Graham Bonnet

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Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet.JPG
Bonnet in 2008
Background information
Born (1947-12-23) 23 December 1947 (age 66)
Skegness, Lincolnshire, England
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal, traditional pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica
Years active 1967–present
Associated acts The Marbles, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri, Anthem ,Stardust Reverie
Website Official website

Graham Bonnet (born 23 December 1947) is an English Rock vocalist and songwriter. He has recorded and performed as a solo artist and as a member of several hard rock and heavy metal bands including Rainbow, the Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, and Impellitteri.[1] Sometimes titled 'the most powerful voice in rock' by his fans,[2] Bonnet is known for his powerful voice[3][4] and wide vocal range.[5][6] His singing has been noted as 'very loud' by both his contemporaries and himself,[7] and he claims to be a self-taught singer with 'no discipline for lessons'.[8]

Career[edit]

Bonnet was born in Skegness in 1947.[1] He had his first hit single with the duo, The Marbles in 1968, with the single "Only One Woman" (Polydor 56 272), which reached Number 5 in the UK Singles Chart.[1][9] This and its follow-up were both written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees who had recorded in Australia with Bonnet bandmate from The Marbles, Trevor Gordon.

Bonnet then quit to do advert jingles. He appeared in the 1974 British comedy film, Three for All as lead singer of 'Billy Beethoven', a fictional band, along with several notable UK comedy personalities and his then partner Adrienne Posta, although his character's lines were limited to only two words.

In 1977 he released an eponymous album, which was certified gold in Australia. The single, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", a cover version of the Bob Dylan song, also reached the top five in Australia in 1977, and the following year the single "Warm Ride", written by the Bee Gees, a leftover from the Saturday Night Fever sessions, reached number one there.

Rainbow[edit]

In 1979, Bonnet was approached to join UK glam-rock band Sweet to replace Brian Connolly. However, he was chosen by Ritchie Blackmore to replace Ronnie James Dio as the vocalist of hard rock band Rainbow. This was something of a musical departure for Bonnet, who had previously identified himself more as an R&B singer. Bonnet would later credit his time in Rainbow, and his collaboration with Blackmore in particular as changing fundamentally his musical outlook to a more hard rock focus. He sang on the Down to Earth LP, which would become his most successful album. It spawned two hit singles in 1979 & 1980: "Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long".[1] During Bonnet's time in the band, Rainbow also headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park, Castle Donington.

Bonnet's time with Rainbow was short and he left to resume his solo career, releasing the Line-Up album in 1981, handled by producer John Eden. Following on from his time in Rainbow, the album had a markedly more rock-based sound than his previous solo recordings, whilst retaining some of his former R&B influences. For the recording of Line Up Bonnet enlisted several well-known rock musicians including Whitesnake guitarist Mick Moody, Whitesnake and Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, Deep Purple and Whitesnake keyboard player Jon Lord, and Status Quo guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt. The album reached No. 62 in the UK Albums Chart.[10] The album's lead single, "Night Games", reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart, with the follow-up single, "Liar", reaching No. 51.[10] Around this time Bonnet sang on an advertisement for Levi's jeans (the song was entitled "These Eyes"), although his version has never been released.

MSG[edit]

Tempted by an offer from ex-UFO guitarist Michael Schenker, Bonnet continued his progression to a heavier musical style and joined the Michael Schenker Group (MSG) for the Assault Attack album.[1] However, he was fired from the group after a single concert, at Sheffield University, when he drunkenly exposed himself on stage.[11]

Alcatrazz[edit]

Upon leaving MSG, Bonnet decided to form his own band, drawing inspiration from his days in Rainbow. In 1983, he co-founded Alcatrazz, with Gary Shea (bass), and Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) of the band New England, former Alice Cooper drummer Jan Uvena, and Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen.[1] The band's debut album, No Parole from Rock N' Roll, featured a distinctly heavy metal sound, with Bonnet describing the material as the heaviest that he had recorded to date. The band enjoyed moderate success in the United States, and major success in Japan.

The band released three studio albums (No Parole from Rock N' Roll, Disturbing the Peace, with guitarist Steve Vai replacing Malmsteen, and Dangerous Games with Danny Johnson on guitar). Alcatrazz also released a live album, Live Sentence, with material from Yngwie Malmsteen's period in the band. For the Dangerous Games LP, Alcatrazz recorded a remake of Bonnet's hit song "Only One Woman" from his first band The Marbles. In 1987, Alcatrazz appeared on the second series of the BBC TV programme Rock School, with Bonnet providing singing tips. The programme also included clips of Alcatrazz in rehearsal. Later that year, Alcatrazz disbanded, and Bonnet returned to his solo career. In 2009, Bonnet reformed Alcatrazz with three new musicians. Bonnet did not consult with his former bandmates Shea, Uvena, and Waldo about re-forming the original line-up, and in response they also re-grouped as a separate version of Alcatrazz. Both bands have official pages on MySpace.com.

Later career[edit]

Bonnet's post-Alcatrazz projects have all been short-lived and included Blackthorne (working with ex-Balance guitarist Bob Kulick, brother of Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick), backing vocals for the Danish heavy metal band Pretty Maids' Future World and numerous session work for Forcefield, appearing on To Oz and Back and Let The Wild Run Free. In 1988, Bonnet joined Impellitteri, for their album Stand in Line.

An appearance on Eddie Hardin and Pete York's musical adaptation of Wind in The Willows, performed live in Germany in 1991, saw Bonnet sing on around six of the songs alongside fellow musicians Jon Lord, Don Airey and Ray Fenwick amongst others. Fenwick and Airey also featured heavily on Bonnet's 1991 solo album Here Comes The Night which includes several covers as well as songs written by his wife Jo Eime, and another remake of the Marbles', "Only One Woman".

In 1997 he released Underground, a new solo album, which helped re-establish him with his fan base in Japan. 1999's The Day I Went Mad featured guitarist Slash, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, Bruce Kulick plus guitarist, Mario Parga.

Bonnet contributed lead vocals to the Japanese heavy metal band Anthem's 2000 release Heavy Metal Anthem, which had reworks of classic Anthem tracks. Bonnet rejoined Impellitteri in 2000 for their System X album. Meanwhile, his 1999 Japanese solo album got a UK release in September 2001.

At the back end of 2001, Bonnet went on a solo UK tour. His band included keyboard player Don Airey, bassist Chris Childs and drummer Harry James of Thunder and guitarist Dario Mollo.

In early 2004 Bonnet joined Italian guitarist Dario Mollo's new project Elektric Zoo, touring Europe during April. Maintaining the Italian connection, the singer also participated in Matteo Filippini's project, Moonstone, featuring on the track "Not Dead Yet".

In 2006 Bonnet contributed vocals to the Welcome to America album by Taz Taylor Band. The band toured the UK in 2007 and Europe in 2008.

He also appeared in the Countdown Spectacular concert series in Australia between August and September 2007. He sang two songs, "Warm Ride" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue".

A press release dated 6 November 2008 reported that Bonnet would be contributing vocals for a highlights CD with the metal opera project, Lyraka.[12][13] The album Lyraka Volume 1 was released on 2 November 2010. It was announced on 17 November 2010, that Bonnet would also be featured on Lyraka Volume 2.[14]

Bonnet currently resides in Los Angeles, California, from where he continues to record and tour extensively. Bonnet toured the UK with Rainbow tribute band Catch the Rainbow starting in March 2014.

He collaborates in the Stardust Reverie Project, a supergroup featuring Zak Stevens and Lynn Meredith among others. Their first album Ancient Rites of the Moon was released in April 2014. He is currently working in the new Stardust Reverie album scheduled for 2015.

Discography[edit]

UK singles[edit]

Date
Artist
Label
Cat. #
Tracks
1968 The Marbles Polydor 56272 "Only One Woman"/"By The Light of a Burning Candle"
1969 The Marbles Polydor 56310 "The Walls Fell Down"/"Love You"
1969 The Marbles Polydor 56378 "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"I Can't See Nobody"
1972 Graham Bonnet RCA RCA 2230 "Whisper in the Night"/"Rare Specimen"
15 Jun 1973 Graham Bonnet RCA RCA 2380 "Trying to Say Goodbye"/"Castles in the Air"
16 Nov 1973 Adrienne Posta DJM DJS 286 "Dog Song"/"Express Yourself"
4 Oct 1974 Graham Bonnet DJM DJS 328 "Back Row in the Stalls"/"Ghost Writer in My Eye"
9 May 1975 Billy Beethoven DJM DJS 377 "Dreams (Out in the Forest)"/"We're Free"
27 May 1977 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records 2017,105 "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"/"Heroes on My Picture Wall"
12 Aug 1977 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records 2017,106 "Danny"/"Rock Island Line"
11/1977 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records 2017,110 "Goodnight and Goodmorning"/"Wino Song"
03/1978 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records POSP 002DJ "Warm Ride" (Short Version)/"Warm Ride" (Long Version)
03/1978 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records 2017,114 "Warm Ride" (Short Version)/"10/12 Observation"
1979 Rainbow Polydor POSP 70 "Since You Been Gone"/"Bad Girl"
03/1980 Rainbow Polydor POSP 104 "All Night Long"/"Weiss Heim"
03/1981 Graham Bonnet Vertigo VER 1 "Night Games"/"Out on the Water"
1981 Graham Bonnet Vertigo VER 2 "Liar"/"Bad Days Are Gone"
11/1981 Graham Bonnet Vertigo VER 4 "That's the Way That It Is"/"Don't Tell Me to Go"
27 Aug 1982 Michael Schenker Group Chrysalis CHS 2636 "Dancer"/"Girl from Uptown"
1985 Alcatrazz Capitol CL 366 "God Blessed Video"/"Wire and Wood"

Unique non-UK singles[edit]

Date
Artist
Country
Label
Cat. #
Tracks
1969 The Marbles Germany Polydor 59,311 "I Can't See Nobody"/"Little Boy"
1969 The Marbles Germany Polydor 2058,010 "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"Daytime"
1969 The Marbles USA Cotillion 45-44046 "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"Little Laughing Girl"
1969 The Marbles Portugal Polydor 56378 "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"A House Is Not a Home"
1977 Graham Bonnet Australia Mercury 6001,109 "Danny"/"Wino Song"
1977 Graham Bonnet Australia Mercury 6001,111 "Rock Island Line"/"Soul Seeker"
11/1978 Graham Bonnet Australia Mercury 6001,115 "Only You Can Lift Me"/"Such a Shame"
1978 Graham Bonnet Germany Mercury 6001,117 "Can't Complain"/"High School Angel"

Albums (solo or as band member)[edit]

Date
Artist
Label
Cat. #
Name
1970 The Marbles Polydor 184365 The Marbles
1975 (Soundtrack) DJM DJLPS 448 Three for All (four tracks By Billy Beethoven)
5 Sep 1977 Graham Bonnet Ring O'Records
Mercury
2320,103
9199 133
Graham Bonnet
10/1978 Graham Bonnet Mercury 6304,503 No Bad Habits
1979 Graham Bonnet Mercury 6304,509 Can't Complain (mixture of tracks from previous two albums)
1979 Rainbow Polydor POLD 5023 Down to Earth (UK #9)
10/1981 Graham Bonnet Vertigo 6302,151 Line-Up (UK #62)
1982 Michael Schenker Group Chrysalis CHR 1393 Assault Attack (UK #19)
1983 Alcatrazz Rocshire PL83263 No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll (US #128)
1984 Alcatrazz Polydor Live Sentence (US #145)
1985 Alcatrazz Capitol 1C0642402991 Disturbing the Peace (US #133)
1986 Alcatrazz Capitol Dangerous Games
22 Jun 1988 Impellitteri Relativity Records Stand in Line
1989 Forcefield III President PCOM 1100 To Oz and Back
1991 Forcefield IV President PCOM 1110 Let the Wild Run Free
1991 Graham Bonnet President PCOM 1114 Here Comes the Night
1993 Blackthorne CMC International CMC 6403 Afterlife
26 Feb 1997 Graham Bonnet Victor VICP-60084 Underground
2001 Anthem JVC VICP-60992 Heavy Metal Anthem
2001 Graham Bonnet Escape Music ESM070 The Day I Went Mad
14 Oct 2002 Impellitteri SPV 085-74622 System X
26 Aug 2006 Taz Taylor Band Escape Music ESM137 Welcome to America!
4 Dec 2007 (Various Artists) Phantom Sound and Vision The Countdown Spectacular Live 2
2010 Alcatrazz Live '83
2010 Alcatrazz No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll Tour Live in Japan 1984.1.28 audio tracks
2010 Alcatrazz Disturbing the Peace Tour Live in Japan 1984.10.10 audio tracks

Compilation albums[edit]

Date
Artist
Label
Cat. #
Name
1980 Graham Bonnet Mercury 6321,108 Rock Legends Graham Bonnet
1994 The Marbles Polydor 523 866-2 Marble-ized
7/1997 Rainbow Polydor The Very Best of Rainbow
23 Jun 1998 Alcatrazz Renaissance The Best of Alcatrazz
8 Oct 2002 Impellitteri Seoul Records The Very Best of Impellitteri: Faster Than the Speed of Light
2003 The Marbles Repertoire REPUK 1014 The Marbles
23 Sep 2008 Michael Schenker Group EMI 5099923475021 The Best of the Michael Schenker Group 1980–1984

Albums (guest sessions)[edit]

Date
Artist
Label
Cat. #
Name
Contribution
1976 RCA RS 1088 Paul Gallico's the Snow Goose Vocals on "Walking By the Sea"
1983 The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Friends RCA RCALP 8001 Arrested: The Music of the Police Vocals on "Truth Hits Everybody"
1985 Eddie Hardin and Zak Starkey President PTLS 1078 Eddie Hardin and Zak Starkey's
Musical Version of Wind in the Willows
1987 Pretty Maids CBS 4502811 Future World
1992 Eddie Hardin INAK INAK 9010 Wind in the Willows – A Rock Concert
2005 Iain Ashley Hersey Lion Music LMC 157 The Holy Grail Vocals on "Going Down", "Walking the Talk" and "The Holy Grail"
27 Mar 2006 Michael Schenker Group Armageddon Music Tales of Rock'n'Roll Vocals on "Rock 'n' Roll"
2006 Moonstone Project Majestic Rock Records MAJCD-080 (UK)
DDCZ-1244 (Japan)
Time to Take a Stand Vocals on "Not Dead Yet"
16 Aug 2008 J21 0001 Yellow Mind:Blue Mind
2010 Lyraka Yesterrock B004CU1JPY Lyraka Volume 1 Vocals on "Coronation", "Palace Guard", "Errandia" and "Beyond the Palace"
2012 Lyraka Yesterrock Lyraka Volume 2 Vocals on "Volcano", "Lyraka (On Dragon's Wings)" and "Father"
2014 Stardust Reverie Avispa Ancient Rites of the Moon
2014 Purple Pyramid Records Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute to the Doors The Soft Parade

Film and television appearances[edit]

  • 1975: Three for All (performer)
  • 1980: Rainbow – Monsters of Rock, Donington '80 (performer)
  • 1985: Rainbow – The Final Cut (performer)
  • 2003: Wind in the Willows – A Rock Concert '91 (performer)
  • 2006: Rainbow – In Their Own Words (interviewee)
  • 2006: Heavy Metal – Louder than Life (interviewee)

Bands[edit]

Years Active
Name
Members
1965–1967 The Blue Sect Graham Bonnet, Guitar and Vocals/Roger Sleath, Bass and Vocals/Steve Hardy, Drums
1967–1968 The Graham Bonnet Set Graham Bonnet, Guitar and Vocals/Trevor Gordon, Guitar and Vocals/Steve Hardy, Drums
1968–1969 The Marbles Graham Bonnet, Guitar and Vocals/Trevor Gordon, Guitar and Vocals
1975 Southern Comfort Graham Bonnet, Bass
1979–1980 Rainbow (Line Up 6) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Ritchie Blackmore, Guitar/Don Airey, Keyboards/Roger Glover, Bass/Cozy Powell, Drums
02/1982-27 August 1982 Michael Schenker Group (Line Up 5) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Michael Schenker, Guitar/Tommy Eyre, Keyboards/Chris Glen, Bass/Ted McKenna, Drums
1983–1984 Alcatrazz (Line Up 1) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Yngwie Malmsteen, Guitar/Jimmy Waldo, Keyboards/Gary Shea, Bass/Jan Uvena, Drums
1984–1986 Alcatrazz (Line Up 2) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Steve Vai, Guitar/Jimmy Waldo, Keyboards/Gary Shea, Bass/Jan Uvena, Drums
1986–1987 Alcatrazz (Line Up 3) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Danny Johnson, Guitar/Jimmy Waldo, Keyboards/Gary Shea, Bass/Jan Uvena, Drums
02/1988 The Party Boys (Line Up 9) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Kevin Borich and John Brewster, Guitar/Alan Lancaster, Bass/Paul Christie and Richard Harvey, Drums
1988 Anthem (Line Up 4) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Hiroya Fukuda, Guitar/Naoto Shibata, Bass/Takamasa Ohuchi, Drums
1988 Impellitteri (Line Up 2) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Chris Impellitteri, Guitar/Phil Wolfe, Keyboards/Chuck Wright, Bass/Pat Torpey, Drums
1988–1990 Impellitteri (Line Up 3) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Chris Impellitteri, Guitar/Phil Wolfe, Keyboards/Dave Spitz, Bass/Stet Howland, Drums
1989 Forcefield III Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Ray Fenwick and Jan Akkerman, Guitar/Mo Foster and Terry Pack, Bass/Cozy Powell, Drums
1990 Forcefield IV Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Ray Fenwick, Mick Moody, Bernie Marsden and Mario Parga, Guitar/
Don Airey, Tim Hinkley and Chris Cozens, Keyboards/Terry Pack, Bass/Cozy Powell, Drums
1993 Blackthorne Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Bob Kulick, Guitar/Jimmy Waldo, Keyboards/Chuck Wright, Bass/Frankie Banali, Drums
2000–2001 Anthem Featuring Graham Bonnet Graham Bonnet and Eizo Sakamoto, Vocals/Akio Shimizu, Guitar/Naoto Shibata, Bass/Hirotsugu Homma, Drums
2000–2003 Impellitteri (Line Up 10) Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Chris Impellitteri, Guitar/Edward Harris Roth, Keyboards/James Amelio Pulli, Bass/Glen Sobel, Drums
2004 Elektric Zoo Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Dario Mollo, Guitar/Maurizio Belluzzo, Keyboards/Guido Block, Bass/Roberto Gualdi, Drums
2006– Taz Taylor Band Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Taz Taylor, Guitar/Bob Miller, Keyboards/Dirk Krause, Bass/Val Trainor, Drums
May 2007– Alcatrazz Featuring Graham Bonnet Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Howie Simon, Guitar/Tim Luce, Bass/Glen Sobel, Drums
January 2009– Savage Paradise Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Mario Parga, Guitar/Eric Ragno, Keyboards/Tim Luce, Bass/Kevin Valentine, Drums

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Prato, Greg "Graham Bonnet Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 23 January 2010
  2. ^ Kortelainen, Kassu (October 2009). "Graham Bonnet – A Steel Mill Interview". K.K. Downing & Steelmill. 
  3. ^ Dome, Malcolm (9 October 2009). "The Great Rainbow Debate (Part 2): A Boost For Bonnet". Classic Rock Magazine. 
  4. ^ Gardiner, Philip (15 September 2011). "Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Graham Bonnet Interview". Gardiner's World. 
  5. ^ "VETERAN HARD ROCKERS FORM NEW ALL-ACOUSTIC TRIO". Fishman. 
  6. ^ "GRAHAM BONNET Joins Forces With MARIO PARGA in New All-Acoustic Project". Blabbermouth. 22 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Sakis Nikas and Yannis Dolas. "Alcatrazz Featuring Graham Bonnet". RockPages.gr. 
  8. ^ Galysh, Adrian (3 February 2012). "Interview with vocal legend, Graham Bonnet". Adrian Galysh Blog. 
  9. ^ Marbles, ChartStats, retrieved 23 January 2010
  10. ^ a b Graham Bonnet, ChartStats, retrieved 23 January 2010
  11. ^ "Rock Music Star - Graham Bonnet". Rock Music Star. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  12. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – GRAHAM BONNET Featured On 'Lyraka – Music From a Mermaid Empire'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "> News > GRAHAM BONNET Featured on Lyraka – Music From A Mermaid Empire". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "> News > GRAHAM BONNET Signs on For Second LYRAKA CD". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 

External links[edit]