Tribute to Hasselhoff |

Tribute to Hasselhoff

Band and Baywatch star are Huge in Germany

Allison Plean

— There are a couple of standards that were set by the 1980s heavy metal scene.

“Never wear the T-shirt of the band you are going to see,” said Mike Shanahan, guitarist for the ’80s hair tribute band Huge in Germany. “You always wore another band’s T-shirt to be cool.”

Crazy stage antics also were an essential component of ’80s bands.

“You have to run around and act like a rock star,” Shanahan said. “And put one foot up and rock out.”

Shanahan was introduced to the live music scene at age 11 because his father was the program director of a radio station.

“I got backstage passes and got to see the behinds-the-scenes stuff. I didn’t party with the band, but I got to run around and see all the equipment and how they set it up,” he said. “There were always people smoking pot and drinking and girls running around trying to meet the band.”

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The idea to start Huge in Germany was born in a Winter Park bar while having beers after a show.

In the jam band scene, the idea of covering ’80s hair metal bands in costumes and wigs was very well received, Shanahan said. “Just for the nostalgic factor, the laugh factor and it was a nice departure from what everybody’s used to.”

The name of the band is based on Germany’s fascination with American actor David Hasselhoff. During the Baywatch era, Hasselhoff recorded CDs in German and was a huge success.

“The whole joke about David Hasselhoff was that well, we’re really not big around here,” Shanahan said. “But we’re huge in Germany.”

The band members take being a tribute band seriously by dressing in elaborate costumes.

“The bass player adopted more of a leather look – the black leather tough guy,” Shanahan said. “I go with the glam look, and when getting dressed and putting on these clothes we’re all just laughing.”

Wearing wigs under heavy stage lights does cause some discomfort for the band members, and the stage antics can be tiring.

“When we are done playing a show, we feel like we just played three hours of hockey,” Shanahan said. “But you have to make sure you’re rockin’ out and acting the whole part.”

The band members also have adopted stage names including Max Von Axberg, Der Wilde, Thor Svenhammer and Razee.

Audience members also often assume the identities of ’80s metal rock stars.

“People dress up all the time. Mullet wigs are very big, and we always see people in their old Poison and Mtley Crüe T-shirts,” Shanahan said. “Before the show on Saturday, people should be renting the movies ‘Spinal Tap’ and ‘Rock Star’ to get ready.”