HIGH WIRE / AVALANCHE

1975(?)-??

ABOUT HIGH WIRE / AVALANCHE


This band has totally eluded me in the Internet era, and I suppose this page is also a plea to find something (anything) out there on them :-)

When I got my driver's license and started hanging at The Golden West Ballroom every Thursday night, my initial favorite bands were Van Halen and High Wire (soon changed to Avalanche), in that order. High Wire were an odd fit at the tail end of the glam era. They seemed about 5-10 years older than the other bands, a few sported plentiful facial hair, and, even though my 16 year old self was into how bands looked as a unit, with them I didn't care at all. They had good tunes, some great originals, and a lot of Led Zeppelin covers since the singer could hit the high notes, and especially cause their guitar player Mike was like Jimmy Page's understudy. You could hear a lot of Page in his playing, rich tone, and not nearly as sloppy ;-)

Mike (I'm 99.9% certain his name was Mike) played a Les Paul through a Marshall, had very cool moves, and was rumored to have a (gasp) day gig in insurance. He was also the most accessible musician there, willing to jabber with me pre-shows and answer all my fanboy influence and gear questions.

High Wire were also the openers at the (in)famous Golden West show where Van Halen blew headliners UFO off the stage. They played quite a lot of Thursdays to fairly receptive crowds. This is partly why I'm baffled at the amount (zero) on what I've been able to find on them (ditto Golden West regulars Rox and Maelstrom, who also had a good 45' out).

I would love to get the below song to them, especially since, if they're like any other band back then, they probably don't have much of their own stuff saved. I recorded this on a cheap cassette recorder I snuck in to Myron's Ballroom. Van Halen and Eulogy were the headliners, and, even though my goal was to record my favorite High Wire song ('I've Been There Too'), I've kicked myself for years for only having enough battery power for one song, considering there were 3 great bands on the bill.

Mike told me once 'I've Been There Too' came from the Three Dog Night camp, but that's also drawn Internet blanks. Hope I can find more on these guys one of these days. Mike was a great soloist (as you'll hear below), and I love the way he'd weave maj/min with such great dynamics, ala Dickey Betts. Enjoy!


I've Been There Too: Myron's Ballroom, L.A. - 12/25/1975


From Golden West Ballroom's ledger. Van Halen and High Wire got $200 apiece, UFO made $3000 for getting their asses kicked ;-)