Sick Puppies sing for Free Hugs Campaign in Sydney

Australian band Sick Puppies has collaborated with returned expatriate Juan Mann (pseudonym) to launch a worldwide ‘free hugs’ campaign. ‘Juan Mann’ was living in London in January, 2004 when circumstances changed and he needed to return to his home city, Sydney. It wasn’t a happy time. He’d broken up with his fiancee, his parents had divorced and his grandmother was ill. At a party a ‘completely random person’ came up to him and gave him a hug. The effect on his attitude to life got Juan thinking. On June 30, 2004 Juan took the plunge and started offering ‘free hugs’ in Pitt St Mall in Sydney’s central business district. Rather than accosting strangers, Juan held up a sign offering free hugs. At first people were suspicious but over time Mann’s ‘free hug’ service became a regular part of the downtown culture of Sydney.

Still from Free Hugs Sick Puppies music video

Shimon Moore, lead singer of Sydney band Sick Puppies, met Juan while carrying a sandwich board for half-price shoes. When he took the opportunity to share a hug Shimon learnt about Juan’s motivation to light up people’s lives with a smile. He’d just seen Murgon Spurlock’s documentary, Supersize Me, and was looking for a film project of his own.

Juan and Shimon started filming one day a week in different parts of Sydney. There were complications however. The police in some parts of Sydney pressured Juan to organise public liability insurance cover in case someone got hurt. Together they raised 10,000 signatures on a petition to waive this requirement.

Two years after the ‘free hugs’ footage was filmed, Juan’s grandmother died. Shimon was in Los Angeles with his fellow band members, Emma Anzai and Mark Goodwin (who had just replaced Chris Mileski on drums). In an effort to cheer Juan up he edited together a short video clip for Juan. linking the about-to-be-released single, “All The Same” with the clip to make it into a music video. Emma and Chris suggested uploading the video onto YouTube. Emma Anzai(Bass) and Mark Goodwin (Drums).

Within days the the ‘Free Hugs’ music video had taken off. After clearing the rights to the music and footage with YouTube the clip was featured on the front page. The rest is history. (Including YouTube’s March 26 2007 announcement that the Free Hugs campaign won the award for Most Inspirational video in 2006).

Click on the image below to play the Free Hugs (September 22) video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Ten News Story in YouTube”

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Juan Mann announces two new sites: and, adding to the Sick Puppies MySpace Site and Free Hugs Campaign MySpace Site.

The campaign has started to take on a life of its own, with people around the world starting their own expression of the ‘Free Hug’ offer in downtown city streets. The Free Hugs Campaign web site features videos of these experiences.

Lyrics for All The Same

Sick Puppies - All the Same - Single - All the SameI don’t mind where you come from
As long as you come to me
I don’t like illusions I can’t see
Them clearly

I don’t care no I wouldn’t dare
To fix the twist in you
You’ve shown me eventually
What you’ll do

I don’t mind…
I don’t care…
As long as you’re here

Go ahead tell me you’ll leave again
You’ll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It’s all the same
And I’ll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It’s all the same

Hours slide and days go by
Till you decide to come
And in between it always seems too long
All of a sudden

And I have the skill, yeah I have the will
To breathe you in while I can
However long you stay
Is all that I am

I don’t mind…
I don’t care…
As long as you’re here

Go ahead tell me you’ll leave again
You’ll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It’s all the same
And I’ll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It’s always the same

Wrong or right
Black or white
If I close my eyes
It’s all the same

In my life
The compromise
I close my eyes
It’s all the same

Go ahead say it you’re leaving
You’ll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It’s all the same
And I’ll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It’s all the same

All the Same (Free Hugs Campaign) – Sick Puppies music video on iTunes

References for Free Hugs Campaign

Sydney Morning Herald story from November 6 2004

Sydney Morning Herald story from September 28, 2006

Free Hugs Campaign at Wikipedia

Who Magazine Interview with Shimon Moore
Who Magazine Interview with Juan Mann

Filed under: Music Videos



  • solyy.

    i absoloutely love this song, it’s so sweet. HUG ME. xo

  • chels

    this is the best video clip i have evr seen it really touched my heart

  • chloe

    i love this song i love the video i just love watching it.
    its really awsome.

  • teags

    i luv this song its the best song ever and i saw the sick puppies at the aussie day concert they r so cool and i got a hug from the free hug guy.

  • Allison

    You tube…I just so love this song in fact every time I get online I go straight to the sight sorta enlightening.

  • scott

    yeh i love this song to and the video. free hugs from me to all who need them 🙂 and those who dont

  • Aaron

    best song in world.. =]

    did they win a logi..chatch

  • Aaron

    This song was number one in australia.. last month.. soooo… thats how big it is….

    for my wedding ill chose this song .. =p

  • Thuy Nguyen

    This song sounds so touched..i love it…and this guy is such a wonderful guy….

  • Brandon

    I loved this song, i hade actually done a free hug thing myself with my friend’s, but we all hade no clue that this great man hade done something like this though too. but when i hade seen this video it really did speak to me…and just seeing this man that hade so many wrong’s going on in his own life….and then he just turn’s it right around and get’s this idea to help people out if they are haveing a bad time them selv’s….and it all started with a simple hug.

    my opinion: just shed some love lol such little thing’s can come out to serv a very good perpous for other people 😉

  • Carla Mulhern

    I love this song, it goes so well with the video!!!.
    You showed how much we can do just by hugging people..A LOT!!
    It may sound kind of funny for some people, but just watching the video makes me feel so good!
    Congratulations for the great idea

  • Melissa

    I love the song, but your story is a little off. The correct names of the band members are Emma Anzai(Bass) and Mark Goodwin (Drums).

  • Heather

    what a wonderful song and video, imagine what the world would be like if everyone participated in a free hugs campaign. 🙂

  • jennamay

    this song is so awesome great lyrics great calming voice and the music video gall the music video when you watch this guy its so cool to see that there actually is a caring human being in this world lol i love the faact they made this video to go with the song
    thank you so much

  • meeeeeeee

    this video makes me cry..its really good and it has a message..bolth the song nd vied..great..

  • Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks

  • Luis Miguel

    Es la unica canción que expresa lo que siento por mi novia jossy. Gracias Sick Puppies

  • jupabdoqdog

    Hey, you’re into his nipples. It’s a truly sympathetic teenie xxx view of life -.

  • Cher

    The World needs more Hugs and less hostility & negativity. Cher

  • i’m french sorry

    ma best et moi on a fait des “free hugs” au luxembourg pendant un marcher medieval, son pere avai un stande de tarte flambé et nous on se baladai dans le marcher deguiser comme tout les autre commercent de stande en mediaval, cetai le soir et il y avai beaucoup de monde ma best a pri un carton et a ecri “free hugs calin gatuit le sida ne se trensmet pas comme sa l’amour oui” avec des coeur ensuite elle ma dit qu’on allai decendre la rue et voir s’il von nous en faire!
    au debut persone ne venai mais il regardai le paneau avec beaucoup d’attention on essayen de comprend, on s’aretai ici ou la pour expliquer soi en allemand soi en francais et on recevai des calin, on a monter une rue et on c areter devan la buvet ou il y avai des musitien (die streuner) on les avai deja vu chanter et dancer on c’est arreter et il nous on fait des calin tout plein et on a eux des autographe, celui qui parlai le mieu francai nous a dit “on a vu beaucoup de chose mais alor sa c’est une premiere” on a expliquer qu’on a vu sa dans une pub tele pour le sida ils nous on dit que c’etai super pui on a continuer! maintenan on compte bien le refaire dans notre ville et partou on on ira!

  • Liz Norman

    Just wanted to say what a truly lovely guy you are!! A hug is the most personal (but yet impersonal) gift you can give to anyone, & after what you’ve been through, or even if you hadn’t been through your experience which left you feeling the need to give free hugs, I just wanted to pass on an e-hug from me to you!!! You’ve really touched me with your music & video… than you! Love you loads…. loads & loads of hugs & kisses.. Lizzie x

  • Nate

    I would def hug a dude holdin a sign like that. Gatta love guys gatta love :).. ps LOVE THE SICK PUPPIES…SAW THEM LIVE 🙂

  • ianna

    i have to do a report for english, so i chose rock music today. my teacher helped me out a little bit, and gave me some helpful hints. she told me to find out, what an affect rock music has on society. Ive seen the sick puppies video before, and i fell in love with it. so of course, after she finished that sentace, the first thought that came into my head was ” free hugs “. i came home today, and found this website, and starting taking notes on it. yes, i knew what free hugs campaign was, but not completley. i read this entire web page, and i found it extremley inspiring. i cant even explain, how moved i am, and how i just wanna take a free hugs sign, and stand in the middle of the mall here. its incredible how one hug, can change someones day completley around.

    * hug *

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