Throughout a nearly eight-year run as a sought-after ’80s cover band, Flashback Heart Attack has had some great gigs and some run-of-the-mill shows at bars with a tiny dance floor.
But June 11 was a big moment for the Orange County-based band when it backed Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper at a backyard charity event in Coto de Caza.
Cooper, who opened with “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with Flashback Heart Attack, also performed “Be My Lover,” “I’m 18,” “Under My Wheels” and “School’s Out” to help raise money for the Jessie Rees Foundation, which focuses on children with cancer and their families.
“We don’t cure cancer, we cure bad days,” said Erik Rees, father of Jessie Rees, who died of cancer five years ago.
Flashback Heart Attack enjoys playing at charity fundraisers and usually turns them into late-night parties.
Cooper told the band members they were among the best backing bands he had ever performed with.
Flashback’s members don’t like to reveal their real names, preferring to stick with their stage personas Chaz DeLight (vocals, guitar), Brock Lee Hudson (bass, vocals), Don Bronze (guitarist, publicist) and Jerry Skiddz (drummer).
Performing other groups’ hits as though they were Flashback originals has kept the band busy, but it wasn’t always that way.
DeLight and Bronze had played in a band called the Damn Automatics. They had original songs, including “New York Minute,” which was played on the TV show “CSI: NY.”
“We also had ‘Kill Your Radio,’ ironically enough,” said Bronze, who usually acts as the band’s spokesman. “We did what all the bands do. We played endless shows for no money. We were shooting for that record deal.
“We got close so many times and took meetings. It was just that time when everything was changing. People were getting fired. Everyone was afraid to pull the trigger. The last one to make it out was Linkin Park and a few others.”
While playing gigs in Los Angeles, Bronze and DeLight met Steel Panther, a popular ’80s-style rock band. They had an idea to start their own show.
“We got red leather suits,” Bronze said. “We come out like we are a real band in the ’80s and we got lost in time. That’s how it got started, and the whole thing took off.”
They met Hudson and Skiddz through mutual friends.
The band is a full-time job for Bronze, but the flexibility of the shows allows the other band members to hold down other jobs.
Most nights on weekends are devoted to performing David Bowie songs and ’80s hits including Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.”
Flashback Heart Attack will play Friday at The Harp Inn in Costa Mesa, Saturday at The White House in Laguna Beach and Sunday at Fountain Valley’s Summerfest.