Trailer Park Hooligans

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Reporter in central rubs shoulders with, um, greatness

Which of these people doesn't belong?

It's hard to tell, isn't it?

Actually, the person at front, right, is David Newell, a senior reporter with The Advertiser in Grand Falls-Windsor. Word is, Newell sent a note to his editor, advising her that he was going to run off and join the infamous Trailer Park Boys (TPB), becoming the fourth wheel on the boys' eight cylinder vehicle of ill repute.

Just joking I think.

Newell had the pleasure of meeting the boys at Salmon Fest, and NTV reporter Colleen Lewis snapped this photo for posterity.

Newell was delighted to meet the boys, and I do get it. I mean, there are famous people, and then there are famous people. And Bubbles is about as stellar as they come.

I fired off a note to Newell, rife with questions about what was it like to meet Bubbles,' were they drunk or stoned' and' are they the most famous role models he's met.' Here is David's reply:

I actually did not interview the boys.

Colleen Lewis from NTV had arranged an interview and I tagged along to take a photo and meet the guys.

The "interview" she did ended up being a five-minute conversation between Bubbles, Julian and Ricky about Newfoundland, the Salmon Festival and the fact there was no fish in the sandwiches they had to offer. I think Colleen asked one question. I could not tell you what it was, because together with Colleen, one of the TPB's handlers and a handful of people who were lurking around, I was almost LITERALLY on the ground with laughter.

I was at the concert with only my cameras - I had not intended on conducting any interviews, which obviously shows an incredible lack of planning. However, trying to take the best photos possible with a window of only five minutes per group is enough of a challenge.

The interview is to be on Monday night's NTV News.

They were incredibly cooperative and all business off-camera, but as soon as the red light went on they were exactly as they are on their Showcase show and recent feature film. We chatted about their manager, Louis Thomas, who is from St. John's, and played with a band along with his brothers almost 20 years ago called The Thomas Trio and the Red Albino. They were very complimentary of Newfoundland, Grand Falls-Windsor and the festival itself.

They were not drinking during the interview and there was no hint of any other substances. They were a great bunch of guys. There were as sober as most judges when I met them yesterday afternoon.

I was lucky enough to meet the guys at the local pub a little later on in the night, but let's just say that they work hard and play hard as well.

As for meeting role models, Grand Falls-Windsor is not a hotbed for celebrities. I was lucky enough to interview Ken Dryden last year, which was a huge thrill for me.

Perhaps the biggest role model I have met recently is Gary Dimmock, who once worked at the Express. He is an incredibly talented investigative journalist working for the Ottawa Citizen. I learned more about journalism, how to get a story and myself in the few hours I was with him than I had from anyone else in a long time. He was and is inspirational.

The role models you meet in Grand Falls-Windsor are those people who have overcome great obstacles to have a normal life, those who give selflessly to help others and those who survive being victimized in some way and then tell their story in the hope of spreading the word or helping someone else avoid their problems. Sounds pretty cheesy, but I have found out very quickly in this business that the real stories, the stories that are about real people, are the ones I like to tell.

Colleen Ray from CBC Radio was also at the concert, but was not working. She was and is enamoured with Jason Hoggarth of Hedley and took a fair bit of ribbing from, well, me.

This is the second Salmon Festival I have covered and I have gained a great respect for photogs who work taking rock pics for a living. It was like an oven in front of the stage and combined with the "five-minute" rule which limits the prime photo opportunities you get, dodging the water bottles the crowd is throwing and getting kicked in the head by the fans that security is pulling over the fence, I was glad when the night was over. (Editor's note: Photographers are often given just five minutes in front of the stage at the start of the show, before being shooed out of there.)

At one point backstage I was lucky enough to meet Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, which is a band I have always loved. During their set, I was at the front of the stage for quite some time trying to get a perfect shot of him for our photo spread and hopefully the front page. I think he sensed my frustration, since I had followed his movements back and forth across the stage for several minutes. He looked down at me, smiled, winked, and struck a classic "rockstar" pose long enough for me to get a great pic.

Years ago, I had dreams of being a music journalist. I worked at and eventually managed A & A Records and Music World in St. John's and thought it would have been very glamourous. I'm too old for that now, but any inclination there is glamour in any kind of journalism is gone. It can be fun, very rewarding and exciting, but I doubt there is glamour in any journalist's life.

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  • Kevin
    July 27, 2010 - 14:53

    Good to see David had a great time meeting his Idols, the Trailer Park Boys.
    As a music/entertainment journalist with The Herald, I have to tell David that I've had my own struggles as a journalist trying to separate my professional side, from my fan side, but you do what you can with every interview you do.
    I've interviewed on the phone such diverse entertainers from country superstar Dwight Yoakam to AJ MacLean of the Backstreet Boys, and you just try to connect with them on some level, whether by their songwriting, or research their experiences, to even studying lyrics on records and find out what they were thinking when they wrote the song.
    I have lots of great moments so far in my young career. I remember interviewing Canadian music superstar Feist on the phone a couple of years ago, and it took every bit of effort not to just swoon and tell her I adored her and her music every second I had her on the phone! But I held up okay and the interview went fine.
    I normally don't get to do in-person interviews a lot with big stars, but one, I do remember was interviewing Canadian actress (and star on the rise) Lindy Booth. Booth was in the movie remake of Dawn of The Dead and also the TV show Relic Hunter and I'm a HUGE fan of hers. She was in town last year filming Behind The Wall, and of course, I went all out trying to score an interview.
    Anyway, I did, and we had a brief on-set chat. We had a good interview and I was impressed with not just her beauty, but her professionalism throughout. Feeling stoked afterwards, I was feeling exuberant, until I discovered my tape recorder hadn't been working at all during most of the chat, and I was so into the moment, I didn't notice!
    I hadn't the nerve to try again, so I just left it as an experience that I can recall with a smile, and one of the perks of working with an entertainment magazine. But at least, I did get to chat with Dan Aykroyd last year when he was in town, so that was pretty awesome.
    As for photography, I've had my own struggles trying to get the right shot, because I actually know very little about photography. Sometimes you get lucky, as I did with Sam Roberts when he played at the Delta Hotel one year. Other times, you might take hundreds of pics but may only get one to use...but as long as you got that one, it was alright!
    Now, I let the pros do the photography work and I just enjoy what I do every day. It's time-consuming at times, but it can be a lot of fun too.

    Best of luck at the Advertiser, David!.