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|Origin||Los Angeles, California, US|
|Years active||1983–1987, 2006–2014|
|Associated acts||Rainbow, New England, Steeler, Blackthorne, Savage Paradise, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Impelliteri, Graham Bonnet Band|
|Past members||Gary Shea
The band's initial line-up consisted of former Rainbow frontman Graham Bonnet, young Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, who had recently left American band Steeler, Gary Shea and Jimmy Waldo from New England and Clive Burr of Iron Maiden fame. Burr was reportedly only in the band for a week, and left upon discovering the band was going to be based in the United States, as opposed to his native England. Burr was soon replaced by former Iron Butterfly drummer Jan Uvena, who had just left Alice Cooper's backing band. Shea dubbed the group "Alcatrazz". For the first album, the bulk of the material was written by Bonnet and Malmsteen, with Waldo contributing to several tracks.
The band's debut album, No Parole From Rock 'N' Roll surfaced in late 1983 on Rocshire Records. Decent support was given by MTV to the lead single, Island In The Sun, which showed a heavy Rainbow influence. Despite the commercial nature of the song, it received little radio play. The album nonetheless spent 18 weeks on the Billboard charts and peaked at No. 128. A second video released in 1984 for Hiroshima Mon Amour became popular in Japan.
Creative differences between Malmsteen and Bonnet surfaced while on tour. Due to this, and his admitted desire to begin a solo career, Malmsteen quit in 1984 and formed his own band, Rising Force, who signed with Polydor Records.
Rochsire then put out Live Sentence, a concert recording from the recent tour of Japan. A live video concert was also produced. Malmsteen tried to prevent the release of the album but failed. A few Rainbow covers were included, including the classic Since You Been Gone. The album would reach No. 133 in the US., Waldo replaced Malmsteen with former Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai, despite resistance from Bonnet, and the band signed with Capitol Records. The group worked on new material and then headlined another tour of Japan, which introduced Vai to the fans and allowed them to play new material from the upcoming album. A concert video was filmed from these dates.
The band released Disturbing The Peace in the spring of 1985. The album was produced by Eddie Kramer who had worked with Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Triumph, among others. God Blessed Video was the first single and video, yet MTV barely played it. The album peaked at No. 145 and charted for 16 weeks. Alcatrazz, however, could never break out of their small following, and had to cut a tour short due to financial problems.
Steve Vai left to join David Lee Roth's solo band in 1986. The split was on good terms, as it was an offer Vai could not refuse. He was replaced by guitarist Danny Johnson (ex-Axis, Rod Stewart, and Alice Cooper), who recorded what became Alcatrazz's final studio album, Dangerous Games, released in the fall of 1986. The album had covers of the Animals' classic It's My Life (one of the only rock-oriented tunes) and Marbles' Only One Woman. Bonnet had been a member of Marbles in the late 60's when they had this hit in the UK. The album failed to chart. Shortly afterward, Johnson also quit to join the band Private Life. Disheartened by an ever revolving door of guitarists, and dwindling album sales, they split up in 1987.
In 1998 the Renaissance label issued The Best Of Alcatrazz, a look back at the band's brief career. God Blessed Video appeared in the 2002 videogame soundtrack Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, playing on fictional rock station V-Rock.
Bonnet reformed his version of the band as Alcatrazz featuring Graham Bonnet with guitarist Howie Simon (Jeff Scott Soto Band, Talisman), drummer Glen Sobel (Impellitteri, Beautiful Creatures, Tony MacAlpine), and bassist Tim Luce and toured Japan in May and June 2007—sharing the headline with another ex-Rainbow vocalist, Joe Lynn Turner. Howie Simon revealed in a recent interview that it was his suggestion to bring back the Alcatrazz name. They also headlined the BerkRock festival in Berkovitsa, Bulgaria in July 2008 and have played various West Coast US dates including support slots for Y&T.
- Former members
- Graham Bonnet - lead vocals (1983–1987, 2006–2014)
- Gary Shea - bass, double bass, backing vocals (1983–1987)
- Jimmy Waldo - keyboards, synthesizers, keytar, piano, backing vocals (1983–1987)
- Yngwie Malmsteen - guitars, ukulele (1983–1984)
- Clive Burr - drums, percussion (1983; died 2013)
- Jan Uvena - drums, percussion, congas, gong, backing vocals (1983–1987)
- Steve Vai - guitars, folk instruments, backing vocals (1984–1986)
|1983||No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll||Rocshire||Weeks on Chart: 18, Peak: No. 128|
|1985||Disturbing the Peace||Capitol||Weeks on Chart: 16, Peak: No. 145|
|1984||Live Sentence||Rocshire||Weeks on Chart: 10, Peak: No. 133|
|2010||No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll Tour Live in Japan 1984.1.28 Audio Tracks||Ward Records|
|2010||Disturbing the Peace Tour Live in Japan 1984.10.10 Audio Tracks||Ward Records|
|1998||The Best of Alcatrazz||Renaissance||－|
|2016||The Ultimate Fortress Rock Set (box)||Store For Music||－|
|1984||Island in the Sun||Rocshire||No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll|
|1985||Will You Be Home Tonight||Capitol||Disturbing the Peace|
|God Blessed Video|
|1986||Dangerous Games||Dangerous Games|
|It's My Life|
- Metallic Live (VHS) (1984)
- No Parole From Rock'N'Roll Tour - Live In Japan 1984.1.28 (DVD Reissue) (2010)
- Power Live (VHS) (1985)
- Disturbing The Peace Tour - Live In Japan 1984.10.10 (DVD Reissue) (2010)
- "Interview on". Rockpages.gr. Retrieved 2010-11-13.