Eighties cover act Flashpants did not crash and burn on The Gong show.
  • Eighties cover act Flashpants did not crash and burn on The Gong show.
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It took the producers from ABC’s reboot of The Gong Show three attempts before they got Flashpants to bite. Their persistence paid off. The group decided to go for it, even though they knew crashing and burning on national television was a possibility. Not only did the band avoid the gong, they ended up winning the season finale.

“The night before the shooting day we were in our hotel rooms working on choreography, and even chopping the song shorter to allow for better TV play,” Flashpants drummer Sears Keplar explained. “When we did it, it went off amazingly. It was surreal. They give you that huge check. Two thousand bucks and 17 cents, but it’s just like that funny idea of a huge check — like a five or six-foot check that you see on TV.”

It’s obvious why The Gong Show was after this act. Flashpants is choreographed ridiculousness. Keplar sums them up as a “show disguised as an 80s cover band.” They are so much of a show in fact, that they have four different lineups which play an average of 250 gigs per year. Even though the show is always the same, many of their fans take in repeat performances.

“We have kind of this Rocky Horror [Picture Show] following. We have people that have seen us 200 times. It’s the same exact show every time. At first we used to think, why are you coming back to this? What people really love about the show is that they can bring their friends to the show who have never seen Flashpants before. It’s an initiation experience for the new fans,” Keplar said.

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Flashpants is based out of Los Angeles, but the group has performed in San Diego often, at venues such as the Music Box and Analog, but mostly at private parties and weddings at larger hotels. Their upcoming New Year’s Eve show at the Hilton Bayfront (part of Big Night San Diego) will continue this trend. If you show up, expect plenty of 80s new-wave and top-40 dance hits, but no deep cuts from that era.

“We don’t want people to have to think ‘Do I know this song?’ We want people to instantly have a euphoric recall, and all of a sudden they’re back in the 80s.”

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