Cancer sucks – plain and simple and I think that many of us have met someone affected by this illness or sadly suffering from it themselves. It’s never a fun experience to my knowledge and that is what brings me to the topic of this blog posting. A few months ago a friend of mine told me of his participation in a Children’s Cancer charity organization called St. Baldrick’s and it sounded like something great to support. The way the organization works is that you can either simply donate money to their cause, or volunteer to be a barber, and yes a “shavee”. You can learn more about the charity by clicking their logo below. This will not only save me some typing, but allow the point to make a lot more sense without the risk of me losing some of the important details. Then of course we invite you to proceed deeper into the narrative.
At the time this friend was doing it, I had just gotten a very short haircut so it would not have made much difference and it was at that time that I decided to support their efforts and volunteer to be one of the shavees at an event coming up in the near future. The idea was to start my own event and rally a number of the Metal troops around me to do the same but getting a location in gear was not too easily done. I’ve had less problems setting up gigs for bands I played in, but I digress.
The great photo above was one of those accidental shots that just worked out so perfectly and was done by PiercingMetal’s own Peter Parrella. You know you recognize the name as he has helped the site out when possible in terms of writing and photography. I love this photo and I’ve since used it for a lot of my Metal Media adventuring. My hair is slightly longer than what you see here and as result a wee bit messy but on 7/23/2010 it all gets shaved off in solidarity with the children that lose their own hair resultant of the cancer treatment and chemotherapy. My participant link is below for any that want to also support this great cause. I have been fortunate with a good bill of health (so far) and am really excited about being able to help out with this charity. Anything helps in the end, even a $1.
What makes this all the more interesting for me was how I was able to convince a couple of other Metal republic friends to join me in the head shaving and together we are calling ourselves The Metal Brethren. I’ve also begun to refer to the event itself as “The Baldening – There Can Be Only Skin” in homage to the kind of thing one hears on The Highlander. It’s my nerdy side showing. As mentioned our event takes place on 7/23/2010 and will be done at the Metro 53 bar which is located on 307 East 53rd Street in NYC. All are welcome to come down and see this happen.
I snared this graphic from the participant page for me and on the morning of the actual event I had raised just under $1300 dollars which I felt was pretty cool. The next shot is of the as it stood team earnings.
While we didn’t achieve the hoped for goal of 3k, we still felt that we did good. Metal Brother Pete has another few hundred bucks in checks donated and you cannot log those into the online system, only cash can get that unless the person donates themselves as that instantly shows on your tally.
So how did it go you might be wondering…….well, the photos are in, and able to be enjoyed as we continue the tale. There are a lot of them so bear with me. We start with the establishment that this all took place at which is the fantastic Metro 53 bar located at 307 East 53rd Street. This was a great place, and it had a nice look to it. I think I will do a YELP entry on them soon and I think a return visit is in order.
I mentioned how I decided to volunteer for this based on a friend doing it some months ago. Right after I enrolled, I brought it up to a couple of the dudes I see at Metal shows quite a bit. The expressed interest in supporting my efforts and I said to them “well why not join me”. They agreed pretty quickly. Ah the wonders of beer. LOL.
From left to right we have Chris, Ryan, Me and Pete. Chris actually works with Pete so it was he and Ryan who I manipulated, I mean “convinced” to help out. Thanks again guys.
Here’s a shot of some of my friends and I. From L2R we have Alan Chan, Me, Joe Kaufman, and Rob Emery. When you add it all up in terms of years, there is over 80 years of friendship. Not a bad thing at all and oh, talk about surprises, dig this. Just before this event commenced this lovely lady came up to me asking about the head shavings. I was stuck in my moment and didn’t realize that it was a recently reconnected to friend from High School. How cool is that. Thanks Facebook for doing a good job.
Back in Ye Ole High School days, Noelle knew me as a bit of the Rocker, but not what I eventually became in terms of musician and eventual Metal media maestro. Here we find me being the ever dramatic person I am and also trying to get a little bit of the Metal out of Noelle.
I just had to get a shot with the Event Coordinator for this evening, and don’t blame me, she insisted on going with a “Metal shot”. There were more horns being tossed around the bar this evening than I think had ever been before. Ronnie would be very proud of us and I am sure was smiling down.
Me and the boys got these nifty t-shirts for participating. They also had some cool buttons, a green cancer charity supporter wristband and a little St. Baldrick’s cloissone pin. Here’s a shot of me being mellow with my new shirt and the rest of the Metal Brethren with theirs.
The four of us had a nice show of support from our friends and another surprise came via musician Mark Edwards from the band Overlorde.
Mark sported the “British Steel” album cover shirt based on the razor being displayed. Funny guy. Me, I am wearing a bunch of skulls. For some reason that seemed appropriate tonight. No, this is not a Hot Topic shirt. It’s from Wal-Mart and I LOVE it.
Behold those who would take down the Metal Brethren this evening faster than an Emo Festival would ever hope to. Our lovely barberess whose name I never did get and the emcee for the night. From the moment I met him I wanted that hat, or at least to wear it for a part of the night. I know, I am a child.
Years ago in a life far, far away I sported a significant mane of blond hair and it worked for me as a Heavy Metal drummer. Those days are long gone and I’ve kept it reasonably cut of late. Based on that, it was not so much a big deal to get it shaved off and this was especially the case when I saw the young lady get up on the stage to rally the crowd for more donations. She had some seriously long, and beautiful hair but she was going to cut it off for the charity. I learned later that her name was Dominique. Kudos to you Miss.
Skow was up first and as I had requested of the DJ and host, there was some Metal being played while we did this. For Ryan’s “Baldening” they played something off of Metallica’s “Black Album”. Brother Pete wryly commented on how for the Metal Brethren they opted to play an album that most true Metal forces can’t stand. Maybe Skow should have brought some Watain as that was the shirt he sported. Of course had he played any of that it might have only been us in the bar.
Skow is rather used to the low cropped dome but agreed to let whatever would come in stay put until the shaving. We were glad he decided to join in on this little bit of charitable fun. You can see a lot more of Skow’s head shaving in the full gallery which is presented at the bottom of the narrative.
Next up at the plate, or dare I say “the chair” was Pete’s friend Chris. They continued the Metal by playing Iron Maiden’s seldom heard tune “Run To The Hills”. It’s a song I recommend every Metal head try to listen to at least once in their life 🙂
I prompted Chris for the horns at that second the shot went off because this was a sign given often this evening. At least from The Brethren.
I did not have much in terms of available time now, as Pete was next and then “gulp”, it would be me. Luckily for all involved, Metro 53 extended their Happy Hour and that meant it was easier to get “loose” and in the proper spirit. More photos of Chris getting the shave are in the gallery that we just mentioned.
Our Barberess seemed to be instilled with vigor as the “Under The Blade” song blasted over the speakers. That’s a Twisted Sister song for all you younger readers. I think Mark asked them to play this one, and that was a good selection on his part. I had to say, if Pete wanted to leave this at a mohawk it might have actually worked out for him. Of course he would then need to listen to a lot more Punk as opposed to the Metal.
Pete was done and ready for a drink. Hell, so was I since it was now my turn at bat, or at the blade….oh whatever. As the Metal Master of Ceremony the host kindly introduced me as El Capitan du PiercingMetal.com which never hurts to have happen, but what you don’t see here is my tumbling over the chair which I thought was stationary. I am sure Joe got that on tape though.
My flair for showmanship notwithstanding, they handed me the bucket to get some last minute cash in and I think I managed to get a little more. I also used the time to send a shout out to those whose memory I kept in mind as I did this.
Now the time had come and I had to stop fooling around and let the lady work. As I sat down I turned to her and said “just a little off the top”.
For me the song was KISS’ “Lick It Up” and it would have to do since this seemed to be the only KISS the DJ had. Hey, it’s better than hearing “Rock And Roll All Nite” again. I entertained a little more by playing some air drums. Those I can still handle with ease.
I couldn’t resist the chance to toss up some horns to those watching and of course add that sense of necessary Metal “drama” to Joe’s video. The whole thing was going by so quickly and if I had a dollar for every time our lovely barberess told me to sit still, I would have had another $20 to donate to the cause.
Yes, I was totally handling this with an incredible level of calm and tactful grace. OK, maybe not as one of Mark’s photos seems to capture.
What amazed me was how dark this stuff had gotten over the years. Originally it was very blond but as time marches on has taken a little more of a darker hue. Oh well, that hardly matters for the time being at least.
The barberess was making short work of my all too limited mop and I had let as much of it grow as could be in order to make the event all the more worthwhile for those who donated to me. Don’t mind me, I am still drumming along to the KISS song, it was soothing the nerves quite a bit. Amazing how silly air drumming looks in photos, I will have to stop doing that in the future.
I was quickly told to take these off since she had to keep working around them. Sigh, so bossy. Yes Ma’am.
I know it’s very corny to use the name of a Metal core band for something like this, but did you expect anything less from me? I didn’t think so, and based on that you will just have to deal.
As you see, I dealt with the end result very calmly and as promised the smashing St. Baldrick’s hat was mine. I love it when a plan comes together. Now, let the bald mayhem ensue. Time to get some fun photos and plenty of beers.
I know I look like a politician in this photo, albeit a much more honest one but I was loving the entire vibe of the night. I was surrounded by good friends that had rallied behind my team and I and we were doing this in a very cool bar.
Here is our “after” shot of the charming lot called The Metal Brethren. We would all not remember many of these photos as the night progressed. I’m just saying.
A clean mean (well, not “mean” mean) Metal machine and long time friends that came down. Thanks guys, you do me proud. Next time we shave the three of you (insert evil villain laugh here).
The Emery’s get some quality Metal Brethren time.
And now Mr. Joe Kaufman joins into the fray.
After a great job at doing some photos, Noelle decides to see how I might look with a brown, curly, half toupee. Sorry my friend, I will be sticking with the clean look for the time being.
Mark’s turn to rally with the Metal Brethren, well, 3/4’s of us at least. I think our missing mate was holding court with his own support structure. Not a bad thing. Oh yeah, Pete is wearing a Gorguts shirt, and now I was starting to feel a little lame that I didn’t decide on a band shirt for the event myself. Oh well.
We found Chris and secured a group shot. Signed 8 x 10’s are available for a nominal fee. Speak to our publicity team about special appearances and I am sure we can work something out 🙂
Hey wait a minute, Skow is NOT wearing a Watain shirt but an Immolation one. Sigh, I am losing my touch in reading these Death Metal logos that’s for sure. Of course it could be the affect our fun was having on my sight. Now it was time to see what was happening with those couple of girls we saw braving the shave.
This young lady had some seriously long and pretty hair. It was sad to see it go away but she was doing this for an amazing reason. I give her props for this.
After the longer parts were snipped away, the rest was easy. Here I thought I was being brave.
Dominique’s friend Gabrielle joined in by sitting in the chair next and the same applies in terms of my kudos. Wow. You girls are the stars of the night in my book. Their team was called “Team No Shame” and while it doesn’t resonate as loudly as Metal Brethren, we were totally in their corner as well.
Do you think the shock set in yet? I gauge in about five more minutes it will.
We were happy to get the girls joining in with this shot but the other two shavees were not in our immediate visual sensors and hence could not be asked to join in. Thanks girls, you toss a mean pair of horns. Maybe we shall see you at one of the upcoming shows. For the next shot I couldn’t resist sporting my new hat.
So there you have it. Our little adventure into head shaving on behalf of the St. Baldrick’s organization has come to an end. We thank you for sticking with us through the scope of this very long narrative and appreciate it because there were a lot of special moments to reflect upon and share with you. Thanks once again for those that supported me for the charity and on behalf of my team. I think that we raised about 2100k across the board and just this morning the event coordinator informed me that almost 8k was raised in total. Yes the Metal Brothers did some good and it looks like we might try this again next year. We shall see what happens. Thanks to all those amazing people who organized the event especially Alix Liiv and the great staff over at Metro 53. I will definitely be visiting this establishment again in the future. We hope you enjoyed our participation as well.
Thanks also to those folks that came down to rally behind us, because we all had a blast with your presence and you made it a lot more fun to be doing. All of the photos taken rock the socks and we are so happy that you took the time to snap them as the event took place.
A full gallery of shots can be enjoyed below and the photos were taken by me, Ken Pierce, Noelle Battaglia and Mark Edwards. There are some similar shots but that’s because some of us were shooting different angles of the same thing as the night progressed. The first group are Noelle and my own and the second batch Mark’s. We hope you like them and perhaps find inspiration to join us for the next head shaving. The video recorded by Joe Kaufman has yet to be turned in to headquarters but when we get it we shall load it onto a YouTube account. Stay tuned.
Official Website: http://www.stbaldricks.org