A Toronto musician is using his downtime during the pandemic to collaborate with big names and rework some old favourites.
Mikey Hawdon, a figure in the city's punk scene, has gained over 13,000 subscribers in only nine months with his Mikey and His Uke YouTube series.
The videos, some of which feature Hawdon playing alongside members of the Offspring and Sum 41, have garnered thousands of views.
But, the clip that reaches peak nostalgia is the guitarist's duet with Harry Waters Jr. from Back To The Future.
What inspired you to start doing the Mikey and his Uke videos?
"Like many others, when this pandemic began, and we went into the first lockdown, I felt scared and confused. With all my gigs cancelled, I was just looking for a way to stay busy musically," Hawdon told Narcity.
The veteran punk rocker opened up about the experience of releasing his first video and its inspiring reaction.
"I recorded a little snippet of the Bad Religion song "Infected", as it seemed appropriate for what was happening in the world. I posted at 2 a.m. on Facebook and then went to sleep. The next morning, I saw that a lot of people had enjoyed it."
"I ended up doing 100 videos in 100 days. Didn't miss one! Slowly, I started asking other musicians to join me, and it's now snowballed into a pretty incredible series," he recounted.
How did you get Harry Waters Jr. to collaborate with you?
Mikey revealed that he is a huge fan of Harry Waters Jr., who famously played Marvin Berry, in the first and second Back To The Future films.
"I am a huge fan of the Back To The Future trilogy. I had recently taken a trip to L.A. and met someone who used to work for Harry. When I was doing the 100 straight videos, I decided to ask my friend if he could put me in contact with Harry."
"When I reached out, he couldn't have been nicer. I ended up calling him on the phone to walk him through the process."
"Basically, we had recorded the majority of the song, and then sent it to Harry so he could sing over top of what we’d prepared. We used our phones to record videos of ourselves playing, and then we edited it all together," Hawdon explained.
"That was such a huge thrill for me. That movie is responsible for me wanting to play music."
Any big names planned for collaborations in the future?
"There's a lot of great videos in the works. You'll just have to subscribe to Mikey And His Uke on YouTube to see them,"
Hawdon's most recent video saw him team up with Canadian rock legend Dave 'Brownsound' Baksh of Sum 41.
The two, alongside other well-known punk rockers, bang out a faithful version of "Drain You" by Nirvana.
Hawdon is also the lead singer and guitarist of Toronto's Fairmounts, whose new album Eik Namo was put out by Clearview Records back in December.