Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Child Bite - May 6 - W.A.B. - gas money for their Big Beard Showdown in Alaska

World Beard and Mustache Championships – May 20 – 24 Info: www.akbeardclub.com/ Myspace.com/childbite

(child bite photo by jason wong)

Detroit-based freak-pop quartet Child Bite – known as much for their engaging live shows as they are for their scraggly/grizzly appearances (hands-down the best set of beards in town…) are taking their fuzzy faces on the road, to compete! The band is holding a fundraiser, May 6 – at the W.A.B. to get a bit of funding for their ambitious trek from Detroit to Anchorage AK – to compete in the World Beard and Mustache Championships, hosted by South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club. The band will tour their way out there, across the U.S. – which includes a 43-hour-drive from Vancouver through the expanse of Alaska.

Said Child Bite singer/guitarist, Shawn Knight: "The South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club is hosting this event along with the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau and local Lions Clubs. Bob Gengler, Club President and current Mr. Fur Face, states that he "is very proud to be showing the rest of the world our great State and our long history of beard contests."
"They have each registered to compete in the contest as well so we will have to see if anyone can bring home the Gold Pan trophies and the titles to Michigan," said Bob GenglerPresident – SCAKBMC. "Who needs the Pistons or the Tigers, when you have Childbite and their facial hair…"

Gengler is an avid facial hair grower, enthusiast and competitor. He tried growing his first beard at age 23, but, "It looked like I had leprosy." He once held hairs upon his chin for almost 5 years, with his current crop standing at 2 ½ years. In March 2008 he took hom the title "Mr. Fur Face," a local competition. "Even in Alaska, beards, especially long beards, are very much an acquired taste," said Gengler, who works at Providence hospital as a Physical Therapist, and doubles as a wildlife/nature photographer. "When you meet someone for the first time, they form an opinion of you based on their first glimpse."

SCAKMBC was founded in 2003 by David Traver to "promote the acceptance of beards and to bring bearded men together for social and charitable purposes."

"The contests" said Gengler of the Beard Championship "are a weird mix of testosterone and estrogen… The WBMC has 18 categories split between moustache, partial beard, and full beard styles. Categories are defined with specific descriptions and judges are instructed to judge based on these objective guidelines, but obviously subjective impressions come into play. The Full Beard Natural category tends to be the most competitive. For a silly concept, these contests have grown into serious competition and the Germans have excelled at the contests in the past as they really do take pride in their facial hair."

Said Knight: "The festivities will run from Wednesday May 20th to Sunday May 24th, with the Main Event taking place on Saturday. There will be a Kick Off party Friday night with a local Alaska Grizzly Beard Contest and music by the Australian band The Beards, who play "songs about beards, for people with beards."

Contests:Winner"Best Beard in Alaska" contest at the Willow, AK Winter Carnival in 2009
Yukon Sourdough Rondy - Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada - 2/2008
"Best Old Growth" BeardMr Fur Face Contest - Anchorage, AK - 3X
Mr. Honey Bear - 1X Mr. Fur FaceWBMC 2005 Berlin, Germany - 5th place Full Beard Natural


Adding of the drama and competitiveness of this international event, Gengler said, "You would be amazed what goes on behind the scenes at times - General Hospital or Days of Our Lives have nothing on some of the stuff."On the subject of Child Bite –and their beards, Knight summarized: "I'm really not sure how this facial hair thing started. Aside from Danny, we've all had something going on beard-wise from time to time. Clancy's beard & hair was pretty infamous during the Rescue days. When I first met Zach he had the mustache-less beard look that he will be revisiting for the competition. I do remember the day I started growing this beard. It was June 2nd, 2007 @ Uncle Fester's in Bloomington, IN. I jumped off of the balcony there during our lastsong and hurt my ankle. I was on crutches for a month or so after that. I stopped shaving that day in some sort of misdirected anger/revolt against my body. People started asking how long I was going to let it go, and eventually I found out about the WBMC. That seemed like as good a goal as any. When I told the band that I was planning on going to Anchorage, we decided to base a tour around it and all go. That was probably 7 months ago, so everybody has been officially in training since then. I can't say that I'm a beard enthusiast though, just like how I'm not a tattoo enthusiast or a fashion enthusiast. It's just some thing attached to my face for the time being."

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