Whelp, I went and did it. I told myself and my readers that I would not do this, but here I am, head hung low, in the very situation that I did not want to be in. It’s June 6th, 2010, which means that it has been exactly 3 months and 9 days since my last blog. I said that I would not put a post off that long, but, being the procrastinating and lazy person that I am, I did. I am deeply sorry. I hope I did not ruin anyone’s schedule, or drive anyone wide eyed and crazy, waiting day in and day out for the next episode to pop up in their email or rss feed. I have this vision of thousands of people waking up and running to their computers, turning them on, eagerly awaiting and salivating through the boot-up process, clicking the bookmark to my page, which of course is the only icon on the entire desktop. Then my graphic finally pops up, and they breath in, and grasp their chair to brace themselves for the exhilarating jolt of delightful perturbation that runs through them when they read the title of my next episode in this stirring and zestful story…but again…it’s not there. They relax their grip, their shoulders slowly drop, and they look down to one side at the floor, and stare in disappointment. Then, after a few moments of coming to grips with this bring down, they get up, and shuffle back to bed. Just before leaving the room, they take one look back with a bit of fond hope at the screen…just in case. They nod a bit, in acceptance, because they knew it was going to look just as it did before, with the same old episode they have already read. Back then, when that episode was fresh and novel, things were good…congenial. The expectation of another episode to come within a reasonable amount of time passing was the way of things. Not now. Now it’s just…well…it’s just time to go back to sleep. And they do.
Anyway, all apologies. Did ya like my little story of the forsaken readers? Can ya tell I have been reading a Thesaurus?
Well, it has been quite some time, so enough messin’ around. Let me tell ya what happened next.
Oh, by the way, first thing. I forgot to include one person who helped me out in the weeks leading up to the event. A great article about the upcoming show was written on November 23rd in The City Weekly by Marq Manner. Thanks, Marq, your help in many projects that my friends and I have been involved in over the years has been invaluable. A toast to Marq Manner!
Here is a link to the article at City Weekly's website, and a clip of the actual article as it appeared in the magazine
The first media outlets to respond after the conference were local. They were broadcast that very evening after the record breaking ceremony at Capitol, and before the benefit concert. Channel 3 Live at Five and Channel 7 News at Six both did a story on the record, and plugged the benefit concert still to come later that night. Of course, that was the plan, but they didn’t have to do it. It’s not like we held a gun to their head. None of the other local channels were there. They just did it because they thought it was a good story. Also, Todd Murphy from Universal had the right connections for the local media, and brought more validity to the story. So a big thanks to them, it was way cool of them to show up.
Now, during the weekend after the event, three very important things were happening. Wayne Brekke was putting together the footage and sending it to CNN’s I-Report, Alex Bond was sending his pics and story to wherever he could, and I was updating my sites and spreading the word in the social media realm, and putting together the evidence to send in to Guinness.
The first thing I did when I woke up on Saturday November 15th was write thank you e-mails to everyone involved in the project. I knew I had to get that done before I went on the Internet, otherwise there was a good chance that I would never get it done, and that is something I felt was very important.
Then I hit the information super highway and my e-mail to see what kind of results, if there were any, had popped up or creeped in.
Wayne had e-mailed me a video link. He already did the post production stuff and had the video up on You Tube the very next day! OOO I was GIDDY! I clicked the link and watched it for the first time. I was completely stunned! I watched it again and again. Wayne did a freakin' INCREDIBLE job on this video. I mean that sincerely, it gave me the chills. As I watched it, I knew it was gonna be a hit on the Internet. I posted it on my Myspace site and went straight to e-mailing everyone about it, and put links to it wherever I could. As of this writing, it has been viewed 127, 349 times.
The story was starting to pop up in places here and there on the Internet. To my surprise, AOL.com had already picked it up in their "Weird News" section. It was the pic of me in the dryer chair that Alex Bond took, and I think a link to the local Channel 7 footage. That's where it started on most of the big sites like AOL, in the "What's New With Weird", or "Antic of the Day" type sections, which was fine with me.
Then I found it on Newsvine, The Examiner, Digg.com, and MSNBC. Those are some heavy-hitting websites that I was on already! Also, I was on the front page of local media websites, channel 3 and channel 7, and the other local media had me on their sites now, too. I was delighted!
Sunday, November 16, 2008.
I had talked with Lindsay Baker of The Reader a couple days before, and we had set up a telephone interview for today at noon to talk about how the events went and things like that. We had a great conversation. Lindsay was fun to talk to. I felt like I was just bullshitting with a high school friend the whole time. She ended up writing a wonderful article that appeared in the following week’s Reader that I will post here soon.
Alex e-mailed me the pictures he took, which turned out great! He gave me a link to a little gallery he created, and told me that his pictures and the story were up on AOL already. I told him that I had seen that, and I was very grateful. Here is the link to his gallery:
I also got the CD of pictures that paparazzibyapointment.com took. They turned out awesome, and I was organizing them and putting them up on Myspace. I got some pretty good pics from my brother and my mom, too. Then the pics from Sarah and AL, and the video, I was backing it all up and putting what I wanted on my site.
I remember thinking at some point on Sunday that maybe this is about how far it's gonna get. I knew that it would get picked up by a few more media markets, and some other websites were bound to pick up the story from AOL and MSNBC, but that may be about it, and I was alright with that. My story was up on the front page of most the local media websites, I found it on a few other media sites from other cities like Denver and Des Monies, and it was on some national media websites from the top of the heap. Pretty damn good, I thought! It was enough to get me in the record book. I had a great time, learned a lot, helped out some charities, made some new friends and contacts, did what I told the sponsors I would do, and brought an intangible idea out of my mind and into the world to follow it through to a successful conclusion. Yea, I was alright with that.
Then Wayne called. He said CNN’s I-Report wants to do an interview with both him and I over the phone. I was floored.
Wayne had already done this a few weeks before with the Zombie Walk, and I thought something like this may happen, but I also thought they might not want to do an interview with Wayne from Omaha about something in Omaha one right after another. Guess I was wrong. They wanted to do the interview the next day, Nov. 17th.
I could not sleep Sunday night. I was up late, just as I was Saturday night, posting, searching, reading, responding, e-mailing, working on my videos for You Tube, bookmarking, and conversing with tons of people from all over the world via blogs and social sites.
Monday, November 17th.
I went to work. The first voice I hear is Bobbi’s, the administrative assistant and also the person who created the banner for the event.
“You’re on the front page of AOL! C’mere, c’mere!”. She pulled on my arm and walked me to her computer and there I was. Alex Bond’s picture of me in the dryer chair and the story was right there on the front page of AOL!
A couple hours later, BAM! Wayne’s video was on the front page of MSNBC! It was starting to roll, big time!
Since I work at Universal Information Services, they were helping me by monitoring the media all over the country. Maggie would send me an email every so often to let me know where the story was going. It started popping up in media markets all over the place.
Then, at noon, it was time to go over to Wayne’s house for our interview with CNN’s I-Report. When I got there, he set me up with a phone upstairs, and he went to a phone downstairs. We both had CNN on, because it was a live interview, and waited for the call. It was SO surreal! They were running spots for what was coming up in the show, and they would show a pic of me, and say things like,
“Coming up, a hair-raising experience! What’s it like to break the record for World’s Tallest Mohawk? Well, we’ll be talking to Eric Hahn, who did just that, and I-Reporter Wayne Brekke who was on the scene!”
It was incredible! I cannot tell you how interesting, weird, surreal, scary, and exciting it was to watch commercials for an upcoming LIVE interview… with ME… on NATIONAL LIVE TELEVISION!
Then the phone call. I heard Wayne mumble downstairs. Then he yelled “Ok, pick up the phone!” There was a calm, professional male voice on the other end. He said to hold on for one segment, then commercial, then we will be on. I don’t remember the segment, or a single commercial. Then he came back. “Ok, you guys are up”.
Wayne had told me before pretty much how it was going to go, since he had just done this same thing a couple weeks before. I was nervous, but I knew what to do. Just be myself.
“And here on the phone live with us now are Eric Hahn, and Wayne Brekke. Eric, we’ll start with you. What kind of hair store was it?”
Ya know how sometimes your mind can think a million miles an hour and ask ten questions and answer them within a millisecond? Well, that’s what happened next. She didn’t just ask me what kind of hair store it was, did she? Does she mean Capitol? That don't make sense. No, she did not ask that. I don’t know what she just asked me, I cant think of what it sounds like. Don’t say What or HUH, just repeat what you thought you heard, I guess, cause there is no time to think.
“What kind of hair store?” I asked to clarify.
“Hair SPRAY”, she said.
Yup, that’s how it started. It’s ok, though, it went fine after that. You can see what I mean at the beginning, and watch the rest of it right here:
Whew! It went by quick! I was kicking myself a bit immediately afterwards, because I did not get hardly any of my sponsors in there. I mentioned the charities and got some band pics, but didn’t get a chance for sponsors. I goofed it up for them, and I thought a couple might be a bit upset about that. As it turned out, I had a few more opportunities to make it up, and I learned not to let the interview be controlled by the interviewer so much after that little experience.
Anyway, I didn’t let that bother me. It was fun, and one hell of an affair! Wayne and I were on a high after that, laughing and talking for a bit. We checked out some of the comments about our video on You Tube, talked about some of them and the reaction this whole thing has got so far. Then I went to collect the interview recording, and put it up on my sites.
On the drive home, I remember thinking about some of the comments we got on You Tube. I don't respond very often to comments. I don't know why, but i just don't. It seems to steer the conversation too much towards me, I guess, and I just want to sit back and see what people think, without getting involved. I also prepared myself for the onslaught of negative feedback that always seems to come with any kind of fame. Just from reading responses to videos on You Tube of other record breakers, I saw that the Internet was full of dip shits, haters, jealous wannabes, negative naggers, and nitpicking nincompoops who have nothing better to do but to try and tear down other people to make themselves feel better. Poor bastards. OH… and I DEFINITELY got my share of those. It started immediately. When Bobbi showed me my picture on the front page of AOL.com, she covered up the comments with her hand at first because she didn’t want me to see them. I thought it was funny. I convinced her to move her hand, and she was right! A lot of the comments were just horrible and mean, and there was a good portion of them. I just let that shit slide right off. Some of it is even entertaining. The better part of the comments that were left, however, at least in this experience, were positive and intelligent. Those are the ones I focus on. Another thing. Ya know, as I write this, I am getting the feeling that I should get involved in the comments more now, become part of the conversation more. I think I will, from now on. It may be a little late now, but given the chance, I think I am going to throw my hat in the ring next time.
When I got home, an e-mail from Alex let me know that he was the one who got my story on the front page of AOL. He used some contacts he had there to push it through. He also got it on the front page of Asylum. com. Awesome!
Then it just blew up. I typed "Worlds Tallest Mohawk" into Google, and it was all over the place. Most of the websites were pointing to AOL, MSNBC, and Asylum. It was as if once it hit the front page of those websites, it got picked up by hundreds of other sites. It was also being broadcast on local media outlets all over the country.
Here is a few links from the ones that are still there. (not on the front page anymore, of course.)
This one is my favorite:
Here are a few videos from some markets it was in. I thought to record all the video I, but I didn't think to save the pages the right way. I bookmarked them, but they disappear. In order to save a web page forever, you have to save the whole web page as a file, with all the links and pictures and video in a folder. Oh well, I still got more than enough memorabilia.
Anyway, here are a few news feeds I got:
So that's where I was Monday night, at the beginning of the media fallout. I knew it was just the beginning, too. I went to bed that night wondering what was going to happen next. Who was going to call? I sent my story to the Ellen Show, Glenn Beck, Adam Corolla, and a few other places. Anything could happen now, and I was ready for it. I was full of confidence, and willing to take this as far as I possibly could.
So come on back and I'll answer that very question for you...who called next?
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