Hey Champ!

The 1st place Pete Dougherty ever played a rock concert was Toquet Hall.  It was a Battle of the Bands, back in 2001-ish.

He went on to Princeton.  These days he’s a keyboard player/synethsizist with the indie band Hey Champ! Spin called them “the best discovery of Lollapalooza.”

Their 1st single, “Cold Dust Girl,” was played on the new “90210” series.  Their music was also heard this year during New York Fashion Week shows.

The band — whose influences range from Cheap Trick to Giorgio Morodor — is in Buffalo and Syracuse this week.  Next week they head to Albany and Amherst.

In between, they play Toquet Hall.

Dougherty returns to his roots this Friday (Oct. 8), for an 8 p.m. show.

It’s not quite the Beatles back in Liverpool — but for local fans, it’s close.

(For information on Hey Champ!’s Westport appearance, click here.)


Here's Hey Champ! Pete Dougherty is on the left.


41 responses to “Hey Champ!

  1. …of gratuitous violence…real or suggested. If that is the image “Hey Champ” wishes to convey, then I don’t care what their music sounds like, cuz unless I failed some kinda Rorschach test, looks like the “Boyz” are cleaning up/covering up their S&M killing of a “lady of questionable repute” (tied her up with their amp wires..how “COOL” is that ??) Certainly doesn’t look like his mother telling him to clean up his room…

    I’ll spare you the diatribe: how degrading that is to women, the desensitization of our youth from such images, yada yada yada…

    Not cool Dan.
    Not COOL Peter (what Mom calls ya when ya been BAD).
    I’ll take Justin Bieber any day.

    • Yvonne Dougherty

      I cannot believe any one can look at the photo and thing my son is involved in some S & M killing of a woman. god help us all! “Cold Dust Girl” was played at opening of Fashion Week when all the models jumped out of the bus. These kids are all brilliant with degrees in music from PRINCETON and they are serious about music.

      • Mrs. Dougherty: NO ONE has suggested that your son – or his band members – have killed ANYONE.

        I am simply questioning their message – as represented in the publicity photos they have designed, posed for and approved – and whether it is sensitive, intelligent or appropriate, for an appearance in Westport designed for high school students, or for our youth at large.

        I have no doubt that your son is intelligent: he graduated from Princeton and was reported to be 2006 Salutatorian from Staples.

        Furthermore, the suggestion was made perhaps he & his band mates should take a lesson from history – and the infallible, legendary Beatles (see article referenced below) – as I have no doubt in time, that they will conclude, as George Harrison did: “the whole idea was gross, and…stupid. Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was naïve and dumb; and that was one of them.”

  2. Wow! I knew Westporter’s could make controversy about anything, but this is taking it to a new level.

    Hey Champs music is incredibly inclusive and their fanbase broadly represents all walks of life.

    I don’t at all think Hey Champs’ intent was to offend with the picture.

    • If people can become incense about serving cookies to grade school children, they can become incensed with just about anything. Westport is a town full of people just waiting to become incensed.

  3. that is amazing that that picture could have conjured up those ‘ideas’/’suggestions’ in ‘Not A Fan’s’ mind..Not A Fan, you’re ideas are disturbing.

  4. I agree the picture is very offensive. I appreciate Not a Fan pointing it out because I didn’t really look at it the first time. I think they are just posing as “Sunshine Cleaning” types vs. cleaning up their own handiwork. But the question is – why? Doesn’t make me want to listen.

  5. Hmmm is wrong

    Am I missing something? Rock bands have always done this, including the Beatles, who posed for Yesterday and Today as butchers surrounded with meat and baby parts. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesterday_and_Today). I hope you listen to the Beatles. Justin Bieber is about what’s comfortable. Rock is about the fringe of experience and comfort. Even the fact that I had to see this picture twice to even see the leg is a testament to the fact that it’s understated. If art didn’t push the limits, how boring would our society be?

    • READ the article:
      1. It was NOT “baby parts” – it was PLASTIC DOLL parts.

      2. If you read further, the Beatles said they had intended it as a way to “protest the war.” I’m not sure how that is supposed to protest a war, but I’m also not sure what message Hey Champ intends with this photo (“it’s ok to kill women”…??? “it’s tough working cleaning up blood”… ?? “we play really good music”…??)

      3. If you read even further, the article says that the record company made every attempt to remove the album covers from the market…like: it was NOT a good idea.

      4. and finally, to finish Mr. Richard Stein Lawrence’s quote:
      “Not A FAN” stay that way cause you are not a critic either… Art in any form is as they say in the eye of the beholder”…

      Mr. Stein: the complete quote is “Art is always in the eyes of the beholder. Only posterity has the right to point out our mistakes.” Len Wein

      And so, the article concludes with: “George Harrison thought the whole idea ‘was gross, and I also thought it was stupid. Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was naïve and dumb; and that was one of them. ‘ [5] Capitol Records apologised for the offence. Yesterday and Today was the only Beatles record to lose money for Capitol.[9]”

      Hmmmmm……now there’s a message worth noting.

  6. So what you are basically saying is that this is cliche. Way to push those limits! I’m sure they are nice kids who just want to play music and have it heard. Have a great show!

  7. this photo hardly pushes limits…what is ‘pushing limits’ is your interpretation…Not A Fan’s interpretation is down right creepy.

    • They titled the photo “Oops” (on their Facebook page).
      Not much to interpret in that…figure it out…DUH !

  8. Now wait a minute: “My interpretation?” “My ideas?” I’m simply reporting what’s in the photo…

    Ya wanna see “CREEPY” and “DISTURBING?” Check out their fans comments on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5086136&id=7504027586&ref=fbx_album

    Some choice samples:
    Bridgett Rock says: “serial killers !”
    Graham Burris says: ” i like how she’s tied up with a guitar cable”
    Chip Copeland Dexter says: “Funny Games, American Psycho. I like it”
    …and there’s more.

    Now, exactly who is “CREEPY” here ?

    OK, so let’s go with your “pushing the limits argument” and serve this sh*t up to our kids:
    “Oh, and Darling – he graduated from Staples…what a wonderful role model ! I hope you grow up to be JUST like him”…

    and shall we hope they use it for their posters to promote the concert at Toquet Hall ? Post it at Staples High School and Greens Farms Academy ?

    (Toquet Hall: quoted from Westport’s official government website:
    “Open to all students of Westport’s public and private high schools, it is a supervised drug-and alcohol-free space where teens are encouraged to initiate, organize, and participate in, a broad range of activities.”)


    Nah, I’m just calling it the way I see it. Contrived brutality in the name of “art” — gimme a break ! Our kids deserve something better.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      “Not A FAN” stay that way cause you are not a critic either… Art in any form is as they say in the eye of the beholder…

      • Richard: An interesting perspective on your part. If anything anyone sees as “art” is “art” then there is no sub-category of things that is uniquely “art.” Thus, there is no “art.” A lack of standards is democratic but nihilistic as well.

        • Natalya Efros

          Of course there’s no art! There’s really nothing at all that you can be sure of. You have studied some epistemology, correct? Please enlighten those of us who lack your philosophical expertise as to how a lack of standards is democratic? Pardon my ignorance, but I simply don’t know if I know anything. Knowledge of knowledge is as non-existent as art (as far as I know).

          • If your argument were correct (“There’s really nothing at all you can be sure of.”), then you could not be sure of your statement either. In fact, you could not be sure that you made the statement. Richard offers the everything is relative argument of post-modern morality. The argument is unsustainable. If everything were relative, then there would be nothing to which everything would be relative. The “eye of the beholder” argument is specious. As has been argued elsewhere, there are truths that are not relative and not to be found in the “eye of the beholder.” In short, we are not all entitled to our opinions.

    • Not a Fan has bravely and deliberately chosen to include and attempted to sully the names of many people associated with his or her claims. What is your name? We are all very curious.

      • Sully ? If anyone feels sullied, it would appear they have taken care of that themselves by posting their comments on Facebook.

        When Dan announced Hey Champ was coming to play Toquet Hall and included that picture as a representation of the group, I simply reported what was in the photo, and expressed that I felt it was neither cool, nor appropriate.

        Suddenly, I am attributed with the “disturbing” ideas conveyed in the photo, when I had nothing to do with its concept or creation. (See anonymous’ comment: ” that is amazing that that picture could have conjured up those ‘ideas’/’suggestions’ in ‘Not A Fan’s’ mind..Not A Fan, you’re ideas are disturbing.” And: Anonymous: this photo hardly pushes limits…what is ‘pushing limits’ is your interpretation…Not A Fan’s interpretation is down right creepy.)

        By reporting their fan responses on Facebook, I am simply pointing that these are not my ideas or suggestions, or even my interpretation, but clearly the Band’s intentions (along with the title “Oops”).

        Furthermore, JUST because one of the band members graduated from Staples High School does not mean that his music or his message is appropriate in a venue designed for Staples/high school kids.

        Finally, I don’t like their message and I disagree with their “art,” (if that’s what you want to call it), as expressed by their promotional photo. That’s why Dan offers us this forum. You don’t have to agree with me. Apparently you don’t.

        As to my name: none of your business.

  9. Betcha they’d be hard pressed to getta gig at Columbine.

  10. Hush McCormick

    Or Virginia Tech. Stick to your instincts, Not a Fan. The picture stinks.
    Hope their music is better. I will never know.

  11. I appreciate Not A Fan’s insightful comments. Violence and loss of privacy has gone too far.

  12. Yvonne Dougherty

    Why don’t you “not a fan” listen to a couple of songs instead of commenting on dumb photo? Try “So American”, “Cold Dust Girl”, “Star”, and “World = War”. The music is a lot of fun, and the photo represents nothing.

    • EXACTLY my point: it is a “dumb photo”…and I have to question why they would create such an image in our media, image-driven world (AND if it was their Publicist’s idea, he/she outta be taken out and shot…or garroted with
      their amp wire ;–) (I AM BEING FACETIOUS OF COURSE)

      Again, my Comment had to do with WHY that was the image that they were seeking to portray as a message behind their music ?

      There are a lot of worthwhile messages worth communicating – and hearing – ESPECIALLY today.

      A group of boys/men cleaning up the supposed spilled blood of an apparent whore (aka “worthless woman”) they – albeit – pretendingly – have “Oops !” murdered is not one of them…IN MY OPINION.

      Personally, when I see an image like that, I say “YUCK” (and Stupid SCHMUCKs) — and I am no longer interested in anything else they have to say.

      You can agree – or disagree…I don’t care. But, the bottom line is THEIR MESSAGE IS NOW LOST ON ME CUZ I AM NOT LISTENING.

  13. WOW… lots and lots of opinions. Can we please stick to the photo?
    Not a Fan nailed it.
    It’s not only in poor taste, it’s immature. It isn’t art, it is a disgrace to PRINCETON. What does where they went to school have to do with their crass stupidity? Does it excuse their lack of judgement? Their lack of class?
    Hey, they wanted to be Pulp Fiction KOOL, like Harvey Keitel, the cleanup dude. Unfortunately, they missed by a mile ’cause their art form is music, not mutilation or sick humor.
    They made a mistake. OK. OK. Delete the photo from their resume and move on. Act like they went to PRINCETON, not Sing Sing. If you stick to the photo, there is no defense. Have a nice day.

  14. The photo is far less disturbing than the poor writing found on this thread. It is both “in poor taste” and “immature” to write words in all caps. Furthermore, when accusing parties of stupidity, one might take care to use correct grammar and spelling. If you would learn how to write like an adult, you might not seem so ridiculous when you accuse others of lacking class. “Gimme” is not exactly a mature word, is it? It’s childish and misspelled. I know the misspelling was intentional. That is why it is so juvenile.

    Gimme a Break, you did not fulfill the writing requirement at Princeton, did you? Did you go to Princeton? If not, you have no grounds for claiming something is a disgrace to that institution. I suspect you were educated elsewhere because if you had attended Princeton, you would know that the photo is rather tame. Please do not insult the student body and alumni by implying that we are as sheltered and boring as you seem to be.

    For all the haters know, I got tangled up in cords, fell over, spilled paint, and the band is cleaning up while I try to disentangle myself. Someone may have found this funny enough to photograph. I do own shoes similar to the shoe in the picture, and I am quite clumsy. Pete’s the kind of good person who would offer to help clean up another person’s mess. “Oops” probably is in reference to allowing me to come too close to expensive equipment. Since the leg in the photograph may be mine, I demand an apology from Not a Fan for calling me a whore. I apologize to Hey Champ! for making such a mess.

    Should you haters still desire to attack people you do not know, you should choose a target that is not as nice, talented, bright, and well-liked as Pete Dougherty is. If you continue denouncing people who are good role models, you will only inspire laughter at your own expense. I doubt I am the only person who’s laughed at your comments. You must know that they are ridiculous. Why else would you refuse to give your name? Pete’s such a great guy with no violent tendencies whatsoever. I lived next door to him for two years and am confident that he is not capable of murder. Mrs. Dougherty, you did a great job raising Pete. Please ignore the comments of fools who have never met him and who refuse to listen to Hey Champ!

    Haters, you can now listen to the band’s wicked cool music, as you can rest assured that that their message involves helping others . That is a worthwhile message to send.

    Finally, it is truly tasteless to joke about Columbine or Virginia Tech. Unlike the photograph, those remarks are deeply offensive.

    • If you had attended Princeton you would know that they have a tenured professor who defends both bestiality and infanticide. Using the picture of a woman’s severed leg for commercial purposes should not seem reprehensible to a graduate of Princeton.

  15. Your dog ate your leg ?? [no offense, but why does it look mutilated ?]

    “Oops”…. I guess someone better notify dem freaky Facebook Fans that they’re
    way off base.


    PS. Seems like a bunch of us suffer from the same language “affliction.”

  16. Natalya Efros

    Are you complaining about Professor Peter Singer? I never had the opportunity to take any of his classes, but I admire him his accademic fearlessness. I assure you that I did attend Princeton, though. E-mail eefros@alumni.princeton.edu and you may receive a fabulous prize and accompanying insults. When you receive the reply and are once again proven to be mistaken about a stranger, you have to listen to at least one song by Hey Champ and post your impression of that song on this thread. If you hate it, you need only describe what, in particular, you hated about the song. If I don’t receive an e-mail from you, I will know that unlike Dr. Singer, you are a coward.

    • I never said that you did not attend Princeton, try reading a bit closer. If you consider defending bestiality and infanticide courageous, then I can see why you would not be much concerned by a depiction of violence directed at women. As to the song, once again you did not pay attention. I never took issue with the music. As to Singer, at least he is at an institution where he can corrupt minds that don’t really matter.

  17. Natalya Efros

    I misinterpreted “If you had attended Princeton.” I apologize for both that and for assuming that like certain other posters, you had never given the music a chance.

    • WOW, LOL
      Nata, Princeton should de-diploma you for your comments. Their website brags: “Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding.” You failed. Please ask that your comments be deleted, so the University may regain some of it’s lost luster.

  18. Natalya Efros

    I would hate to represent Princeton in a negative light! I’ll be sure to call them to report that a random person who types like a teenager has deemed my discoveries and communication skills an utter failure. They might say that helping to discover some genes involved in schizophrenia and the effectiveness of a few anti-psychotic medications and my advocacy for the mentally ill is good enough, but it’s good to make certain that I am not behaving like a legacy student. What is it that you’d like me to discover and transmit to you? Would you sign a letter of denunciation for me? Academic institutions always want things like that. I also need to tell them exactly what discoveries I ought to have made and to whom I should have communicated my findings. Since your signature will be necessary, please write the letter, sign it, scan it, and send it to my Princeton address. I’ll be sure to forward it to my old adviser. I must warn you that we’re still close, though, and she may tear your intellectual abilities to pieces. I’m sure your ego can handle the truth, though. Thanks for letting me know how poorly I’ve represented Princeton. I’ll just have to go to Harvard for a diploma, since never intend on living anywhere other than Boston or Cambridge. You’ll tutor me through Molecular Biology, Metaphysics, and Advancecd Spanish, right? I made B’s in those classes last time around, and I hate seeing anything but A’s on my transcript.

    Your future study buddy,


  19. Natalya Efros

    This is getting ridiculous. That’s Yale’s motto. I can’t ask Yale to take away my diploma. I said what I had to say.

    Confutatis maledictis,
    flammis acribus addictis,
    voca me cum benedictus.

    Enjoy life.

  20. I’m afraid I can’t keep up. It’s not worth keeping up with. You know that Pete’s cool, and that’s all I wanted to say. This thread has gotten way off topic, and I do have work and a social life to attend to. I am supposed to be at a party right now, actually. I hope you give Hey Champ a chance and catch them before they’re too famous to afford to see. Farewell.

    Natalya Efros

  21. Hey “Not a fan”, google David Lachapelle. Let me know what you think about his portraits. You have too much time on your hands.

    Violence and sex is everywhere in today’s society. TV, Movie, Music. There is no escaping. I’m not promoting it violence and sex, but this photo is rather tame. There is nothing apparent as to what happens, but it let’s your mind come up with the conclusion to this narrative. There are no weapons. There are no visible injuries. There are no drugs. Simply three guys cleaning up a mess, and looking good while doing it. How do you know that those feet don’t belong to a man? How do you know that they aren’t cleaning up someone else’s mess? How do you see blood when I see three boys worried about how the cranberry juice is going to stain moms white carpet?

    The story of what happened before and after this fraction of time, is completely made up by the viewer. There is no back story. No report on what happened next. That is the amazing thing about narrative photography. The viewer gets to make up your own story in regards to how these gentlemen got into this position and what they did after. If it were a movie, yes, then you can snap back with all you nasty comments, because, well, that movie got pieced together with YOUR imagination in YOUR mind.

    The guys in Hey Champ are some of the nicest, most driven and intelligent guys I know in the Chicago Music scene. They should not get slammed for their choice to work with a creative photographer who put them into a scene depicting cleaning up whatever it is your mind pieced together.

  22. Photo Person

    U are really really in need of IQ POINTS if you think those idiots are nice boys cleaning up cranberry juice next to a transvestite wearing high heels. Were you on the OJ jury?
    Take a logic course. Ask any police officer to “interpret” that stupid classless photo of dolts trying to be hip. Brainless, like you.

    • Veteran, do you know the guys? If you don’t, which I feel certain is the case, then you certainly don’t know what you’re talking about. I lived next door to one of them for two years, so I am confident about vouching for Pete’s character. He’s one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I had the good fortune to know. He, at least, is neither violent nor some sort of whacked out pervert. If you talk to anyone in his class, they’d only have good things to say about him.

      Stop hating on the group (especially when your foolish rants are based on a staged publicity photo). If you do not have anything intelligent and relevant to say about their music or performances, please keep your malicious and foolish overreactions to yourself. If you have kids and you don’t want them listening to the band based on a picture, take responsibility and keep an eye on your children. Your endless and ignorant bad-mouthing reflect badly on you rather than on the band. Just give it up already, and stop embarrassing yourself.

  23. Veteran-
    Seriously, that’s all you brought? You’re the kind of person who would go to a museum and ask the curators to drape the nude statues, and blame the decline of western civilization on Marilyn Manson. Do you have parental controls set up on your television to only show Tellatubbies and Sesame Street? Seriously, the evening news is more violent than this picture.

    Does the early baroque piece “Judith Slaying Holofernes” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32357038@N08/3389978290/) make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

    No, but hey, all of you are talking about it.