What Balloon Boy did next

Last updated 15:16 03/07/2013
Balloon Boy
Reuters
GLOBAL HEADLINES: The helium balloon that Richard Heene claimed took his boy, Falcon.
Balloon Boy
heeneboyz.com
HEAVY TWEENIE: Falcon now rocks as the frontman of Heene Boyz.

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You'd think that if your dad turned you into a global headline joke, you'd want to keep your head down and avoid the media for the rest of your life.

Or at the very least not listen to any career advice your dad offered your way.

Not so for 10-year-old Falcon Heene, who is better known to the world as Balloon Boy.

In 2009, his dad Richard Heene led the media to believe that Falcon had floated away in a silver helium balloon.

TV cameras followed the out-of-control balloon as rescuers tried desperately to bring Falcon down safely.

The event gripped the world, but what could have been an awful tragedy turned out to be a hoax, designed to grab attention for a reality TV show.

Falcon was in fact safe on the ground in the Heene family home in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Falcon's mother and father were jailed for the stunt and threatened with further punishment if they were tried to profit from their hoax.

Heene senior now has a new, slightly weightier hobby - managing his three young sons' heavy metal career.

In an interview with Gawker, he said the boys' band, Heene Boyz, had recorded an EP and were currently touring America's north east.

He denied that the tweenie band - Falcon on bass and vocals, Ryo, 12, on drums and Bradford, 13, on lead guitar - was an attempt by him to cash in on his family's notoriety. 

The interview with Gawker offered a fascinating insight into tween rock and how the family had tried to distance itself from the balloon scandal, or at least any hint that it is profiting from it.

Perhaps the most telling and touching quote comes near the start. Richard Heene tells reporter Camille Dodero that one Christmas he was so broke he gave his boys an elaborate building kit he made out of US$35 worth of materials:

"The kids loved it," he said. "They built a flying saucer out of it."

A flying saucer. There was a very long pause. "I did not say that," he said, eyeing the recorder before him. "Ughhhhh," he groaned. He put his face in his right hand, somewhat helplessly. "But they did literally build one!"

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