Does the name Falcon Heene mean anything to you? OK. How about Balloon Boy? That's little Falcon, alright, and he's not so little anymore. Well, actually, he sort of his, but that's not stopping his dad from attempting to hit the moving target of fame by pimping out his child once again — this time by promoting balloon boy and his brothers as the Heene Boyz, also known as the World's Youngest Metal Band.
To jog your memory, the last we saw of the Heene brood, the end of their 15 minutes went something like this: Wolf Blitzer called out the Heene patriarch, Richard, for the high flying hoax that briefly captivated a nation — and the rest of his family looked on, as if they wanted nothing to do with him:
And now, three years later, those boys — Falcon is 9, Ryo is 12, and Bradford is 13 — are creating puzzling music videos like this:
Not so good, right? Like, how metal and edgy can a nine-year-old be? And what kind of metal-loving adults would really like this? (Their YouTube videos garner between 500-2000 views, and there seems to be a pattern: each video has a comment from a now-deleted user named John Hutchinson saying how much it rocks.)
The Broward-Palm Beach New Times's Deirdra Funcheon caught up with the family and details the 2009 national nuisance these people created, as well as the 2010 walk-back from Richard, who is still maintaining his innocence while insisting he truly believed his child was in that silver balloon. But, really, all anyone wants to know is why this guy's still exploiting his kids and what's he going to say when someone finally asks him: "Exploitation? ... Nobody has said anything about that," Richard tells Funcheon. Which Funcheon sort of lets Heene get away with, before talking to the boys, who offered this strange collective answer:
So what's next?
Ryo: We want to play music for the rest of our lives.
Falcon: We want to go to Sunfest.
Bradford: I want to play in a movie, play guitar, and do real estate too.
Bradford: Yeah, fix up houses and sell them. My dad teaches us how to do drywall, electrical work, tiling, plumb, roofing, concrete...
Real estate? The rest of their lives? What about... stuff that normal stuff that 9-year-olds want to do? (What do 9-year-olds do?)
"This has absolutely nothing to do with Richard Heene," said Richard Heene, "but who better than me to take a position as their manager? I don't want them to get ripped off." Of course you don't, Richard. Of course you don't.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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