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How about singing into the microphone?

Graham Bonnet and his bass player and life partner Beth-Ami Heavenstone recently appeared on the Disturbing The Priest podcast. Graham tells, amongst other things, a story of how his then lucrative career in commercial jingles was interrupted by a phone call from a French château.

It’s about an hour long, and you may have heard some of these stories before, but Graham always tells those stories with gusto that makes them enjoyable.

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the heads-up.

17 Comments to “How about singing into the microphone?”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Bonnet in Sabbath, it must be April Fools. a joke indeed, no way José. Talk about desperation from Iommi, but then again he has made some suss decisions in his time in regards to keeping the flame burning. I think I will go & have a little lie down, I need it after reading that! Cheers.

  2. 2
    Henrik says:

    Too bad Blackers didn’t stick with Dio!

  3. 3
    Nicola says:

    Shame Richard didn’t give Graham, Cozy & Don Airey a ring in 1995.

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ok, since Graham raved about it, here it is Mario’s London Palladium performance from 1957 (then his UK live debut) – yup, some immaculate vocal control and incredible power there:


    Lovely interview that was. Educational too. I now learned that the zipper was to blame for Graham’s, uhum, assault attack on an unsuspecting audience – coupled with gravitational forces and Graham’s habit to “go commando” (a North American term I was hitherto unaware of for skipping underwear). In hindsight, didn’t the MSG management over-react a bit? No one fired Jim Morrison when he let some fresh air in. All Graham was actually trying to do is introduce another band m e m b e r to the audience! Well, actually two new band members if you add Michael’s guitar tech playing rhythm guitar behind the Teutonic Tower of Terror.

    I could listen to the Spouses Bonnet all day. Graham (a little hard of hearing by now, say again?) and Beth-Ami work wonderfully as a couple, no cringe at all, I love the way she fact-checks him, interjects, rolls or covers her eyes and helps him along when he loses the thread while he rambles on ADHD-style. – everything a good partner should do. The last part of the interview, where she takes over, is actually the best, I’d like to see an interview WITH HER while Graham is preparing dinner or whatever.

    That’s another thing I really liked: The Bonnets do not seem to live in a rock star mansion, they sit on their non-designer sofa and Beth-Ami is sans any make-up (I liked the glasses!). Compare how ‘staged’ DC’s podcast appearances are.

    Someone objectively reviewing the trajectory of Graham’s career might arrive at the conclusion that he’s not really been skillful in using the platforms Rainbow and MSG gave him to his best advantage, but there is no bitterness in the man at all. And during his tenure with Rainbow he must have been irritatingly unperturbed by Ritchie’s band control mind games, seeing Ritchie as an excellent guitarist, but nothing more. That probably drove Ritchie nuts, that he couldn’t get a handle on Graham.

    Finally, I witnessed myself how Graham won a skeptic Dio-diehard-audience over when he toured Down To Earth with Rainbow. Everybody was basically standing there with their arms folded waiting how this new slicker-upstart would do and Graham jumped on stage, opened his mouth to roar through Eyes Of The World and had the hall eating from his hands by the end of the song.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    If Rainbow opened their performance with Eyes of the World I wouldn’t be surprised by that reaction. It is the only high quality ‘epic’ song on that album to my ears. Meaning anything that sort of represented the past & the only song I still listen to today. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Gregster says:

    Zeimlich Uwe said re-G.B. & R.B…

    qt.”And during his tenure with Rainbow he must have been irritatingly unperturbed by Ritchie’s band control mind games, seeing Ritchie as an excellent guitarist, but nothing more. That probably drove Ritchie nuts, that he couldn’t get a handle on Graham”.


    I’m pretty sure that Graham’s hair-cut drove Ritchie more nuts lol !

    Peace !

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “If Rainbow opened their performance with Eyes of the World …”

    AFAIK, EOTW was their opener throughout the Down To Earth tour, it had that atmospheric keyboard intro which followed the Pomp & Circumstance/Land of Hope & Glory intro music they played back then to start off their gigs.


    “I’m pretty sure that Graham’s hair-cut drove Ritchie more nuts lol !”

    That was so silly and adolescent of Ritchie: By the time of the Donnington gig, Graham’s short hair look was well-established among fans, the two vastly popular promo vids of Since You’ve Been Gone and All Night Long had taken care of that. Graham would have confused people with even only longish hair.

    And look at Rob Halford’s hair-length in 1980 – Judas Priest were the band immediately playing before Rainbow at the same Donnington Festival. Ritchie just wasn’t in sync anymore with how frontman images had changed.


  8. 8
    MacGregor says:

    The first thing I thought of, well the second thing after Bonnet not being suited at all to Black Sabbath vocally was ‘what about his hair’ or lack of it? Sacrilegious indeed. I agree with Blackmore’s attitude. Or maybe Bonnet just simply refused to wear a wig?Anyway we cannot have lawyers or accountants in hard rock bands, never. Absolutely not good enough, next! Cheers.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Anyway we cannot have lawyers or accountants in hard rock bands, never.”

    (credited to some Aussie drummer bloke)

    “What is this guy about?!”

    (Ms Jacqueline Fuchs, Esq., aka ‘Jackie Fox’,
    bass goddess of The Runaways +
    later on entertainment lawyer)


    It must be harvest season in Aussieland, with all those fruity comments cropping up! 😂

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    The lawyer or accountant comment or joke was what I remember reading at the time DTE was released or the Rainbow concerts commenced or it very well could have been the Donnington gig itself. A ‘rock’ journalist wrote that from which magazine I cannot remember. Something like ‘Rainbow are now led by Graham Bonnet, a singer who looks more like an accountant or lawyer than a heavy rocker frontman’. Something like that & as we all do we remember things like that, well some of us do. Sad isn’t it? Cheers.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    To me, Bonnet looked more like a lounge lizard James Dean than an accountant or lawyer. He had chiseled features, I thought his haircut looked good on him, certainly better than long hair.


    Ronnie Dio, for all his talents, was never a handsome man. As the guys from Rainbow’s Rising line-up go, you know you have a presentation issue if the most handsome guy in your band is the drummer!

    And it’s not like Graham’s short hair was totally out of this world even in the late 70ies if you were exposed to more than just denim brigade hard rock acts. I was also a fan of Roxy Music and David Bowie, both Ferry and Bowie had short hair (Bowie in his Thin White Duke phase). I adored the Sparks (still do), Ron Mael always cut his natural curls short enough so he could grease them back straight. John Miles had short hair when he had his hit with ‘Music’. Same with Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe. I also dug these guys here …


    Hell (freezes over), even Glenn Frey of the Eagles cut his fetching trademark mane short (and his ‘tache off) in 1979!

    A haircut never held me back if the music was right. And btw: When Down To Earth came out, my hair was still quite a bit longer than shoulder length (not quite nipple length, but getting there)! I had to cut it that year due to unreasonable demands of my new girlfriend who would not allow that my hair was longer than hers! The cruelty of wimmin’ …

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Speaking of Rainbow singers and their changing (or unchanging) hair styles, does anybody agree with me that Joe looks much better on stage since he has dumped his wig?


    And say what you will, while his follicles might have issues, his pipes are fully intact!

    PS: Never knew that story he tells ahead of Stone Cold about finding a distraught Roger Glover in his hotel room who had just received the breakup news from his first wife via the phone and turned to Joe saying: “She left me, stone-cold!”

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    That Glover boy & his song titles, are there anymore? Seriously though that is what can happen, a sudden change of events or something else triggers a saying or a story etc. There are a few ‘power ballads’ on the SBTE album. Stone Cold & I thought I knew you so well etc etc. @ 11 – “Ronnie Dio, for all his talents, was never a handsome man. As the guys from Rainbow’s Rising line-up go, you know you have a presentation issue if the most handsome guy in your band is the drummer! Ouch, ouch & triple ouch, I am devastated, a bit below the belt indeed & who would have thought vanity would have made a difference. Oh well it is back to that mirror mirror on the wall again. Regarding ‘rock ‘ journalists they have come out with a few good ones over the years. I knew what he meant as we were already nailing Bonnet to the wall for his ‘James Dean’ look. The hide of the boy & what was Blackmore thinking, other than “I will conform him, you just wait & see!’ Cheers.

  14. 14
    Jean-Christophe says:

    @11 – and by the way wasn’t this short haired guy from Doctor Feelgood playing harmonica on DC’s Northwinds? (Keep On Givin’ Me Love, if I remember well…).

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I actually do think that looks played a role in Rainbow’s – at best – sluggish US success. As MTV became more important in breaking artists, looks became crucial. Ritchie was a legend and of course a vain man regarding outward appearances, but his natural looks never put him in Peter Frampton or Rick Springfield territory. Joe Lynn Turner attempted to be the pretty boy in the group, but something was always missing – he lacked animal magnetism like, say, David Lee Roth (who – unlike Joe – couldn’t sing, but sure enough was a focal point for VH) or a wild androgynous appearance such as Steven Tyler.

    Just look at what an MTV-tailored visual image did for the US incarnation(s) of Whitesnake.

    PS: And yup, JC, that sure enough was Lee Brilleaux from the Feelgoods who guested on DC’s Northwinds album here at 02:58:


  16. 16
    MacGregor says:

    Yes the beauty is skin deep scenario is unfortunately the way it is for the entertainment industry, always has been. I don’t pay any attention to that side of things. At least Cozy received a compliment Uwe, he would be spinning with glee. Cheers.

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For the record:

    I actually liked Cozy as a person – he stood up to Blackmore and Coverdale and took no shit. He was also brutishly handsome, fun to watch as a drummer and certainly contributed to drummers becoming more visible in the public light (I guess even they deserve it, kind of at least …). More than a decent interview partner too.

    His entry break in Stargazer ain’t too shabby either! If his heavy-handed style is your thing (I’m forever spoiled by Little Ian’s inherent swing, sorry!), then he certainly fitted Rainbow’s, MSG’s, ELP’s and Black Sabbath’s bill.

    He was not the right guy for Whitesnake though, he … no, not single-handedly … twin-handedly (and -footedly!) destroyed their then back catalog with a lack of feel for the music. That said, had DC not been such a miser, I could have envisaged Cozy being a perfect fit for the 1987 opus – there are people who say that Aynsley Dunbar’s contribution was nothing other than him being force-fed to ape Cozy’s larger-than-life drum style as much as possible (which Aynsley admirably did, but it wasn’t really him).

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