Old News - The book appears in the shops!Edit
Well, Join Me (the book) is released in all good bookshops across the UK on July 3rd, and I'll be doing a few bookreadings 'n' signings along the way. The first two are already confirmed...
- June 24th -- Ottakers Banbury -- 6.30pm
- June 25th -- Borders, Oxford Street, London -- 6.30pm CHANGE OF TIME!
I don't really know what I'll be saying, and I apologise in advance if I'm rubbish. But it'll be nice to see any joinees, if you're not busy!
Old News - 'Updated 1st August 2003'Edit
Well, then... I'll be doing some more bookreadings/signings in the autumn... if you fancy coming along, it'd be lovely to meet you!
Here are the dates so far...
- September 24rd -- London, Waterstones (Islington branch) - CHANGE OF DATE
- October 1st -- Norwich, Waterstones (7.30pm)
- October 4th -- Bracknell Arts Centre, Bracknell Comedy Festival (6.30pm)
- October 15th -- Brighton, Borders
- October 22nd -- Bristol, Borders (7pm)
- November 12th -- Oxford Union (time TBC)
(If you haven't got a copy of the book but want one, I recommend BOL, currently doing one of their 'Hot Book' deals, and shoving 'em out at £3.99... go to www.uk.bol.com for more...)
Blimey... well, first of all, I should apologise for not having updated the site in a fair few weeks... there's been a bit of a Join Me-related media storm of late, which has had your fine and noble leader up at all hours... still, consider the word well and truly spread, thanks to Richard and Judy, This Morning, The Wright Stuff, Terry and Gaby, Heaven & Earth, BBC TV News, Radios 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, The World Service, just about every regional BBC station there is, the nation's regional press, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The News of the World, The Daily Mail, The Scotsman, The Times, The Evening Standard, The Mirror, The Big Issue, and... well... you get the idea. So that's why I've been busy.
But it didn't stop there. Denmark sent a journalist over to join the Karma Army for a day. The Spanish ran a huge piece in one of their national papers. I broadcast live to millions of Hungarians. The Italians put the Join Me song on a covermounted CD they gave away free with a national magazine. I was phoned up out-of-the-blue by Radio Columbia and confused 9 million Columbians. Join Me was front-page news in the Malaysian Mail. Quite without me knowing, the Australian newspaper The Age ran a full-page story on us. A Puerto Rican TV show filmed a news story on what we do. And the London borough of Brent put a link on their website. So it's all happening.
But you lot have been busy too. I'm currently getting dozens of new passport photos every single day in the post (current record: 103 in one day), and the sheer volume of e-mails I've been getting caused a bit of a technical meltdown and a concerned phonecall from my ISP... don't worry if you haven't had a reply... I've had to add thousands of e-mail addresses to the mailing list, so bear with me, my people. I'll mail you soon!
Many, many, many Random Acts of Kindness have been happening all over the world as word has spread... well done on all your efforts. It's truly fantastic, and you're making a real and discernible difference to people's days. Well over 100,000 of these little acts of unexpected niceness have taken place... keep on making every Friday a Good Friday, and don't be afraid to post what you've done on the forum (which Gold Joinee Whitby is planning on rejuvenating and poshing-up...)
Thanks to everyone who's read and bought the book. It's had a great reception and I'm really pleased you like it. There have been some incredibly exciting developments with the book of late, and I'll let you all know about that as soon as things are more concrete... and, best of all, it seems that the people who are reading it want to join up afterwards... the more the merrier, I say...
Now, you must always remember that all joinees are equal... but some are more equal than others. I was delighted to receive a passport photo from new Joinee Emma Freud. Early joinees will remember that if you can get five other people to join up, you are automatically promoted to Silver Joinee (making you even more equal still)... well, Joinee Freud provided me with a photo containing not just her, but her three children, her pregnant tummy, and her husband, Joinee Richard Curtis. Five-in-one is a new Join Me record.
Well done, Silver Joinee Freud!
Thanks to all those American joinees, who saw my advert in the New York Village Voice recently and responded... I'll be adding more to the  site soon, and I'll also be popping over again very soon in order to meet more joinees and spread the word. When the book comes out in the USA next year, I'll also be doing a ten-city US book tour, so please do keep checking the site for more details...
My sincere thanks to all those joinees who've been helping to spread the word - especially Joinees Saunders, Whitby, Jones, Cobbett, Jess, Woollven, Joan, Dan and Price (who had his own page in the Liverpool Echo!). New Join Me websites are also starting to appear all over the place, which is fantastic... if you fancy doing one, do let me know, and I'll get a links page up soon. The Belgian and Puerto Rican pages are going up soon... spread the word! Get people out and about on Good Fridays!
Cheeky old Raymond Price must not know what's going on... for one thing, Gold Joinee Whitby has been hot on his tail for the past month or two (you can read about his exploits at ), but for another, nearly every national newspaper and TV show to cover Join Me has mentioned him in one way or another... he's had his name bandied about by Phillip Schofield, Melinda Messenger, Annabel Giles and Stuart Maconie, he's been front page news in several London papers, he's been the central figure in a debate on French TV, he's had columns written about it, songs written about him, and the drummer of a band supporting Status Quo next month has offered to paint his face on the front of his drum kit.
If you're out there, Raymond, and you're reading this... get in touch. It'd be lovely to buy you a pint and have a chuckle. If you promise to knock the scamming on the head...
Some fantastic things have been happening lately, kind acts-wise... For example...
- Gold Joinee Saunders has been buying gift vouchers and hiding them in copies of JOIN ME... so when people buy it, and start reading it, they're eventually rewarded with a random act of kindness... a gift voucher!
- I've started to receive letters from people who haven't bought the book, but instead have had it handed to them, completely out of the blue, by total strangers...! This is a marvellous way of spreading the word AND doing a Random Act of Kindness at the same time... if you've finished with your copy of the book, why not write a little message in it, and hand it to a bored-looking stranger on a train, at a bus stop, or down the pub? Ask them to hand it on when they've finished with it...
Please! Don't send me money! If you've got money to spare, give it to charity, or do a weird little Random Act of Kindness for someone... a lady called Patricia recently (and incredibly kindly) sent me £50 cash... but didn't leave her full name or address... if you're reading this Patricia, you will be pleased (I hope) to know that I split the money into fivers, and sent it to ten random joinees, asking them to go out and commit random acts of kindness on the streets and report back... I'll let you know what happened as soon as I know myself...
Old News - 'Updated 1st October 2003'Edit
Hello. It is I. Your friend and slightly rubbish cult leader. And I bring word from Join Me HQ (my flat).
Sorry about the lack of updates to the news section lately... things have really been taking off, in the world of Join Me... there are now around 4000 fantastic joinees, each of whom has agreed to undertake at least one random act of kindness towards a complete stranger, each and every Friday ('Good Fridays')... and you all seem to be doing your best to spread the word, too! Join Me gets more global by the day, with recent, small collectives forming in places like Brazil, Colombia and Fiji!
Karmageddon 2! What are you doing on December 6th? It's a Saturday, so you'd probably just be sitting about, scratching.
Well, why not come to the second London Join Meet - Karmageddon 2? It should be fun... the usual heady mix of joinees, beer, music, dodgy speeches, new friends, and more. You should come along. You could meet Gaz! Or Jonesy! Or Whitby! Or maybe even the Reverend Saunders! Perhaps you'll walk away with a novelty Joinee Cobbett mug or toastrack! Who can say? Well, I can, but I'm not going to. Not yet. Mail me if you fancy it.
More details soon...
Talking of Join Meets, you lot really have been doing your best to meet up with each other in recent week, eh?! Gold Joinee Whitby's excellent Joinee Directory has helped you identify joinees in your local area... check it out and see whether there are any joinees near you... oh, and join the Join Me Community, while you're at it!
The Edinburgh Meet last month at the official Edinburgh Join Me pub was a huge success... and great fun. Around 50 different joinees attended, with a hardcore group of around 25. The day started at around 11am, when several joinees, including Silver Joinees Frost and Hodges, and Gold Joinee Saunders, took to the streets and handed out leaflets and copies of the Join Me song on CD... later in the afternoon, I divided the group into three task forces, with a different mission each...
The first task force was asked to stay in the pub garden and guard our tables. This was vital. The second task force was asked to march into Edinburgh, spread the word and bring back new joinees. This they did.
The third task force accompanied me, in two taxis, to the home of Mrs Jeanie Mitchell, an 83-year-old lady living on the outskirts of Edinburgh, who'd written to me after seeing me on Richard and Judy, and just wanted to say hello. But she also mentioned she was feeling extremely down at the moment... so we surprised her, and set about making her happy. We brought flowers, cakes and more, and sat and chatted with her for an hour or so. She was a fantastic woman, and even Joined Me!
There'll be more on this, and the subsequent Edinburgh Meets, very soon...
A Join Meet site at www.join-meet.co.uk is currently being worked on by technical expert Silver Joinee Tirwin. Keep checking it, because it'll be up and running soon... if you're having a meet, write a report up and send Tirwin some pictures, and he'll add it to what should be a really useful site.
(a site which doesn't seem to be active, but it was a nice idea)
I'll be making a very exciting announcement soon - very soon, in fact. An announcement which will make JOIN ME truly global and spread the word on just about every continent this Earth can throw at us... it could be huge...
In the meantime, there's a new forum here on the site, which is far better than the old one - thanks again to Gold Joinee Whitby for his efforts. Mr Whitby should also be rather proud of himself for other reasons - while he hasn't yet managed to track down Raymond Price and get him to sign his copy of the Join Me book, he has managed to track down and buy a painting crafted by the wily old rogue. Well done, Gold Joinee Whitby! Oh, and Whitby's attempts to track down Mr Price are catalogued and recommended by this month's Broadband World magazine (out on the 30th).
There's a new Gold Joinee! Joinee Joan from Brussels did her best (along with Silver Joinee Inge) to spread the word of Join Me, and managed to get us into five national newspapers and on the radio, too... the two of them organised a Join Meet in Brussels, and a fine night was had by all... And one of the finest Random Acts of Kindness they performed? Three of the girls gave (an) old man their undivided attention for much of the evening... the ol' fella in question was celebrating the first anniversary of starting a new life... looks like it was a good choice...
A new version of the book, with an extended epilogue and a new cover, comes out in the UK next year... Random House are printing a load up already, and I'll be giving a couple of copies away to the people whose Random Aacts of Kkindness impress me most...
The press has been great about Join Me... the Daily Mail calls it One of the funniest stories you will ever read, although that kind of depends on what else you like reading, while I've been called everything from Britain's first postmodern spiritual leader (Telegraph) to The Austin Powers of Cult Leaders (The Big Issue).
Mind you, the Observer said Join Me was a pointless book written by a pointless man. I wanted to put that on the front cover but they wouldn't let me.
Well done to the Accrington Collective - in particular Silver Joinees Mack and Claire, who've been doing a fine job of not only undertaking many and varied Random Acts of Kindness on the streets, but also of organising the first-ever Accrington Join Meet and spreading the word in their local paper, too.
Here's a reminder of dates, for anyone who wants to come to a (slightly shabby) bookreading/booksigning... I'll be in these places on these dates...
- October 4th -- Bracknell Arts Centre, Bracknell Comedy Festival
- October 15th -- Brighton, Borders
- October 22nd -- Bristol, Borders
- November 12th -- Oxford Union
The book comes out in the USA in March, courtesy of Plume Books (a division of Penguin) - this is the cover... if you know any Americans who you think should join up and help me start the American Karma Army (aka AKA), then let them know!
I'll be doing a ten city US tour throughout March 2004... I'm already slightly scared, as six-foot cardboard cut-outs of me looking like a lunatic have already started to infiltrate US bookfairs... be afraid, Americans. For I am coming. Keep your eye on  for more US news... together, we can tidy up the Americas!
The Edinburgh Collective had to find someone from Oxford and do five nice things for them. The Oxford Collective had to find someone from Edinburgh and do five nice things for them. Within an hour, the Edinburgh lot had located two Oxford dons, thanks to some clever poster-making from Silver Joinee Geoff... both dons were made very happy indeed throughout the course of the night.
The Oxford Collective may have taken longer, but they did a stirling job... they made one Edinburgher so happy that he left the group he was with and stayed with the Oxford lot all night! The Oxford Collective also managed to get a load of Japanese blokes from Mt Fuji to sign up to Join Me, and hang out with them for the rest of the evening.
Well done, all concerned!
Be impressed by this: Silver Joinee Smith travelled from London up to Edinburgh on the 19th September in order to attend the Edinburgh meet. After a couple of hours, he took a plane down to London and travelled to Oxford to attend that meet. In the morning, he and his hangover boarded a plane bound for Brussels, where he attended the Belgium meet-up. The next morning, he flew to London and took a train to Southampton, where he attended the Southampton meet. And, on his return to London, he will stop by at the Islington booksigning, where he will present me with the evidence of his travels... an amazing achievement, and, I am proud to say, a brilliant Ambassador for Join Me.
Well done, Silver Joinee Smith!
(featuring a picture of Joinee Smith holds the Belgian cheese which the Brussels Collective decided would be a nice gift for him to take to the Southampton Collective)
Well done to Joinee Sutherland, who recently holidayed in Malia (the same place I holidayed in the book) and wore her regulation novelty T-shirt with pride... Joinee Sutherland is to be commended for picking up where I left off, and attempting to spread the word of Join Me throughout Crete - now the official Join Me Greek Island - even though her copy of the Join Me book fell apart when the binding glue melted in the sun.
Well done, Joinee Sutherland!
Official Join Me criminal Raymond Price is still at large - I have had three new sightings sent to me - all in London. One on Wardour Street, one just off Carnaby Street, and another in Soho. Surely it can't be long before our paths cross again?
Get in touch, Raymond! I've got a cheque for you!
(featuring a picture with the caption: Now 19 June - We broke the story of Danny Wallace's Join Me Karma Army; Daily Mail 5 July - The Daily Mail liked it so much, they folowed up our story two weeks later)
Well done to Joinee Ridsel, who lied to a load of students recently and told them she needed them for an art project she was doing, and managed to get 45 of them to line up on a beach and spell out the words JOIN ME, in order to appeal to anyone flying by in a plane.
A fine effort, and a fantastic picture. Well done, Joinee Ridsel!
Well done to the Southampton Collective, who met up recently and, with great determination, undertook a mission I set them. I asked them to spend the afternoon making the animals of Southampton happier. And this they did. Later, they were interviewed by a TV news crew, and went to an old people's home, bringing with them a novelty disco band called The Paisley Wheelchair Experience, who rocked the old folks like never before.
Later still, Gold Joinee Whitby delivered a moving lecture to a local Christian group.
A sad farewell to Silver Joinee Gaz, who's having to take more of a backseat role with Join Me for personal reasons. He's been with Join Me since the very beginning, and I hope that he'll continue to do his Random Act of Kindness every Friday (though I'm guessing he may have to do it secretly...), and pop into the forum from time to time.
Before he goes - and I had wanted to do this at the next Karmageddon - I'd like to make Gaz a Gold Joinee and award him the title of Joinee of the Year, 2003, for being funny, dedicated, down-to-earth, and treating Join Me in precisely the way it should be treated.
So bye-bye for now, Gold Joinee Gaz - Joinee of the Year.
Old News - Bits and pieces, up to Karmageddon 2Edit
Join Meets continue to take place all over the country... Here’s a pic of the Nottingham meet, during which joinees spread the word in fine style and had a few pints along the way... meets have also taken place in Bristol, Dublin, Glasgow, Birmingham, London and more... look out for one in Manchester very soon, too... To organise one in your area, check out the Joinee Directory for joinees near you… and don’t forget to add yourself!
Joinee Payne is organising a Join Me Christmas concert, starring at least two Joinee Bands (Levanter and The Paisley Wheelchair Experience) It’ll take place in London, with ticket money going to charity... find out more here: 
Talking of Joinee Bands, a joinee by the name of Ruth is in the brilliant band Dogs Die In Hot Cars, who I tried my very hardest to see back in August, but was thwarted by a London-wide powercut, packed buses and heavy rain. If you can see ‘em, do... they will be big.
Oh, and one more thing about joinee bands – well done to Joinee Riggs, who managed to stick a JOIN ME sign on the front of Blur’s drumkit, while on Top of the Pops... a fine feat, and one that deserves congratulations.
Well done, Joinee Riggs!
The Madras Valley curryhouse – which I visited with my first-ever Joinees, Jonesy and Cobbett, last year – has inadvertently gained a... well... ‘cult’ following... Joinees from all over the globe have been visiting the curryhouse while in London and ordering the Chicken Dansak on some kind of curry-based pilgrimage.
The Dansak, of course, is the official Join Me dish, and it seems the people running the takeaway have been a bit puzzled about why on earth it’s suddenly become so popular... Two newspapers and a radio station have so far interviewed the head chef who, like his colleagues, seems a bit bewildered by the whole thing...
First there were GOOD FRIDAYS... now, for one month only, I am instigating a new scheme... Throughout December, I would like to ask all joinees to not only continue with Good Fridays... but to start HAPPY MONDAYS, as well... Do something that makes you happy, every Monday.
Whatever it is, do it, and tell me about it. Have some happy Happy Mondays!
Join Me - The Movie...! Well, it appears that this could well be about to happen… The rights to the book have been sold to an excellent company who are really, really behind Join Me – so much so that most of the execs are now joinees (one of whom was involved in the now infamous Edinburgh Making-Mrs-Mitchell-Happy scheme...)
The very early stages of work have begun, and I’ll bring you more news as it happens... but we’re hoping to have at least one huge scene, packed with real-life joinees as extras... so if you’re interested...
And before you ask, I would like Gary Coleman to play me. And not just because of the physical similarities. I believe he has the correct range, too.
Thanks to Joinee Dixon for kickstarting it out there! Apparently, I’m the new Lei Feng. So there.
But while you’re reading this – how’s about helping Joinees Zhou and Xiao out? It’s virtually impossible for them to get English-language stuff out there, and they and their mates are desperate to learn more English... if you’ve an old book or magazine you don’t want any more, why not pop it in an envelope this Friday and send it off to: Miss Dixon, LingLing Xue Yuan, Yongzhou, Hunan, 425000, China.
Let’s give their classroom the Join Me treatment!
Hurrah! The US booktour is starting to take shape... I’ll be in the following places on the following dates, with more places and dates to follow…
- March 1 & 2 –- New York, NY
- March 3 –- Boston
- March 4 –- Austin, TX
- March 8 –- Chicago, IL
- March 9 –- Milwaukee, WI
- March 10 –- Madison, WI
- March 11 –- Minneapolis, MN
- March 14 –- Lafayette, CA
- March 15 & 16 –- San Fransisco, CA
- March 17 –- Portland, OR
- March 19 –- Seattle
Incredible documentary evidence that Raymond Price is still at large! We have Joinee Tom of London to thank for (the photographic evidence), captured by mobile phone technology on the corner of Regent Street this week...
Tom writes: “Last night as I was walking home I was approached by a well-dressed man who asked me if I was local. Upon replying positively, he said he had parked his car in the NCP in Poland Street which had then been moved to a depot in Maida Vale. He asked me if I could help him with some money, and then showed me his driving licence. I laughed out loud, as he was from Teignmouth in Devon, and called Raymond Price!
“I told him I had just read a book in which he was a central character so I knew all about him. I told him about the book, the website, and the Raymond Price Fund, and so you never know – he may be in touch!
“Even after all that, he still asked me if I wanted to help him. I declined his kind offer, and off he went, again asking the name of the book...”
So he’s got a new scam on the go... you cheeky scamp, Raymond…!
Yes. It is absolutely terrifying.
I'd genuinely been expecting about 11 of you to turn up... there's no way in the world I ever expected more than 300 of you! Joinees from all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland travelled to the big city to meet me at the bottom of Oxford Street this week and undertake a march up Oxford Street...
Every joinee brought with them two gift-wrapped presents, and when I blew a whistle they thrust them at unsuspecting strangers... we made hundreds of people very happy indeed, and brought Oxford Street to a complete standstill...
Journalists from Germany, Holland and France were present, as was a crew from Richard and Judy, and journos from The Daily Mail and The Independent... so your actions will be reported far and wide and bring more joinees into the fold!
At 3pm, we adjourned to the pub (I'd booked a function room... but we ended up filling the entire pub, as well as the one down the road), and not only did we hold the first-ever JOIN ME AWARDS, but we raised money for a very special cause...
For a while now I've been fascinated by the website  - a site which encourages you to give gifts that really count. I wanted to raise £185 - enough money to buy a cow for a needy Indian family. An hour after the announcement and we'd raised just under £700 - enough for 3.7 cows! More on that soon...
A fantastic night was had by all... I'll do a special page very soon, including reports on what happened when the Head Chef of the Madras Valley turned up out-of-the-blue and Joined Me in front of the cheering masses, and all the other incredible stuff that took place during Karmageddon 2... my thanks to the Vis a Vis boys for singing the song with me again, to Joinee Bond for reprising his security role, and to everyone who turned up!
Well done, joinees!
Yahoo!Yahoo Finds of the Year 2003 And another reason to congratulate joinees everywhere! This site has been awarded a rather prestigious award by the people at Yahoo...
We're now officially one of just ten YAHOO FINDS OF THE YEAR. We won the WEIRD AND WONDERFUL category... there'll be an awards ceremony and trophy handover in January, and I'll report to you from the event...
Join Me Awards! Congrats to the following winners of the first-ever Join Me Awards...
- MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER: JOINEES FROST AND HODGES
- INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR: JOINEES JOAN AND INGE OF BELGIUM
- JOINEE TEAM OF THE YEAR: THE ACCRINGTON COLLECTIVE
- JOIN ME AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR: JOINEE SMITH
- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: JOINEE WHITBY
- JOINEE OF THE YEAR AWARD: JOINEE GAZ & JOINEE SAUNDERS