By Ashley Bennett
Dave Franzoni (vocals); Jaime Gomez (drums, backing vocals); Larry Floyd (guitar, backing vocals); John Sleeger (bass guitar, backing vocals).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont.
Videos by Candle Light Digital TV, “All the Kids on the Street” (2011).
Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Richie Blackmore, Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Jamerson and Paul McCartney.
While having the pleasure of reviewing bands every week, I get to talk with some pretty passionate people. Highest on the scale of entertainment value though is the fun which HighRise emits; this rock group, which was originally formed back in 1979, exemplifies all that makes music exciting.
HighRise has a long history and makes for a pretty entertaining story to tell. Drummer Jaime Gomez enjoyed narrating the band’s early days of Hollywood shows and playing with bands like Poison, Bon Jovi and Great White but ended with a cliffhanger, “Then after one fantastic, and horrible night at the Troubador in ’85, it was all over. But that is another story . . .” And it sounds like one hell of a story I would love to hear sometime.
Happy’s Grill, also known to vocalist Dave Franzoni as “The World Famous Happy’s,” stands as the venue for HighRise’s resurrection back in the music scene. Actually, the first show was a rallying of many old friends to help Tim “FLAP” Taylor who is currently living with esophagus cancer. HighRise decided to return for a single evening, raising $5,000 and every door entry was given to Tim. Talk about generous! Now it has become an annual fundraiser for their friend which coincidentally you can attend this Saturday.
Age hasn’t slowed these guys down at all. In fact, grouping together again has allowed the band members to widen their views of life, perfect how they perform as a group and ultimately affect how HighRise has ascended the music scene ladder. “I think its different now; then we were younger. I mean, when you’re 20 years old and you’re playing music in Hollywood, it’s all about the pot of gold—getting signed! Now it’s more about the rainbow. Having fun, enjoying every aspect of it, from the practicing, to the recording, to the live shows,” says Gomez.
With a statement to end the interview, Franzoni leaves us with one last description of what you might expect this weekend, “We are like food that looked terrible and that you never wanted to try but once you did, you loved it. You didn’t necessarily want anyone else to know and you were not sure why but you just needed one more bite! That is what it’s like at a HighRise show!”
HighRise at Happy’s Bar and Grill, 12570 Central Ave., Chino, 909.627.8080. Sat, Jan. 14. 9:30pm.