Sean Emery – known to most as Shug – is a backpacker, ex-Ringling Brothers clown, talented musician, YouTuber and recently retired entertainer. After chatting to Shug for over three hours, I would probably include Philosopher in there too.
I was lucky enough to speak to Shug and we had what felt, at times, like a very candid and personal conversation. I have watched his videos for a number of years and listened to numerous other podcasts he has partaken in. Shug comes across as a natural raconteur and seems to converse with ease.
More often than not, it seems to me that previous conversations that Shug has had with other people seem to focus mainly on his gags and entertaining/fooling around. For a long time I have always sensed the serious side of Shug (maybe the ‘Sean’ side) being supressed or held back from the light – and this is the side I wanted to tap into and find out what is really happening in the head of Sean ‘Shug’ Emery and get his genuine views on the great outdoors, how it can help us and why we should all spend more time outside. And I think I succeeded in that, and more.
I speak with Sean about life outdoors, of course, but we also touch on being a clown, prison, chocolate bars, faith, spirituality, alcoholism, introverts and extroverts, UFOs, Big Foot and so much more – it gets pretty deep!
Depending on the version you choose (the podcast or video below) you will hear different songs featured at the beginning and at the end performed by Shug himself. The podcast features the traditional American folk song ‘John Hardy‘ and the video features the Allman Brothers Band’s masterpiece ‘Whipping Post‘ – both tracks can be found in full below or on his SoundCloud site here amongst many other brilliant pieces.
What do you think that amazing, spiritual feeling you get from getting outside and immersing yourself in the great outdoors is?
During the chat you’ll hear us talking about the time Shug performed, as part of the circus in the 70s and with his own show, at El Reno Federal Penitentiary. Afterwards, he was kind enough to share some photographs and I can’t help but share them with you: