuff.
posted by orme at 11:01 AM on July 5, 2013


He named his youngest son Falcon. He's obviously been planning to make him into a metal singer for 10 years.

...or maybe he just really, really likes the F-Zero and Super Smash Bros series?
posted by trackofalljades at 11:08 AM on July 5, 2013


Every time I see "Heane" I read "Keane" and I think a Heane Family Circus strip would be awesome.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:08 AM on July 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


I pledge allegiance to Unlocking the Truth

Holy shit.
Can we make this thread about them? Because they are awesome.
posted by chococat at 11:08 AM on July 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


But what are their positions on duct tape?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:11 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is serious chicken/egg/God thing happening here with Gawker-gossip-culture/the Heene family/we the audience for shit like this. I can't tell what came first anymore.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:11 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, Unlocking the Truth are as awesome as Heene Boyz are godawful.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Its 2013; and the guy is good at this stuff. The kids have the faux metal look; and with all the pre-publicity; they will probably be on Oprah or Ellen in six months or less. Brainless and unimaginative; but profitable.
posted by buzzman at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2013


Yep, came here to say that Unlocking the Truth are younger and way better.
posted by reiichiroh at 11:28 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


They can't be the youngest at ages 10, 12, and 13. Old Skull were 9, 9, and 10.
posted by Boxenmacher at 11:36 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, does no one remember Deathkids? (warning: do not watch that clip because it's really cringe-inducing to have a 10 yo playing guitar and screeching while an adult woman dances suggestively next to him.)

Also, Decapitated did the teenage-metal-band thing the best. They weren't a fucking gimmick, they were fucking awesome
posted by Existential Dread at 11:36 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yet, if he were hustling in silicon valley he'd have a billion of cold hard pension fund cash. Some people just have the right skills in the wrong frame.

Every American loves a salesman when he is successful.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


When I had my first death metal band, we were so small we used to bite off our own heads.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:40 AM on July 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Some days I seriously consider advocating for laws banning kids from entertainment industries altogether. How many end up as bankrupt trainwrecks? How many are exploited by their parents and agents? Let's just CGI kids into movies/ads/music/sports/TV and let real kids have a shot at a normal life. Talent is great, but if it's real, it will still be there when you're 18.

/rant
posted by emjaybee at 11:40 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes - I was going to say - Isn't there like... a law? Can't we just band narcissistic bastards like this guy from having children and if not having them, at least not letting him be near them to corrupt them and make them his toy-things.
posted by symbioid at 11:43 AM on July 5, 2013


LIGHT OF DOOOOOOM!!!
posted by drlith at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I had my first death metal band, we were so small we used to bite off our own heads.

Shit, we were so small we couldn't even reach our own heads.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, Decapitated did the teenage-metal-band thing the best.

Seconding this, though they were so damn good it was very easy to appreciate their releases without even knowing how old they weren't. They sounded like a seasoned band from the get-go.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:45 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Starved for attention and here we are feeding them.
posted by tommasz at 11:59 AM on July 5, 2013


Wait a second, how old was Decapitated in that video? I've near-idolized them since I heard the song "Spheres of Madness" when I was a teenager but I was never under the impression that they were young by any means!
posted by gucci mane at 12:04 PM on July 5, 2013


This sounds so absurd grasping for fame it borders on a Scharpling and Wurster skit.
posted by wcfields at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Old Skull were 9, 9, and 10.

I was just about to name drop Old Skull, and decided to follow that Wikipedia link instead and... ugh. That's some Ancient Greek tragedy-type tragedy that unspooled there.
posted by ardgedee at 12:09 PM on July 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


gucci mane, the drummer and bassist were 15 and 16 respectively in 2000 when Winds of Creation came out.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:28 PM on July 5, 2013


octobersurprise: "When I had my first death metal band, we were so small we used to bite off our own heads.

Shit, we were so small we couldn't even reach our own heads.
"

We bit off feet. Or since we hadn't teeth yet, roadies cut them off for us and we energetically gummed them.
posted by Samizdata at 12:33 PM on July 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's great, Dick, and ima let you finish, but Mini Kiss is still the best shtick-metal band ever.

If by 'best ever' you mean 'most painfully unfunny, blazingly obvious, and more uncomfortably exploitative than a minstrel show' then you're right on the mark.
posted by item at 12:38 PM on July 5, 2013


Besides, what has this world come to when neither Old Skull or the Stinkypuffs are mentioned in a discussion about bids to force children into the famously harsh world of pro musicianship?
posted by item at 12:43 PM on July 5, 2013


...and of course Old Skull was mentioned but I'll always have the Stinkypuffs.
posted by item at 12:45 PM on July 5, 2013


They were mentioned, twice, but you were too busy comparing a willingly-formed tribute band with minstrels in blackface....

Seriously, they're ethically sourced little people.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:45 PM on July 5, 2013


That's because I'm awesome. Deal with it.
posted by item at 12:46 PM on July 5, 2013


Seriously, 'ethically sourced little people'?
posted by item at 12:48 PM on July 5, 2013


This is the only balloon related piece of music you'll ever need.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:08 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


NENA WOULD LIKE A WORD WITH YOU, JOEY


IT IS ONE OF THOSE VERY LONG GERMAN WORDS
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on July 5, 2013 [13 favorites]


Oh! Also, I always think of this sketch when I encounter somebody who really wants to be on television.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:18 PM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


reminds me of John Irving's eccentric/destructive father characters.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:22 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not gonna watch this or support it in any way. Old Skull. The Shaggs. Kid bands are BAD FUCKING NEWS.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:25 PM on July 5, 2013


Old Skull has already been mentioned, heh. One of the brothers was in Star Fucking Hipsters before he OD'd and died.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:26 PM on July 5, 2013


I thought he succumbed to liver failure or pancreatitis or some other alcohol-related ailment he was far, far too young to have died of.
posted by item at 1:37 PM on July 5, 2013


Looks like one of them indeed died what looks like an alcohol-related death and the other one committed suicide. Christ.
posted by item at 1:40 PM on July 5, 2013


Repasting Boxenmacher's Wikipedia link on Old Skull.

tl;dr: Everybody died.
posted by ardgedee at 1:41 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, man. Balloon Boy was like the best day ever. Thank you for reminding me of that incident, it brings back fond memories of my university's cafeteria food (the cafeteria TVs were where we'd gathered to watch the coverage).
posted by Jacqueline at 2:53 PM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


My favorite flavor of crazy here is the fact that the Heene family is now living with someone they met because her teenage daughter struck up an internet romance with one of the boys. Instead of cutting off the girl's access, or mandating supervised correspondence and Skyping until this foolishness runs its course, what does the mother do? She invites the Balloon Boy family to live with hers.

Richard must have that kind of visionary charm that works wonders on vulnerable women who don't have experience with genuinely strong, reliable men.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:23 PM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope someone's working on an Old Skull post because that would be way more poignant than the goddamn Heene family.
posted by cropshy at 4:26 PM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Richard must have that kind of visionary charm that works wonders on vulnerable women who don't have experience with genuinely strong, reliable men.
Like many just about ALL bigamists and cult leaders.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:40 PM on July 5, 2013


chococat: "I pledge allegiance to Unlocking the Truth

Holy shit.
Can we make this thread about them? Because they are awesome.
"

You have my vote to re-purpose this thread from a pathetic fame hound to a couple of nice kids who just happen to shred better than some professionals three times their age.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:47 PM on July 5, 2013


The Shaggs. Kid bands are BAD FUCKING NEWS.

The Shaggs are the best news.
posted by ersatz at 5:56 PM on July 5, 2013


These people remind me a bit of the family in Swamplandia. Hopefully without all the tragedy.
posted by number9dream at 6:28 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have not read the whole thread, but has anyone mentioned that Unlocking the Truth is fucking awesome? Because...damn.
posted by sharpener at 8:00 PM on July 5, 2013


Suggestion: metal covers of old Robyn Hitchcock songs! And Balloon Man blew up in my hand...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:39 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unlocking the Truth was featured on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell recently! They rule.
posted by SarahElizaP at 8:53 PM on July 5, 2013


The Shaggs are the best news.

The reason I say that is because Dot Wiggin claims that their dad forced them to be in a band because he thought he could get rich off this dumb rock n' roll crap that takes no talent to play, was a Joseph Jackson style slavedriver, and molested them.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:45 AM on July 6, 2013


None of the Wiggin sisters ever touched another instrument and do not like being asked about The Shaggs. They're all normal, married, and boring.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:47 AM on July 6, 2013


Children Medieval Band are pretty amazing.
posted by h00py at 3:29 AM on July 6, 2013


DecemberBoy: "None of the Wiggin sisters ever touched another instrument and do not like being asked about The Shaggs. They're all normal, married, and boring."

I'm not 100% sure if you're being serious, but Dot discovered some lost masters in 1988 and had them re-mastered and re-released, they did reunite in 1999 for two live shows with all the members minus Helen, and as recently as 2011 the surviving members attended a musical tribute. More info in the "Rediscovery" section of The Shaggs wikipedia page.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:30 AM on July 6, 2013


I'm not 100% sure if you're being serious, but Dot discovered some lost masters in 1988 and had them re-mastered and re-released, they did reunite in 1999 for two live shows with all the members minus Helen, and as recently as 2011 the surviving members attended a musical tribute. More info in the "Rediscovery" section of The Shaggs wikipedia page.

I was, but I now recall it was HELEN Wiggin, not Dot, that made the molestation allegations, and that was all from an interview in the 90s before any of that happened. I'm glad they aren't as soured on music as I thought.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:52 AM on July 6, 2013


Still not 100% absolutely sure: is this all from one of those Wes Anderson films that I haven't seen yet?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:25 PM on July 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Without having read anything about this post I would now like to express my most astringent Internet Scorn for all of the humans mentioned in it:

SCORN!!!!!

(There, I feel better now.)
posted by nowhere man at 4:58 AM on July 8, 2013


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