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Graham Bonnet interview


Rockpages.gr has a rather interesting interview with Graham Bonnet. While undoubtedly it was prompted by his resurrection of Alcatrazz, a good half of the interview is about the Rainbow days:

Rockpages.gr: After a couple of solo albums you flew to France to audition for Rainbow. You got the job by singing the Deep Purple classic “Mistreated”. Describe to us the whole experience…

Graham Bonnet: I didn’t know about Rainbow at all…I didn’t have a clue about them! I knew Deep Purple but I certainly didn’t know about Rainbow at that time. Roger Glover got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to come to France to audition for the band. He added that they had already auditioned 79 singers (laughs)! I had nothing to lose…so I bought a couple of Rainbow albums and flew to France. I wasn’t into rock at that time…I preferred more R&B stuff…like Stevie Wonder and of course The Beatles…my favorite band ever. I wasn’t so much into Purple or Zeppelin because I preferred the singing side of a record and not so much the technical aspect of a song. Anyway, when I started singing “Mistreated” I was so loud they started laughing immediately because the microphone wasn’t even on (laughs)! When I sang a little bit with the microphone on, they said after a couple of minutes that the job was mine! It was that simple…

Read the rest of the interview.

Thanks to Yiannis Dolas for the info. Video is from Munich 1980, thanks to blackmore5555 for uploading.

27 Comments to “Graham Bonnet interview”:

  1. 1
    T says:

    Like Joe Lynn Turner, Graham Bonnet is one of those singers who has worked with some of the greatest guitarists of all time–and left his mark with each one. Certainly Assault Attack is one of Schenker’s finest and the same argument could be made for Down to Earth.

    The most interesting comment was: “Let me tell you about Ritchie…He is a very shy person who chooses his friends very carefully. He doesn’t want many people to know his sensitive side. He is very private and quiet and most importantly he is not the guy you see on stage!”

    This comment is echoed by many who have worked with Blackmore–including JLT and Bob Daisely among sundry others. Sadly, he is a very misunderstood individual. Ironically, he is attacked by the same fans that mock his current work and want him back.

  2. 2
    MoreBlack says:

    Yeah at the middle of the interview Graham clear a little his departure from Rainbow.They have some material and he keep saying “i dont like that,i don’t like that other”…and so on then they found Joe and…
    Would be really nice if Graham had sing Difficult to cure.He is great!!!
    Down to Earth was a really good album too.

  3. 3
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Bonnet rocks!!!

  4. 4
    Rascal says:

    ‘Misunderstood’…. Seems to be used as some excuse for RB’s behaviour. I dont think so…..

    A shame Bonnet left when he did (for a couple of reasons), a fine singer…..

  5. 5
    MoreBlack says:

    The fans mock his actual work cause they envy Blackmore’sNight guitarrist(err lutist).All the fans want Ritchie to come back.If it’s impossible they put the teeths off…

  6. 6
    AndreA says:

    I love DTE
    and the tilte track is wonderful.

  7. 7
    stefan says:

    Graham Bonnet,ahh yes…..Takes me back to Stockholms Ice stadium 1980!

    We all looked at each other in disbelief, after looking at the shocking vocalist prick up there on stage! We could hardly believe our eyes….short hair,corny sunglasses and Hawaii style shirt!!! That´s no hard rock singer!

    In all fairness “Down to earth” were a great album and Bonett did a decent job,but let´s be honest….He´s no hard rock singer! He´s more like a “Marguerita Time” singer,with tiny umberella in glass poolside with a blond bimbo by his side!

    The gig? Great gig,one just shouldn´t look so much in the direction of Mr.Bonnet in order to keep a straight face!

    I do however wish Mr.Bonnet all the best and good luck, at whatever he chooses do do! ROCK ON!

  8. 8
    Dr. David Pugliese says:

    I’ve always felt that Graham HAD to have some involvement in the initial stages of the Difficult To Cure album. I think it even goes beyond the “I Surrender” demos. If you listen to that first Alcatrazz album you can certainly hear the similarities between “Spotlight Kid” and “Jet To Jet”. It would have been something to hear him tackle that first DTC track.

  9. 9
    Paicey says:

    Does anyone have a clue why the word LIAR is written in the bottom of the picture shown in the interview?

  10. 10
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 9

    Nope, I dont

    Do you?


    Andrea, what is the title track of Down To Earth?
    I do not know such a song
    Maybe an Italian pressing? Count me in , please.
    I wish I had bought that red coloured vinyl of DTE all those years ago in that 2nd hand shop in Delft, damn.

    I ll always fondly remember the first ever gig I witnessed Rainbow in Rotterdam, AHOY, 1980.
    Only 15 and now an old fart, jeez.

    Maybe you meant Eyes Of The World?
    Great opener for a show.

  11. 11
    MoreBlack says:

    Who on earth would hit a note like that in the pre chorus section of Danger Zone on down to Earth?

  12. 12
    Rasmus Heide says:

    Liar – the photo is a single sleeve, Liar was the a-side from his album Line Up.

    See the sleeve here:

  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Hi rasmus

    I do own a copy on vinyl and on CD of the album.
    Personal favourit was always …..

    I m a lover, not a fighter…..

    I think there are tracks available but not on my copies, darnnnnnnn

    Hey, what about that beer?

  14. 14
    Paicey says:

    Thx for the info Rasmus!

  15. 15
    purpletemple says:

    Graham Bonnet, no hard rock singer????
    He’s got the loudest voice of them all! He sounds more like Noddy Holder and Brian Johnson than any dP or family singer.

    He sure doesn’t have the usual look of a HR singer, but vocally speaking, he’s fabulous on each and every HR production I’ve heard with him.

  16. 16
    paintedhorse says:

    Of all of Rainbow’s lead singers, I personally would rank them as follows:

    1: RJD

    2: Doogie

    3: GB

    $: Joe Lynn Turner

    DTE is a damn fine Rainbow album, it’s a pity that GB’s period in the band didn’t last longer, he’d have been a better singer on DTC,SBTE,& of course BOOS, then JLT could dream of being.

  17. 17
    Gary says:

    Hi paintedhorse,

    Your list would seem to indicate which versions of Rainbow you prefer rather than the qualities of the vocalists. That’s cool.

    In my opinion all of them had significant strengths for their time with Rainbow.

  18. 18
    Kimmen says:

    In the Eyes of the World was the tune making me realize that hard rock was my cup of tea, preferably with a dash of classical music

  19. 19
    Bronx says:

    Graham Bonnet é muito “bom”, é o “melhor” cantor de todas as eras.

  20. 20
    Bronx says:

    Alguém sabe qual o útimo clássico gravado por Graham Bonnet???????

  21. 21
    Bronx says:

    Por que Blackmore contratou Graham Bonnet para ser cantor do Rainbow? Está evidente que o próprio Blackmore detestou a voz, o jeito de se portar no palco etc.

  22. 22
    Bronx says:

    Quem é Graham Bonnet para o Planeta Terra?

  23. 23
    Crazy Horst says:

    Interesting interview.

    Somebody above talked about what he has in common with JLT.
    What sets him apart from Joelene is that he seems to be down to earth,
    satisfied with what he has achieved and capable of self-irony.
    He doesn’t need to boast about his qualities in every odd sentence.
    And despite a view clear statements about his time in Rainbow, there seems
    no bitterness. I dont feel that he talks badly about Ritchie and the other guys.

    I would have liked him to continue with Rainbow.
    His voice suits the Dio stuff but is also able to accomodate the
    more melodic direction of the later years.
    Maybe his voice would have given the songs a rougher edge and
    they wouldn’t have digressed so far into the pop side of things as they did.
    But adaptability to American mainstream taste seems to have been a
    focal concern of Ritchie’s at the time, so that’s another unrealistic reasoning.

  24. 24
    cygnus says:

    everyone who want´s to listen to gb as a heavyshouter should listen to the album afterlife by blackthorne rel. in 1993. with a great version of all night long on it.

  25. 25
    BlackSparrow says:

    bonnet on down to earth was almost impeccable but am I to understand his live work was kind of shoddy bonnet in the studio is almost as good as dio but live maybe he just comes up trashed

  26. 26
    Uli Chris says:

    Graham Bonnet and Luciano Pavarotti are the best and biggest (to me these two are 99% synonymous) voices ever sounded. Bonnet is the only one alive today, and I do hope for quite a while longer (or until the world find a singer who sings at least… half of what he does)! A little secret, too: he was always the best between the two mentioned (sorry, Luciano – you were ALMOST there…)

  27. 27
    21BLACK says:

    That’s a nice GB/Rainbow video. Is it available on DVD ?

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