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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beVW82drfYM”

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Juan Mann announces two new sites: www.freehugscampaign.org and www.freehelpcampaign.org, 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

Tagged:

Location: