INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
Transcription by Andy Osborn
Graham Bonnet was originally born in 1947 in England and he got his first touch of success in the music business in the late 60′s with his band Marbles. Graham released his first, self titled, solo album in 1977 which did quite well especially in Australia. After several solo albums, which included mostly cover songs, Graham was surprisingly chosen to replace Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow in 1980. The album DOWN TO EARTH was released later on the same year and it included massive hits “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “All Night Long”. Unfortunately Graham’s career in Rainbow didn’t last too long and he was soon replaced by Joe Lynn Turner. Graham released another solo album LINE UP in 1981 and it included another hit ‘Night Games’ which went into number 6# in UK charts. Graham replaced Gary Barden in MSG in 1982 and the band released the album ASSAULT ATTACK later in the same year. The album did pretty well but once again Graham’s career didn’t last too in this band either. He was fired after his disastrous performance in Sheffield in November 1982. Next Graham decided to form his own band which was called Alcatrazz. The original version of Alcatrazz included Graham, Jimmy Waldo, Gary Shea, Jan Avena and a young rising guitar hero named Yngwie Malmsteen. After two albums Yngwie was fired and he was then replaced by another future star Steve Vai who soon after decided to join David Lee Roth’s solo band. Alcatrazz was slowly disbanded in 1986 after four albums. Since then Graham has worked with such bands and names as; Blackthorne, Impellitteri, Forcefield, Anthem, Taz Taylor and Electric Zoo among others but he has also released a couple of solo albums, the latest being THE DAY I WENT MAD came out in 2001. Over the past few years Graham has done a lot of session work, worked with some of the bands mentioned above and been on tour both as a solo artist and as a band member. Graham did a brief co -headline tour in Finland with his old Rainbow colleague Joe Lynn Turner last August. It was then that I had a chance to sit down with Graham and get the latest news as well as some facts from the past from the man himself. Enjoy!