Christmas at Advanced Hair Studio
So the genesis for 'The League of Bald Headed Men' and ultimately 'The Bloke Project' had been borne.....
But without any budget, how do we get the word out there?
One early venture was to hold a Christmas function primarily outside a Hair Restoration Studio in East Melbourne.
Along with the Santa costume went the placards and various chants, formulating a mock protest that veterans of the Franklin crusade would have been proud.
On leaving the studio and crossing a main road, a big black Beamer cruised up blocking our path and a window came down. A stream of abuse proceeded from the driver who was later identified as the CEO of Advanced Hair. On being told to pull his head in he promptly jumped out of his car whist still sitting in the intersection and blocking around ten cars that were following behind.
Santa (founder Steve Espenschied) walked around the Beamer to face up. It didn’t occur till later that a bald fat Santa punching on in the middle of a busy city intersection would have been difficult for parents to explain to passing children.
Once the CEO faced up and realised the difference in size and that Santa was deadly serious, an employee dragged him off into the sunset.
When Channel 9 heard about ‘The League’ they just had to get a repeat of the hair studio protest and felt it would make great television to repeat it. Not wanting to push their luck, it was decided to redo the protest at another establishment and ‘Ultra Hair’ around the corner in Fitzroy was selected.
The protest was similar (see Today show story below) and so was the owner response. However, instead of a Beamer, this time it was a Porsche (there must be a bit of money in placing dead animals on people’s heads). The girlfriend in the car tried to bribe the boys with free tickets to her private show and some of the older bald guys were sorely tempted to oblige. The owner who many would be familiar with from his Ultra Tune car ads, threatened to pull his advertising from Channel 9 and as a consequence the images of the studio and its role in the story were drastically cut. This gave a great insight into the link between advertising revenue and editorial integrity within media.
What made this story more intriguing was down the track it was discovered that the owner of Ultra Tune who was so unhappy with the bald guys protesting outside his studio, was the person who supplied underworld figure and former fugitive ‘Tony Mokbel’ his famed hairpiece for a disguise to skip the country. It was also reported that he was part of various farm and property transactions with fellow baldman, Tony. Possibly the baldmen were lucky to have escaped their hair studio publicity runs without concrete shoes that day but we liked to think that these Hair Sudio's comprehended that we were only taking the piss out of ourselves (but mainly them)......