By Jonathan Matthews
We recently spoke with GRAHAM BONNET who is about to hit Down Under with his band ALCATRAZZ showcasing a number of hits from his vast catalogue from all his many projects over the years from RAINBOW to BLACKTHORNE, not to mention, they also be playing the classic RAINBOW album ‘Down To Earth’ in its entirety in a set which goes for over 2 hours. Graham Bonnet also be playing a couple of solo tracks of his own along the way, on his own, live and acoustically for an intimate experience mixed in amongst the madness of the rock act.
SR. Hello. Is that Graham?
I could be. Sometimes I wonder who the hell I am.
SR. We’re here to chat in regards to you performing once more in Australia, touring here with your current band Alcatrazz.
Yes, it will be nice to visit Australia again. Last time I was over there was about 12 years ago, I think this will be a good experience for me, we’re doing the whole album of Down to Earth in its entirety which has never been done before, and in addition to that we will also be playing a bit of everything.
It’s going to be a bit of a journey for your fans across the ages for sure, they’re pretty lucky to be catching you guys playing DOWN TO EARTH in its entirety huh but tell us a bit about the last time you were over here in Australia and how that went…
It was the Countdown show and Rick Springfield was the headliner, it was a 2 hour show or whatever it was, at the time I was really sick and I wanted to go home, but stayed because I needed the money. I had bronchitis. I was supposed to do 3 songs, but because I was so ill they said ‘okay Graham just do `1 song’, I did it, but with great difficulty. The show was okay, but live it wasn’t very good in comparison to other times, because I had played there when I lived in Adelaide for a while and it was great. I played all over the place, it was fantastic. But that Countdown show was a bit of a bummer for me.
Tell us a bit about your time living in Adelaide, and are you looking forward to getting back there?
Well my band fell apart here in America, they went off to do other things and I was disillusioned in what was going on, so my ex-wife said ‘you know what you should do is go and try and do something in Australia’, she knew people in Australia, like disc jockeys and agents and it would help me promote myself so I played with a band called The Zep Boys who are a Led Zeppelin cover band who are really good and they play all of my catalogue, I played with them for a couple of months and went all over the place, all cities, I enjoyed myself immensely.
So the band The Zep Boys has the same members for your other project that you were trying to get started for your songs?
Yeah, I was citizen of Australia but I was called back to America, back with The Zep boys I started making up tunes and stuff and getting ready to record, we did a couple of demos, but that was about it, my friend Jimmy Waldo from Alcatrazz came over and we teamed up with another guy, we formed a band called Blackthorne. There are 2 albums by that band available now if you wanted to get them.
Fantastic, definitely something for fans to check out. Can you let us know your thoughts on the Enigma bar in Adelaide?
I don’t remember that club but I think the audience will enjoy it, the show and what we are doing and they will be very pleased. We’re playing a lot of classic songs, as well as the whole album of Down to Earth by RAINBOW.
Rainbow fans will be loving that, you mentioned The Zep Boys before, will there be any guest appearances perhaps?
You never know, maybe somebody will come along from The Zep Boys perhaps they will come and play guitar, there are no real plans… but it would be nice if I saw the guys from The Zep Boys that would be good.
Are you going to be playing any solo music?
I’m going to do “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” and I’ll probably play “Only One Woman” from 1968. A bit of something for everyone.
What final messages would you have for your fans looking forward to seeing you down here in June?
I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing my Australian fans no doubt. It’s going to be fun and I promise them a really great show, we’ve got a really great band. It’s going to be a great experience.