Author Topic: Alcatrazz/ Graham Bonnet  (Read 353 times)


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Alcatrazz/ Graham Bonnet
« on: September 13, 2017, 04:54:07 PM »
Alcatrazz was an American heavy metal band formed in 1983 by singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea. This band was formed following Bonnett's departure from the Michael Schenker Group in 1982 following one successful album with that band. He is also known as the singer that replaced Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow and performed lead vocals on that bands Down to Earth album and tour (1979-80) before leaving to join MSG.

The band is noted for featuring two prominent regarded guitarists during their career, the first of which was Yngwie Malmsteen, fresh off his debut in the band Steeler with Ron Keel. Clive Burr (formerly of Iron Maiden) was to be the groups initial drummer but he quit within a week upon learning that the band would be based in the US and not the UK, the band then secured Jan Uvena for the drum position. Jan had been a brief member of Iron Butterfly in the early 80's and had been with Alice Cooper's backing band and appeared on the 1983 album Zipper Catches Skin (which also featured Iron Butterfly member Mike Pinera).

The band released it's debut album No Parole From Rock And Roll in 1983, with Island In The Sun receiving moderate airplay on MTV. The album spent 18 weeks on the charts peaking at #128. A second video for Hiroshima Mon Amour was popular in Japan. Creative differences between Malmsteen and Bonnett surfaced while on tour for the album, that and a desire to begin a solo career caused Malmsteen to leave the band shortly thereafter in 1984. The live album Live Sentence recorded in Tokyo, Japan on the tour was released on album and video.The live album reached #133 in the US and was a testament to the up and coming guitar wizardry that Malmsteen would come to be known for.

Waldo then enlisted Steve Vai (apparently despite resistance from Bonnett) to replace Malmsteen and the band signed to Capital Records. Vai was another guitar giant in the making and to that point had been featured in Frank Zappa's band from 1980-1983 and had released his debut solo album Flex-able. Much like Malmsteen, Vai's time in the band would be relegated to one studio release Disturbing The Peace (1985), the album peaked at #145 charting for 16 weeks. The band could not expand upon their small following and the ensuing tour was cut short due to financial problems. Power live a vhs live release of the Vai lineup tour was released in 1985 (it saw a dvd release in 2010 titled Disturbing the Peace: Live in Japan). Vai then left to join David Lee Roth's solo band in 1986.

Danny Johnson was the next guitarist for the band, replacing Vai in 1986. Johnson had played with Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper. The bands final album Dangerous Games was released in 1986, which featured a remake of the Animals hit It's My Life. The album failed to chart, Danny Johnson quit the band and due to dwindling album sales and the revolving door of guitarists the band split up in 1987.

Bonnet reformed a version of Alcatrazz in 2006, featuring guitarist Howie Simon, drummer Glen Sobel, and bassist Tim Lucci. The band toured sporadically under the Alcatrazz name until 2014. This time with a revolving door of drummers as Sobel departed in 2009 and was replaced by Dave Dzialak, Jeff Bowders, and Bobby Rock respectively.

Interesting notes: Graham Bonnet began his career as a duo with his cousin Trevor Gordon in 1968 called The Marbles. They had two well known singles Only One Woman (which Alcatrazz did a remake of on the Dangerous Games album) that was a #5 hit single in the UK, and The Walls Fell Down , which charted at #28 in the UK. Their debut album The Marbles was released in 1970 following their breakup.

In 1977 Bonnet released a solo album that was certified gold in Australia. A cover of Bob Dylan's it's all Over Now Baby Blue reached #5 on the charts in Australia, and the following year the single Warm Ride (written by the Bee Gee's, and was a leftover from the Saturday Night Fever album was a number 1 hit there). His stint in Rainbow pushed his career into a more hard rock direction , which he has mostly followed since.

The Graham Bonnet band released their debut album The Book.

Island In The Sun (video)
Hiroshima Mon Amour (video)

Kree Nakoorie:
Desert Song (MSG cover) live 83:
Since You Been Gone (Rainbow cover) live w/ Malmsteen:
Island In The Sun (studio version)
Jet To Jet:
Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live:
Night Games live:

Metallic Live 1984 w/ Malmsteen

Live Roseda California 1984 w/ Malmsteen

God Blessed Video (video)
Painted Lover:

Power Live: Live w/ Vai 1985 Tokyo, Japan.

For those curious about Danny Johnson and that final third album, Dangerous Games.

It's My Life (Animals cover):
Only One Woman (Marbles remake)
Dangerous Games:

« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 05:13:32 PM by NJFIREFIGHTER »
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Re: Alcatrazz/ Graham Bonnet
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 06:21:42 PM »
Here are a few of the Graham Bonnet songs that were mentioned in the write up. The guy is a good singer. He has traveled a few different musical paths leading up to his stint in Rainbow and then being involved in some noted hard rock bands.

Here is his late sixties duo The Marbles and a few of their hit singles.
The Marbles:
Only One Woman (1968)
The Walls Fell Down (French tv 1969)
To Love Somebody (Bee Gee's cover):

Graham Bonnet
It's All Over Now Baby Blue (Dylan cover) 1977:

Warm Ride (written by the Bee Gee's) Disco Graham in 1978.. :D pretty different.

Here's some harder rock, from 1981's Line Up album which featured Mickey Moody, Cozy Powell and Jon Lord.
Night Games:
Line Up Promo's:
I'm A Lover:
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