Bonnet in 2008
23 December 1947 |
Skegness, Lincolnshire, England
|Genres||Hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal, traditional pop|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica|
|Associated acts||The Marbles, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri, Anthem, Stardust Reverie|
Graham Bonnet (born 23 December 1947) is an English rock singer 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. Sometimes titled 'the most powerful voice in rock' by his fans, Bonnet is known for his powerful voice and wide vocal range. His singing has been noted as 'very loud' by both his contemporaries and himself, and he claims to be a self-taught singer with 'no discipline for lessons'.
Bonnet was born in Skegness in 1947. 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. 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's 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.
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 and 1980: "Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long". 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. The album's lead single, "Night Games", reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart, with the follow-up single, "Liar", reaching No. 51. 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.
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. However, he was fired from the group after a single concert, at Sheffield University, when he drunkenly exposed himself on stage.
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. 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.
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 credited to by his then 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.
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. 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.
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.
In 2015, Bonnet formed The Graham Bonnet Band, and toured the UK, Europe, and Australia playing songs from throughout his career including Alcatrazz and Rainbow. The band released a two song E.P. titled "My Kingdom Come," (the song "My Kingdom Come", written by Russ Ballard) and announced work on a new studio album to be recorded featuring new compositions and a bonus disc consisting of re-recordings of a number of songs from Bonnet's career. The final line-up of The Graham Bonnet Band is: Graham Bonnet, Vocals; Conrad Pesinato, Guitars; Beth-Ami Heavenstone, Bass; Mark Zonder (Ex-Fates Warning), Drums. The band will resume touring towards the end of 2016.
In addition to working on a new album, Graham Bonnet, under Hear No Evil Recordings, has plans to reissue much of his work, including solo albums with bonus tracks and deluxe Alcatrazz albums.
|1968||The Marbles||Polydor||56272||"Only One Woman"/"By The Light of a Burning Candle" (UK #5)||The Marbles|
|1969||56310||"The Walls Fell Down"/"Love You"|
|56378||"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"I Can't See Nobody"|
|1972||Graham Bonnet||RCA||RCA 2230||"Whisper in the Night"/"Rare Specimen"||Back Row In The Stalls (Released 2016)|
|15 Jun 1973||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||DJS 328||"Back Row in the Stalls"/"Ghost Writer in My Eye"|
|9 May 1975||Billy Beethoven||DJS 377||"Dreams (Out in the Forest)"/"We're Free"||Three For All / Back Row In The Stalls (Released 2016)|
|27 May 1977||Graham Bonnet||Ring O'Records||2017,105||"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"/"Heroes on My Picture Wall"||Graham Bonnet|
|12 Aug 1977||2017,106||"Danny"/"Rock Island Line"|
|11/1977||2017,110||"Goodnight and Goodmorning"/"Wino Song"|
|03/1978||POSP 002DJ||"Warm Ride" (Short Version)/"Warm Ride" (Long Version) (Australia #1)||Non-album tracks|
|03/1978||2017,114||"Warm Ride" (Short Version)/"10/12 Observation"|
|1979||Rainbow||Polydor||POSP 70||"Since You Been Gone"/"Bad Girl" (UK #6, BPI: Silver)||Down to Earth|
|03/1980||POSP 104||"All Night Long"/"Weiss Heim" (UK #5, BPI: Silver)|
|1981||Graham Bonnet||Vertigo||VER 1||"Night Games"/"Out on the Water"||Line-Up|
|VER 2||"Liar"/"Bad Days Are Gone"|
|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"||Assault Attack|
|1983||Alcatrazz||Rocshire||"Island in the Sun"||No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll|
|1985||Alcatrazz||Capitol||CL 366||"God Blessed Video"/"Wire and Wood"||Disturbing the Peace|
|2015||Graham Bonnet Band||Graham Bonnet Music||"My Kingdom Come"|
Unique non-UK singles
|1969||The Marbles||Germany||Polydor||59,311||"I Can't See Nobody"/"Little Boy"||The Marbles|
|2058,010||"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"Daytime"|
|USA||Cotillion||45-44046||"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"/"Little Laughing Girl"|
|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"||Graham Bonnet|
|6001,111||"Rock Island Line"/"Soul Seeker"|
|1978||Australia||Mercury||6001,115||"Only You Can Lift Me"/"Such a Shame"||No Bad Habits|
|Germany||6001,117||"Can't Complain"/"High School Angel"|
Albums (solo or as band member)
|1970||The Marbles||Polydor||184365||The Marbles|
|1975||(Soundtrack)||DJM||DJLPS 448||Three for All (four tracks By Billy Beethoven)|
|1977||Graham Bonnet||Ring O'Records
|1978||Mercury||6304,503||No Bad Habits|
|1979||Rainbow||Polydor||POLD 5023||Down to Earth (UK #6, BPI: Gold)|
|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||Polydor||Live Sentence (US #145)|
|1985||Capitol||1C0642402991||Disturbing the Peace (US #133)|
|1988||Impellitteri||Relativity Records||Stand in Line|
|1989||Forcefield||President||PCOM 1100||Forcefield III: To Oz and Back|
|1991||President||PCOM 1110||Forcefield IV: Let the Wild Run Free|
|1991||Graham Bonnet||President||PCOM 1114||Here Comes the Night|
|1993||Blackthorne||CMC International||CMC 6403||Afterlife|
|2016||Cherry Red Records||Blackthorne II - Don't Kill the Thrill (Deluxe edition)|
|1999||Graham Bonnet||Escape Music||ESM070||The Day I Went Mad|
|2000||Anthem||JVC||VICP-60992||Heavy Metal Anthem|
|2006||Taz Taylor Band||Escape Music||ESM137||Welcome to America!|
|2010||Alcatrazz||Deadline Music||CLP 8744-2||Live '83|
|Ward Records||VQCD 10169||No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll Tour Live in Japan 1984.1.28 audio tracks|
|VQCD 10170||Disturbing the Peace Tour Live in Japan 1984.10.10 audio tracks|
|2015||Graham Bonnet||Graham Bonnet||Private-I - The Archives Vol. 1 (Recorded 1975) (Digital Download only)|
|Rainbow||Purple Pyramid||Down To Earth Tour 1979|
|Graham Bonnet Band||Graham Bonnet Music||Escape From Alcatrazz : Alive In Japan (Digital Download only)|
|2016||Rainbow||Edel||Monsters of Rock-Live at Donington 1980 (CD&DVD)|
|Graham Bonnet||Cherry Red Records||Back Row In The Stalls (Private-I Expanded Edition, CD Release)|
|Graham Bonnet Band||FRTIE||The Book|
|1979||Graham Bonnet||Mercury||6304,509||Can't Complain (mixture of tracks from previous two albums)|
|1980||Graham Bonnet||Mercury||6321,108||Rock Legends Graham Bonnet|
|1990||Graham Bonnet||Polygram||840 974-2||The Rock Singer's Anthology|
|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|
|2015||Rainbow||Polydor||A Light In The Black|
|2016||Alcatrazz||Store For Music||The Ultimate Fortress Rock Set (Box)|
|Graham Bonnet||Cherry Red Records||Graham Bonnet / No Bad Habits: 2CD Expanded Deluxe Edition|
Albums (guest sessions)
|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)
|Time to Take a Stand||Vocals on "Not Dead Yet"|
|4 Dec 2007||(Various Artists)||Phantom Sound and Vision||The Countdown Spectacular Live 2||Vocals on It's All Over Now Baby Blue|
|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
- 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)
- 2015: The Ritchie Blackmore Story' (interviewee)
|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|
|2006–2008||Taz Taylor Band||Graham Bonnet, Vocals/Taz Taylor, Guitar/Bob Miller, Keyboards/Dirk Krause, Bass/Val Trainor, Drums|
|2006–2014||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|
|2014–||Graham Bonnet Band||Graham Bonnet, Vocals / Conrado Pesinato, Guitar / Beth-Ami Heavenstone, Bass/ Chase Manhattan, Drums|
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- "VETERAN HARD ROCKERS FORM NEW ALL-ACOUSTIC TRIO". Fishman.
- "GRAHAM BONNET Joins Forces With MARIO PARGA in New All-Acoustic Project". Blabbermouth. 22 September 2013.
- Sakis Nikas and Yannis Dolas. "Alcatrazz Featuring Graham Bonnet". RockPages.gr.
- Galysh, Adrian (3 February 2012). "Interview with vocal legend, Graham Bonnet". Adrian Galysh Blog.
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- Graham Bonnet, ChartStats, retrieved 23 January 2010
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- "> News > GRAHAM BONNET Featured on Lyraka – Music From A Mermaid Empire". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "> News > GRAHAM BONNET Signs on For Second LYRAKA CD". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012.