Well-known in the local music community, singer Michael Heggedus, who fronted the Nightmare: A Tribute to Alice Cooper, passed away last night unexpectedly due to a heart attack. He was only 45 years old. He's survived by his wife Helen. You can read the obituary here. A memorial fund was started to collect money to help Helen cover funeral expenses.
“Mike was a longtime listener to my radio show ['Metal on Metal'],” says Auburn Records owner and WJCU DJ Bill Peters. “He was an avid heavy metal/hard rock fan and collector too. I have known him for many years. My daughter Lily and I would see the Nightmare regularly. The band played my fiftieth birthday party at the Maple Grove a couple of years ago. I am still in shock. The news hit me hard this morning. I am really going to miss this guy. I loved talking music with him. He was very well-versed and knowledgeable. He touched so many people's lives in a positive way through his music and was genuinely a great person. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael's family and friends he left behind. A very sad day for all of us.”
The Nightmare came together in 2007 after Heggedus and Michael McCollum, acquaintances from other bands, met at a club.
“He was always friendly,” says McCollum when asked about how he initially put the band together with Heggedus, Angelo Incorvia and Sean Furlong. “We talked about different bands and discovered we both had an appreciation of Alice Cooper.”
The band had 40 to 50 Cooper songs in its repertoire and played 80 shows during its run. It even headlined the Akron Civic Theatre on one occasion. According to McCollum, Heggedus, who also fronted Iron Maiden and Cheap Trick tribute acts, really enjoyed the theatrical nature of the performances.
“For every gig we did, he wore 15 to 20 Alice Cooper T-shirts and would do costume changes," says McCollum. "I've been in bands for years but I've never been in a band with someone so committed to changing outfits and visuals."
Here's a promotional video that Heggedus did for the Exchange. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.