A super fun event for a super serious cause took place Friday night October 12 at The Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Blvd as the non-profit organization Charity Bomb’s Strange 80s 2 event benefitting mental health awareness was on tap featuring a rotating cast of rock stars & celebrities covering pop and rock anthems of the 80s.
This is the second year for the Strange 80s benefit founded by musician & philanthropist Matthew Leone who will donate 100% of the proceeds directly to 320 Changes Direction, serving those who suffer from mental health, depression and addiction issues founded in honor of Chester Bennington (RIP). This year’s show features several local Los Angeles based musicians as well as John 5 from Rob Zombie, Scott Ian And Charlie Benante from Anthrax, Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC, Noodles from Offspring and non-other than David Hasselhoff who arrived at The Fonda in epic fashion, driving KITT, the artificially intelligent, talking firebird from Night Rider.
The night started promptly at 7:30pm with music from a local non-profit music school featuring several teens followed by the band Bleach, Melatonin Girls and Otto which features Metallica’s Robert Trujillo’s son Ty on bass – the boy certainly takes after his dad. Young LA punk rockers The Regrettes really got things going with some original songs and a cover of The Talking Heads “Psycho Killer”.
NSYNC’s Chris Kirkpatrick took the stage after an introduction by Saved by the Bell’s Mr. Belding – Dennis Haskins. Kirkpatrick sang a few songs including Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and The Outfield’s “Lose Your Love” – it was really starting to feel like the 80’s.
The constant rotation of musicians went smooth with no major delays as Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes and Jennie Vee with Noodles from The Offspring on guitar took the stage for a funky rendition of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” and Stray Cats “Rumble in Brighton”. The flamboyant Hughes had on a white tuxedo with what can only be described as a “Snoop Dog type Hairdo with braids”.
Some of the coolest rock anthems came from the combination of John 5 and Scott Ian on guitar with Charlie Benante on drums and vocals by Scott’s wife (and Meatloaf’s daughter) Pearl Aday and then Jaret Reddick from Bowling for Soup. This grouping played some Billy Squier, Journey, Skid Row and Ozzy. Just prior to this rock explosion John 5 played a killer version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” on his six-string as only he can.
All night long artists were addressing the crowd about reaching out if you need help regarding mental illness and addiction but the most heartfelt speech was from Jaret Reddick who briefly related to his own issues and how difficult it is but to not give up and that he is proof all things can be overcome.
Deryck Whibley and Sum 41 kept it heavy with a medley of Metallica hits from the 80s before the headline act David Hasselhoff took the stage to the standing room only crowd. Hasselhoff of Knight Rider and Baywatch fame is also a recording artist and kicked off his three song set with a David Bowie cover of “Heroes”. Hasselhoff looks and sounds great at 66 years young as the saying “Don’t Hassle the Hoff” must be working.
The performers and performances were much more than what was highlighted here, all who took the stage did so with the intent to make a difference. To make a donation to support mental health awareness click here.
The anticipation is high for Strange 80s 3 in 2019 . . . until then be kind, look out for each other and never hesitate to reach out . . .Thanks Charity Bomb and Strange 80s and all the performers and behind the scenes personnel.
Pre-Show Activities Photo Gallery
Strange 80s Live Performance Photo Gallery: