Graham Bonnet Band – The Book

490403Graham Bonnet is what I like to call a camp-divider. Many are the voices that has been raised about this man throughout the years. This is, after all, the unexpected and somewhat unlikely choice Ritchie Blackmore had as a replacement for the mighty Ronnie James Dio and his short stint in the band has always been highly discussed – just like his voice. His voice is one of the ones that is loved by many but hated by just as many as well – it sure raises emotions. Bonnet started his career as a singer for the pop band The Marbles who had a hit back in 1968 with “Only One Woman”, a band he quit later on to sing on advert jingles. A solo album was released in 1977 before he got the call from Blackmore and he joined Rainbow for one album, Down To Earth (1979), an album that only on a few places sounded remotely like the band that had released three epic albums prior to it. But Bonnet’s look, attitude and voice didn’t really fit Rainbow (even though the line.up had a major hit with the Russ Ballard-written “Since You’ve Been Gone”). One much spoken of incident that proved that he really wasn’t fit for fronting Rainbow was when he asked the audience: “Do you like rock and roll?” and when the audience screamed “YEEEEAAH!” back to him, he just replied: “I don’t!”. Also his look, short hair and Hawaii shirts, didn’t sit well among the Rainbow fan-base. Another solo album (Line Up, 1981) followed before he was asked to replace Gary Barden in MSG and the band released the brilliant Assault Attack in 1982, but that didn’t work for long either as him and Michael Schenker fought like cat and dog. Bonnet then formed Alcatrazz with Swedish up-coming guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen which only lasted for one album, the now classic No Parole For Rock ‘n’ Roll (1983), before Malmsteen realised that he was the star of the band and quit.

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