Stan Frazier, Scott Owen and Joel Owen are all alumni of Corona del Mar High School, and alumni of noted bands: Frazier was the drummer and songwriter for Sugar Ray, while the Owen Brothers were The Pawnshop Kings.
Now, they are in a band called The Side Deal, which formed several years ago and has been gaining notoriety for its musical prowess and covers of their own songs (including the massive Sugar Ray hit “Fly” penned by Frazier) as well as originals and a few familiar gems.
The Side Deal was playing regularly and had recorded eight songs for an album, but the pandemic temporarily derailed the band’s plans. However, gigs at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach plus local private parties kept the band working—although Frazier was also consumed with his own side deal: co-owner of Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza in Newport Beach, Aliso Viejo, and as of last year, Irvine.
Frazier and the Owens met up at the Newport pizza store last month to talk about their upcoming show at The Coach House on Saturday, June 18, along with other band activities.
“Covid was brutal, but we have been putting together shows,” said Frazier. “We did a private show at Stagecoach after the first night for Thomas Rhett. He came to the after party and he got up and played with us.”
The band members were up until dawn, then rushed back to play an OC Marathon concert the night before the race.
“We were fried after that weekend, but it was good to come out and be back to work,” recalled Frazier. “We’re looking forward to more of it.”
“We have been doing a lot of private shows because not everyone is ready to go back out yet,” said Joel Owen. “A lot of people would rather have a show at their home where they feel safe and invite their friends. We have done a bunch of those.”
“We’re looking forward to releasing music,” said Frazier. “We had a record deal right about the time Covid hit and that sunk our ship, we were ready to go for it. We are crawling out of the whole thing right now. We’re proud of it, it took a long time to make, we released an original, ‘Ghost,’ and we released a cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” but that was in the darkest days of Covid and people were not ready to see clearly. But we have a body of work, so we’re going to release some stuff in the next couple of months.”
And then there’s the upcoming show at The Coach House, and also a special concert at Newport Dunes in October in honor of Corona del Mar High School’s 60th anniversary.
“We are all Sea King alumni,” said Frazier. “Almost anyone who attended the school will be there. Flashback Heart Attack is opening the concert, then us, then The English Beat. Should be super fun.”
For the Coach House show, Joel Owen noted that the set list won’t be the same as usual.
“I am always ready to try things on the spot, I like to take risks,” stated Joel. “We want to be excellent, but the worst thing is playing the same show over and over, I want it to be fresh. If there is some risk involved, that’s what keeps me interested. We are always trying to figure out how to set ourselves up to win but still take risks.”
Joel said that for their Stagecoach gig they were asked to play all 1990s covers, so the band had to learn a lot of songs they’d never played before. Like many of their current covers, “we made them our own. It was really fun to do.”
“We’ll do covers of our own originals, and probably get a special guest or two to come on stage with us,” said Frazier of the Coach House show. “We’re going to have a great night, it’s our biggest summer show.”
Maybe—unless you count performing the National Anthem at a Dodger’s baseball game on August 6.
“We are rediscovering the fun,” said Scott Owen. “We love singing together. What makes this band special is that we want to be inspired by one another.”
“Our first few shows back we all looked at each other and said we need this, we missed this. It was a collective feeling of elation,” said Joel. “And it brings a smile to people. We are designed to experience things together.”
“We are taking off the blinders and going for it,” concluded Frazier. “We are having fun, and if we can support our families and make a few bucks along the way, then high five.”
For tickets to The Side Deal show at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, visit www.thecoachhouse.com.