Date: November 30, 2022
Name of podcast: Backstage Pass Radio
Episode title and number: S3: E17: Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Graham Bonnet Band) - English Bloke That Hits The Notes
Artist Bio -
Graham Bonnet is an English rock singer. He has recorded and performed as a solo artist and as a member of several hard rock and heavy metal bands including Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, and Impellitteri. He is known for his powerful singing voice but is capable of also singing soft melodies. His singing has been noted as "very loud" by both his contemporaries and himself, and he claims to be a self-taught singer with "no discipline for lessons".
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Artist Media Handles:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/grahambonnetofficial/
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Graham Bonnet Mixdown Master
Sun, Nov 27, 2022 1:46PM • 1:20:32
song, band, playing, people, alcatraz, graham bonnet, bit, called, graham, music, hear, backstage pass, sing, guitar, thought, richie, write, voice, album, vocalist, Richie Blackmore, Graham Bonnet, Graham Bonnet Band, Rainbow, Alcatrazz, Michael Schenker Group, Ronnie Jame Dio, Beth-Ami Heavenstone, Rod Stewart, Maggie Mae, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bee Gees, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Saturday Night Fever, Brave New World, Jeff Loomis
Graham Bonnet, Randy Hulsey, Adam Gordon
Randy Hulsey 00:00
We're in full swing into the holiday season and winding down on season three. Randy Hulsey here with another amazing guest today on backstage pass radio. My guest today is from a seaside town in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire and has been rockin for over 50 years. He has played in some of the most well respected bands on the planet and has also played with some of the guitar greats. We will catch up with Graham bonnet. And we will do that in 321.
Adam Gordon 00:28
This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn the alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio, Randy Halsey.
Randy Hulsey 00:57
I am joined by the one and only Graham bonnet Graham, welcome to the show.
Graham Bonnet 01:01
Hi, yes, nice to be here. It's nice to be awake. Actually, it is quite early in the morning for me, but I'm okay. It's good. It's good. Wake up.
Randy Hulsey 01:10
Good. Well, when I talked to Michelle, first of all, a shout out to Michelle, who helped us get this chat facilitated. And she said his team and him are looking for something in the morning. So I said well, that's peculiar, because most musicians don't want to wake up too early in the morning. So yeah, here we here we are at 1030 Your time and, and lunchtime here in Houston, Texas. So thanks so much for taking time to chat with me today. I appreciate that. No problem, no problem at all. How was life these days? Kind of post COVID? You know, people are starting to move around a bit post COVID. Have you picked up steam? Did you ever have a slow down during COVID? Talk to the listeners a little bit about what's happening with you? And are you busier now than you were a year ago? Or is things kind of been the same all along the way throughout COVID?
Graham Bonnet 02:02
Well, you know, when the COVID thing hits, I was really, I had a really bad problem I split with the battery like girlfriend, I was living on my own in my own condo in in Santa Clarita. And the COVID thing really brought me down because I wasn't seeing anybody. Nobody was coming to see me. I wasn't seeing anybody. I was rolling on my own. And ideas came to my head about you know, writing songs. Well, later on when the COVID thing ended. I mean, I was really ill, I got really bad. I started drinking and calling around the apartment and making a run. Nobody was there making a real mistake. Let me say that because I stopped drinking. I mean, a an hour. But I stopped drinking for a long, long time. But then when this happened, I would go to the supermarket and see all this liquor was going off the shelf so quickly. And I was part of that I was helping the business go along. And I started drinking again. No, no, I haven't drunk, you know, I'd like 15 One point 15 years of sobriety. So the COVID thing hit me badly. And I was blown. And people not coming over because of you know, I remember going to the store and wiping down the bottles of milk or whatever, everything to make sure they were clean. Yes. So nobody's coming out, say, Hey, how you doing? I was alone. And what happened was I got ideas come to my head about writing again, writing songs. And what happened was Bethany and I, it took me a short story longer. What your short story bumbling, you're good, you're good. We got back together again, as you Yeah, as you know. And I'm here. And we started, she said, You should start writing a new album. That's exactly what happened. So I started working with the combat scenario, my old friend who was in one of the earlier versions of the band I was in and with Bethany. So the three of us started writing stuff. And that was great. You know, the COVID thing was kind of, you know, not so difficult at that time we were going out and wearing masks or wherever. It was not so bad. And it was a good time. Because I think we made a great record this. You know, this time. I think it's really the best thing we've done the Graham bonnet ban. Yeah, so the Yeah, so I think, you know, the experience of this, what went on, you know, during this, the loss of just being a normal person going outside and doing anything you wanted to make me concentrate on subjects for for the songs, you know, yes. So I think what's the content of the album I think is pretty cool. Because people said, Well, what's that about? What's that about? And I always like to write about something that's not obvious if you know what I mean. Somebody really I have one about my dad and my brother about about Alzheimer's. Okay, and that was the Michael Schenker band. And it's called the beast that hides in the shadows. And it's about that that horrible disease that took my brother and took my dad. My dad was 92. My brother was 73. younger than me. Wow. You know, the HTML. So I write about subjects that are sort of not what can we say? Dungeons and Dragons? Yeah, you know what I mean? That the usual. You know, all that kind of stuff. I tried to find a subject and I've learned about or CO experience, you know, so that was all coming to me while we were still in the COVID thing, but we got serious about really writing something good. And I think, I think the three it was, cannot be something great. I'm very, very pleased to the new album.
Randy Hulsey 05:48
We'll talk about that in more detail. And I agree that the album's great, I have it right here. I added it to my vinyl collection. So yeah, we'll talk about that a little bit more. It's interesting that you say that, and I and I promised to not go down a rabbit hole about this. But I did want to touch on it. I was a cigarette smoker all of my life. And I quit some 10 years ago. You mentioned alcohol. And do you feel like and for me, I stopped drinking because I felt like that led to wanting to smoke cigarettes. So I was wondering if was it the COVID? Kind of kind of like a depression of depression during the COVID period that moved you back to drinking again? Or what lured you back to that after being sober for so many years? Yeah, it
Graham Bonnet 06:37
was exactly that. I don't want to feel like this whole day. Oh, he said what he said, but it was Alcatraz. Yeah. It was everything went wrong. You know, I was, I split with the Alcatraz battery. And I stood up. And I said, I went into the supermarket. And I saw the bottles of high off the shelf. And I thought, Well, I wonder if I will feel better if I wake up in the morning and take a shot of brandy. Yeah. So it wasn't a shot of brandy. It was a buffer. And then it was like, Oh, crap, I go to sleep. And then I go out and buy some more liquor. Yeah. Because it was taken away from like, all alcoholic it takes you away from reality. If you can't deal with reality, what's the best thing to do? Is a quick fix. Yeah, it's a horrible way to, you know, to actually, to live through the day, I now find out being sober, that this is the best time ever? Absolutely. Because I can think clearly. I sometimes I can think clearly. Yeah, that was in my head. Now what we've done, you know, creative. To me, I think the best sound we've done, as I said, you know, it's, it's nice to be in the world instead of somewhere else floating around them. Everything's really great, isn't it? I don't want to do that again. Yeah, I don't know go to that. That place. Again.
Randy Hulsey 08:03
Steven Tyler said that years ago, he said, we've we floated around, like you said in a fog for, for 30 years high out of our minds and wrote some of the best music ever. And how we did it, I have no clue. But we'd somehow wrote hit songs. And all of you know, the drunkenness and the being high and the everything that they were doing. It's unbelievable how the brain will even think during times like that. But
Graham Bonnet 08:33
I remember, like, get a bottle of wine to write one damn song, you know, and that would make me go into another space where I could think about something that is very obvious or whatever, you know, some kind of fantasy or something like that. So you know, that was the that's the way it is with our colleagues. And it's hard to, to think that I made such a fool of myself. You know, I'm embarrassed about how I was what I did. How I apologize to everybody. Yeah, the bad things. I did the bad things. I said, sure how I treated Bethany curses. Yeah, it was terrible. I was just like, you know, not really listening to her. I was listening to myself and nobody else. Sure I was the most important thing in the world. Yeah. Well, that's what alcohol does. You become this thing, but you don't really care about anything. Yeah. As long as you're high. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 09:24
yeah. Well, the good thing is you've acknowledged that it was a problem and you're fixing the problem. And that's what matters, right? And if you're feeling right now, keep up the great work. I do wish you the best with that. Because I know that dependencies, whether it's drugs or alcohol, or cigarettes, or whatever the vise is there. I don't want you smoking for all my life ever since I was a teenager, you know.
Graham Bonnet 09:46
So you stop now.
Randy Hulsey 09:47
I stopped 10 years ago, and I haven't touched it since and I said, I'm not going to because the first one I pick up Graham, it's like that bottle of brandy. I'm going to start with the shot. And before you know it, it's the whole fucking bottle right and you don't want that. So if you just stay away from it, you can't go back to it is kind of is kind of my mindset there. So
Graham Bonnet 10:08
when, when you do when you stop drinking, it's like losing a load, you know? Sure. Again, it was my best friend, my best lover. I loved it because it covered. I find now that being you know, awake and seeing the world, the real world. Yeah, but nuclear adversity by the way. Yeah. It's it. I thought I'll never be able to write a song. But of course I can. And I'm really proud of what I did. Yes. With the column out of Bethany. They appreciate me. Yeah, I so read these words what you think, you know, and Graham, that's fucking great. But when I hear that, I think yes, I can write songs with a clear mind. I don't actually shipmates.
Randy Hulsey 10:54
Exactly. Well, I have to say you look great for a 54 year old Graham. So kudos to you for that. I was gonna ask you, are there any interests or hobbies outside of music that keep you going these days? And the reason I ask is because I had a nice conversation with fee Waibel, from the tubes early on when I started my show. And he's a big polo player, right. That's what he spends a lot of his time doing. So I didn't know if there was any interest outside of the music world for you. Yes.
Graham Bonnet 11:25
Well, what? I haven't ridden my bike for three years, I have terrible arthritis, which is severe. In my shoulders. I've had a knee replacement. I've fallen to pieces, basically. And I wanted to ride my bike again. But I got on my bike, I guess it's about almost a year ago, and I fell off because my balance was gone. Because I need to use my body. You know, one of the I go out in the truck, you know, I don't go. It's this road. Right? You know, I survived for 30 miles a day. And that was my thing every day. But now because of my age and crumbling bones. I can't I can't do what it wants to. I'm getting it back. I got in this room. I've got a bicycle
Randy Hulsey 12:13
stationary. Yeah, train
Graham Bonnet 12:15
your bike would have been called one of those things. So I ride that every day to get my legs stronger again, and they are getting stronger. Which is something I need. There's just this tourney but that is my that's my sport. No good. I miss terrible. Yeah, my bike is out there. Now I look at it every day and go, Oh, shit, I want to get on this thing. All right, because, you know, I bought myself a nice new bike, a track down and they're like 1000s of dollars. Oh, yeah. This one was this one was 4000 bucks. And you don't kind of go, Oh, you've got to take care of it. And it's not being used. Yeah, that little bite that I love is missing me as much as I miss it.
Randy Hulsey 12:55
Well, and for $4,000 That's even more incentive for you to get on the stationary bike, get yourself back in working condition and get out on that bike.
Graham Bonnet 13:05
Yeah, I mean, that is my, I guess my hobby, my sport, whatever you want. Outside what I do. I love what I just did I play I play guitar. That's literally a Willie Willie. But I always found when I pick up the guitar every day, you always find out something new. There's always a new chord. Yeah, that you invent yourself. That's right. And you I say to your comrades, do this, you know, and he will say okay, I'll translate that to electric. Yeah. So I always make up tunes on my little Hofner guitar, which is really light. Right? Lovely. I've got to deal with those guys. Yeah. Yeah. So I've been hot playing Hot versus a kid, you know, the Beatles. They offer guitars when they were teens. And so that's my, I guess it's not my hobby. That is my life is music. But so that's another thing I do. I'll never be a wiggly wiggly player. But I know a lot of chords and progressions, and that's where the songs come from. Yeah, you know, so that's a tool for me. It's not because I want to be a great guitar player. It's a tool for my singing well, and
Randy Hulsey 14:13
I was gonna say your tool is your is your voice. That's what you're really good at. And, and the guitar is secondary. You've had a career that has spanned many decades and you have earned the respect is one. I mean, when I told people when I kind of posted about the show and you coming up on the show, everybody started respond like oh, man, that is so awesome that you're gonna have Graham on the show. He's like one of the best so you're, you're highly revered from the musical community, at least locally here where I am because there's a lot of Graham bonnet fans. I wanted to ask you though, when did the music mayhem start for Graham bonnet? Were you a young young kid or did it come later in life for you talk to the listeners a little bit about when you got the music bug,
Graham Bonnet 15:02
when I was a seven year old kid, the radio, we'd be on all day and done. There was a guy called Mario lanza, who I worshipped to this day was the most amazing voice I've ever heard. I've been looking at his, you know, his moves to South last week, or this week or whatever. And I listened to that voice, I think How the hell did he do that? How held up palette? Where does that come from? So I would hit on the radio and I'm a little kid. Like I record pa doing this, you know? And my mom and dad used to laugh because I'm doing this big voice. And as I'm crying would boy, you see my your lens assault, you know? Because that was what was on the radio when I was young in the 1950s. There's Perico Perico are your lens. Rosemary Clooney? Okay, all that stuff that was wasn't where your rock a roll? Sure. So buddy, Holly and Little Richard came along a little bit later.
Randy Hulsey 15:58
Yeah. I was gonna say it was interesting to read that you're, you're not really a trained vocalist, right? Is, is the vocal thing. Just something that you were born with this and you just went out and developed it on your own? Or was there any formal training along the way at all?
Graham Bonnet 16:16
No, I was gonna say when I was a kid, I did walk around singing, singing Perry, como songs. I was listening to Mario lanza, which I have on my telephone. I listened to that guy, and I guess he's got the most incredible voice. I mean, I know he's gone, he's died. But he has most incredible voice I've ever heard the power. It's all you know, the whole body. Oh, the whole damn thing. And it's and keeps on taking. It can't go anywhere else with it. But he did. And I tried to copy that as a young child. But then when that Orisha came along, I would say like him, you know, above, you know that karate thing I just couldn't. I had this operatic thing in my head. And that was it. And I remember on the school bus, I would get up and sing to the kids. It's gonna seem to us today. So I've seen something like a Paul Lanka song or whatever, you know. And I tried to sing in a while Ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba. But it never sounded right. Because my voice was young, you know, as a young kid. Yeah. And I couldn't get the tone. Yeah. But later on in my life. I remember doing a live moment doing a track and with the rainbow. And Rogers vertical. Every Saturday, he was producing this. The The album was on the rainbow. And we produce a nice and he came out and he said, Little Richard lives. Is that track all that lost in Hollywood? And so that was the last thing I recorded with them before I flew back to LA. Yeah. And I thought at last sort of that sound. Yeah. But I never thought I would you said that edgy, whatever the hell it is. Yeah. And I'm so proud to have that. Yes. Also, I have the younger, better as well, I have a smooth voice. You know, yes, I alternate between voices. And I'm lucky to be able to do that. I remember, in England doing commercials. And the guy said to me, I like using you because you sound like three people or four people. You can do that. You can do this, you can do that. And then, you know, put the commercial together? Sure. I'm sort of showing up a bit here. But I do sort of have not one way of singing. Yeah, I was in a dance band when I was 15. Yeah. So I'll be saying, gee, that's you hungry? Or did you know I'm doing that? Then? When I was 15, and a bit, I can't do this anymore. So I put a band together a GarageBand. And we went out doing Beatles songs and whatever it rock and roll. Yeah. So yeah, I'm just very lucky with the different tones and whatever. You know, I think it sort of comes from my family. My mom was a singer. She's She was like, how do you pay page or something like that, you know, of that era. And she sang all the time in the kitchen, wherever. My uncles were trumpet players. So very musical play at that family. So at Christmas, everybody would do their beds. My uncle's would play the trumpet, you know, that? One of my eyes. It was like a folk group. Right? And then I would do my bit.
Randy Hulsey 19:19
We had talked a little bit kind of pre hitting the record button here about, you know, getting a little older. And you know, every day we age, but I was gonna say that, you know, of course none of us are getting any younger, but from a vocal perspective, and I'll tell you the reason I'm asking the question in a second, but would you say that your vocals are just as strong today as they were 20 years ago? Have you lost range? Because I'm a vocalist, performer here. And sometimes I have to tune down a little bit and you know, but I've talked to other singers like Johnny gol Lee, who was a phenomenal vocalist says Man, Randy, you know, my voice is stronger now than it was 20 years ago. So tell the listeners about your voice now versus, you know, when you were, you know, say, back in the early days of, you know, Alcatraz or even rainbow like back from that time.
Graham Bonnet 20:15
Well, I mean, it's something that's Roger Glover wrote to me I sent the he looked at the videos we did there, the new song, and he wrote me a letter in an email. One of the things he said was, you sound as good as you were in rainbow. If not better than, I think I've got more range than I had, then, you know, it stayed with me, you know, and I can do falsetto better than I used to do. I could never do falsetto. And all that stuff. I didn't like it that much anyway, but so I try to always sing in real voice comes from the chest. It comes from here, the diaphragm recording, I go look at this invisible note in my head, okay. This is going to be a D, which is very high above top C. So that's my highest. So it's a D. So that's showing up again. I go, I've got to take a really deep breath, fill my lungs, and then I'll hit that deep, but I see the notes floating in the air in my my imagination. Sure. Go for it. If I don't do that, I've probably slipped. Yeah, it's really weird, but it's all from here. You got to really take a deep breath. Yep. And then push it out. Yeah, yeah. It's something I've kind of. I've kind of learned through the years with singing different kinds of music. You know, I've been as I said, I've been very lucky. I was in a dance band playing guitar and singing, not rock and roll at all. Yeah, but it taught me a way. It taught me a way to sing like it see by Sammy Davis, for instance. Yeah, he's a great he was a great singer. Yeah. Great. crooner. crooner. Yeah. I used to sing a couple of his songs, you know, like, but, you know, what's your standards are the standards? Yes. I remember one night, I was 14 or 14 and a bit and I play guitar, then my bandleader say, Graham put the guitar down and go and sing this Sammy Davis almost on our left my house in San Francisco or whatever. And somebody came up to me and the bandleader and said, I have long hair, and I started coming back with grease anyway, that's another thing. She said, he's got such a powerful voice for such a young man. And that Peter, the leader of the man said, Yes, he has, I just wish I wish it was it's an ounce of Beacon, okay. She loves you and all that stuff. Right? Please, please do. But when you do it in a dance band, it doesn't. It doesn't sound exactly to them. It's too cloudy, you know that the disciples, check, check, check, check, check it out. It's not a nice GDM rhythmic, more rhythmic, but the parts that are written for you know, arrangements of a band, they're all very, you know, clinical, I should say. And so you see the little decks did it on the on the lions sidelines? Yeah, so I remember that said a lot of people said it's just a kid. You got a big boys
Randy Hulsey 23:26
is one of is one of those types of music easier are harder for you to sing is the Rock and Roll harder to sing than the dance music or is it the other way around? Or do both just come naturally in easy to?
Graham Bonnet 23:39
Yeah, well, I guess they come natural. But yes, already think about it. You know what I'm doing right now. I'm recording today we're doing it's from Abbey Road. We're making an album cuz that'd be about all the different things. And I've got a you never give me your money, that song. So that's it's kind of the beginning of that is trying to crooning. But it's the song that I started yesterday. Just got one little bit to do on it. I got a full line slowly. So that is the beginning. So I've done all the other bits within Delmonte middle of rocky bit. And the 12345 G's got a weird ending. But it's turning out pretty good, I think. I think, but I'm using that. That other voice. Yeah. So I don't find it difficult. But if I'm not awake enough, I lose Broto for the moment stones and stuff like that, but rock and rock, you know, you can scream in rock and roll. Yeah, you can, you know, cover it up with a croaky voice, whatever. But, you know, we stopped yesterday. I said to Conrad he was engineering. I said to him, Look, comrade, my voice is getting tired out there for like, three hours or something. And he said, Yeah, I can hear that. It's only a little bit but you're alright you You're still speaking Yeah, yeah, but I could hear should have a crackle. But he came to us through the smooth part of the song. That's the beginning. Yes, you Ananda. Give me your money then he goes the record. Of course, rocky sort of like, in my case, it's too late. It's a bit too low. Okay, but it will sound okay. Because you get if you have something that is a bit out of your range, it gives us another color. Yes. You know, I
Randy Hulsey 25:30
agree with that. You were in a few acts that led up to your joining of rainbow I think it was 19. But 79 ish, somewhere around there when you join rainbow. Talk to me about the time and rainbow and maybe how it changed the way people looked at you. As a singer. Was there more respect once you got into rainbow? Like you were in a big name band like that? Or did or did you really not see a change? From all the the people or the bands leading up to Rainbow? Does that question makes sense to you?
Graham Bonnet 26:09
Yeah, I know what you mean. Because before rainbow I was me and my cousin were a duo called models. And the songs that we sang. We had to hit records in England and you're never really sure I'll never understand why. And people call the English righteous brothers, if you will. Okay, so I had the high bug. I couldn't read the low in the songs. But what got me the job in rainbow. Was this one song. They were playing a game. So long story is they were playing a game. They were looking for a singer that auditioned, I believe, 80 people. And one night coach, he said, let's get on let's play this play your spot the two. So he puts puts his cassette machine down then blows down and my song came up with my cousin, which is in 1968 was my first recording okay with Barry Gibbon, Robin Gibbon, Morris. They weren't on their own. They prayed. The band played the backing track. That was all orchestrated. And Richie said, Where's this guy now? And somebody's Oh, I think he's lost his voice or whatever. Anyway, that's how I got the interview the audition. And so Roger was working with a friend of mine, Mickey moody. Whitesnake. And we're all managed by the same people. And so Mickey moody gave Roger Glover my number, and he somebody come over to audition. And I learned a song called mistreated. And that was why it was this audition song. And I thought that okay, so I sang this song to them, not on the microphone. I sang way away from the microphone, because I thought, I'm probably gonna mess this up. And the mic was in the middle of this beautiful room in this chateau. You know, they're all their drums and everything was set up a blessing. I thought, well, if I just sing it off the mic. They won't hear me fuck up. My receipt, right. So I sang it. And when when the song came to an end, they were all laughing. Now what's happened? They looked at each other and they lost it. We can hear you over this. Martial anthem. Whatever. Sure. The drums. We can hear you singing. I said, Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 28:28
It was a good.
Graham Bonnet 28:30
Yeah. Was it good? Yeah. So I did it again. I said this. Let's do it again. Again, I was off the microphone, just in case I went oh, you know, screwed up my voice or whatever. And then yeah, okay. And Don here. He said, Grant. This, I will try on the microphone. So we did what, three times. So I tried on the microphone. And as I was singing on this mic, everything was everything were good. There were no problems. And suddenly, all the other people that were in the shadow at the time, there was a balcony. We were in the lower part of this house. And we, you know, the drums settled everything. I looked up, no, all of a sudden, all their girlfriends came up leaning over the balcony looking and giving their approval to her. Yeah, yeah. This is the guy. And I thought, No, I don't know. I'm not right for this because I've never played this reason for saying this before. You know, this kind of so called heavy, whatever the hell it is. And so, I went home to my, to London that time, I went off to London, I said to my manager, I don't think I fit in the so I don't have the long hair, blah, blah, blah. You know, I've got my 1950s suit on with a tie. You know, I don't look like these guys. For one thing. The music to me is a little bit foreign. I don't understand what's happening with it where it goes and so Trip, because they played me some of the arrangements on the bloody hell. It was all sort of classical sounding. And so it's a no brainer, you got to do it. They said, this will be a big boost for your career. During this time. I was like doing commercials and whatever, playing in some clubs in London. And I said, really? It was a boost for its trucking career, and he made more money out of it. So yeah, I saw nothing from Rainbow. This is nuts, another horror story. But anyway. So I went back and we started recording the songs in a real studio, in Syosset in America. And on the East Coast. We got the songs together, and we get done four versions of every song. Like I said, the world was something else, I can't believe it's gone. But anyway, all all songs are all different now in different verse, a different course and different middlee You know, so we did more differently, to play to Richie, when he came in to add his guitar parts was put down last the rhythm guitar was ever you know, the actual, you know, there. So he will pick whichever track he likes best version of the track. He liked best, and would do that. And that's how the whole album was done. So Roger would say to me, okay, Graham, well, he would point out to me where I should come in. I would do la la, la la vocal. So yes, you should come in there. And then here and then here. And so that's how we did it was like, basically by numbers or something. Yeah, but Roger really gave me a clue how to get into this using to know where the vocal should come you know, cuz I didn't. I didn't get it. Yeah, I really don't need a vocal.
Randy Hulsey 31:48
You walked into a band with some world class musicians there. You know, Richie and Roger Glover cozy Powell Don airy all during that time. Right. And I know Don Airey went on and played a little stent with Ozzy Osbourne, and probably many others. But have you been thinking that you may need a little exercise in your daily routine while having a little fun doing it? I may have the solution. Hey, it's Randy Hulsey, here with backstage pass radio. And about six months ago, I purchased an electric bike from eco trick and just thought about using it as a way to kind of get the blood flow a few days a week. And to my surprise, I find myself on the bike just about every day. Not only am I getting a little exercise each day, but I'm also having a fun time seeing the neighborhood, and maybe some areas that I probably would never have seen before I got the bike. Today, my family owns four of these eco trek bikes, and we're looking to add a few more soon. Make sure to check out the link in the description below for more details. You ultimately replaced Ronnie James Dio in the band. And did that make a vocalist of your caliber? Like did you ever feel like, jeez, these are some big shoes to fill? Or was that just an easy transition to walk right in there and not even think about who you were replacing in that band?
Graham Bonnet 33:17
You know, one of the reasons I didn't think the band was right for me, because the vocalist was nothing like me. Who I've ever seen like that. You know, I have a different voice. You know? I thought I was. I didn't really think about it, to be honest with you. Okay. All right. So okay, I've got the job, blah, blah, blah. I've got the job and make this record and that's it. But tours tours happen, you know? Oh, fuck, I've never been on the tour before. How long is it? You know, four months? Flies four months? Bloody hell, I never done at all at all. Now. Yeah, no, it's like juice. So that I remember what happened because of the way I looked the way I seen. I remember the first one of the first web comics being intern. I knew it wherever it was. It was a big frickin stadium. And I'm looking at this I'm gonna cheat. I'm going out there soon to sing. And I remember we did eyes of the world I see opening song and I could see these guys down there doing this. Yeah, where's Raleigh with Raleigh and then the Ronnie thing sorry, on the on the front line. Okay. Anyway, we went on and Richie started playing a C chord. So I said what are you doing says, Would you still love me tomorrow? Would you still love me tomorrow? So these guys would give me the finger. I walked over to that side of the stage. I sat on the side of stage or some right there I went to nice drummer and completely straight at them. And they started laughing really and I want them over nice. All this kick young kids young problem too. I was a bit of a shit. Yeah. Although I can fucking bank manager Yeah. Yeah, that was suddenly on my side. And they laugh because, you know, I was making fun of who I am. Yeah, if you're like yeah, so I don't know tonight your mind completely you'll get your love so sweet.
Randy Hulsey 35:19
Nice Well it's probably true you know you get some uneducated people out there that look at a dapper dressing guy like you right filling in for or coming behind Ronnie James Dio, you're like two ships in the night, like you're not even remotely the same type of people or anything and so they, in all fairness, they probably judge the book by the cover, wouldn't you think? Yeah,
Graham Bonnet 35:44
they obviously did. Yeah. Because, you know, after that first game, everything went really well. And he was the most amazing time in my life, I must say that I had a band that I could rely on every night that everything will go well. As soon as you walk on the stage was like walking into a warm living room. You know, there are all those people out there. I heard them but I didn't see him sometimes. And I felt it was like a family that was talking about having a family but me and Bethany and Conrad. It was like beer and family. They were there. If I fucked up. They will cover for me. Yeah, but but I never. I don't think I'm not no, it was always good. Yeah, because I heard this fan behind. It's like, holy cow. I'm gonna give it the politics. Sure, everything. And, you know, I looked around I've seen they're smiling. And I see the smiling faces down there. And it was, as I said, it's just always comfortable. I didn't have any fear about walking on stage anymore, about my hair, about what I was, I was worried. It was like, I'm just me.
Randy Hulsey 36:51
I'm Graham. Yeah, well, you relied on your life, you relied on your ability as a vocalist to go out and deliver, you know, night after night. Well, it was also my understanding that you are asked to join the band suite, which I which I found that interesting. Because if sweet is probably one of you know, my all time favorites. I was so into the whole, you know, the 70s Yeah, you know, glam stuff coming up. And that was big for me. How did that come about? And I think that was about the same time that you were joining rainbow. Correct. Didn't coincide. And how did you decide on on one versus the other?
Graham Bonnet 37:30
Yeah, it was my producer Pete Williams produced sweet, you know, all the guitars on the records is when he was playing big plays on my earlier albums. And he said, excessively relevant a break now. Greg, we're gonna go to the partners. Oh, yeah. Okay, so we've crossed over the road to the pub. And there was sweet in the not the singer, but the other guys from Sweet standing by the bar, and pips, SVG digital guide. Oh, yeah. How I how I? And they said to me, how would you feel about we asking you to be an app. And they asked me face to face. And I say, oh, and I don't know what I said, I'm busy right now. I'm doing my solo stuff and all that. That's all. I think I'm gonna say still as a solo singer. But this really like, usually in our in our band. Anyway, I talked to fit later, I said that I don't really, I can't really see myself doing it. Not because they weren't bad or good or whatever. But I didn't think of it that a bit like rainbow. You know, I wouldn't have fit, I wouldn't have improved the battle. ruined the band or anything, whatever. You know, I don't think it was right. So that was that. But because it was producing them. That's how I got to meet
Randy Hulsey 38:50
that interesting. Okay. Well, you'd left rainbow and you went on to join Michael Schenker in the Michael Schenker group. And for the listeners that are that are going to be tuning in Michael Schenker is the, the younger brother of Rudolph Shanker, the scorpions. And so at this time in your career, you're now playing or have played with a couple of, you know, what have become the have become guitar legends. Right. And I was curious, from your point of view, kind of what the, was there a big difference in playing with a guy like Richie Blackmore and then going over and playing with Michael Schenker. And what what would you say the differences in the two guys
Graham Bonnet 39:36
were? Well, Michael is he's he's, he's a raceless. Sometimes we've gone forever. This last, like 10 minutes. That's where it goes, you should come in and edit the site. So no, no, no cut that bit Achatz. Whereas Richie had a sit down fixed idea, but both of them are just so damn good. Yeah, I mean, how come go am Bodhi from Skegness Lincolnshire. Suddenly,
Randy Hulsey 40:03
are you here with these guys, right?
Graham Bonnet 40:07
Oh God, what am I was like, and then Michael shader. Wow, this guy is so different. They're so different for Richie, but there were a little bit so you know they both had a similar similarity in some ways. But so Richard was very much the the British guitar player was Michael was more sort of Germanic and he had these arrangements which would they lasted forever crashed what does this thing as you know what do I say?
Randy Hulsey 40:38
It was like a meat it was it was it was like a meatloaf song right that just kind of like a rock opera or whatever right? Yeah, like a show
Adam Gordon 40:45
shows? Yes, yes.
Graham Bonnet 40:49
But yeah, in the a bowl, bless his heart. Yeah, we lost a lot of people over the past couple years. But the two of them. I love to sit and play together. You know, trading licks? Yes. They both have respect for each other, by the way. Yeah, it really does. Richard loved Michaels playing good. Vice versa. Yeah. It was when Michael It was quite an adventure because I said to him Well, I don't really write lyrics or anything. Yeah. So the first the first time it really started Lewis in my own melodies was with Michael is when I don't, I don't I don't speak English very well. So I want you to write the words. And and that odd. Yeah, I'm
Randy Hulsey 41:34
very bad. Michael shank. Essentially, you were doing a pretty good little German accent there. Graham. It's like it kind of you kind of practice that before the show done. Yeah.
Graham Bonnet 41:44
I remember sitting down at rehearsal Edwards rehearsing. And it was a song that eventually be caught a desert song. And I said, I don't know what to write this blank. Anything I saw. I don't know how to start up my path data. Then this song came into my head. I don't like your fantasy thing about capital right across the desert. You know, that's what he's supposed to write about why there's so mystical. So that was the first that was the first lyric I ever wrote was the desert song, sitting in the rehearsal room with them blasting away. And then I at the end, like next day or whatever, and I finished it. I gave the research to Michael. And he just said this is great. But what is a dusty lady? One of one questions. He does the lady on others had one question about that. It means she's dark and sensual. And you know, oh, I know what you mean. Yeah. That was the only thing he said. But the words are great. But so what I did that very quickly. And then anyway, after that, I started to really concentrate on what the words I was writing and later on. I think I'd give my poetry if you will a lot better you know when I got out of the Michael shank cabana which into my own bed. I became more imaginative, I think. But it was good to have Michael say to me, I don't write words and I don't write bullets. He made me do it. Sure.
Randy Hulsey 43:17
kind of step out of yours stepped out of your comfort zone, so to speak. Right and for
Graham Bonnet 43:23
the album show that great. Well, we we do a couple of Michael Schenker songs of course, okay. Yeah. Yeah, sure.
Randy Hulsey 43:31
I have to absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I
Graham Bonnet 43:34
love it. I love the guy is insane. Yeah. I love him. He is he's a beautiful guy. He really is really, really, but he's one of those guys. You can't understand sometimes. Oh, no, no, leave me alone. You know. I mean, like Richie wishes. wishes are very shy. But there's a lot of fans that Oh, wish he didn't sign my album. I said no, because he wants to go to bed. You know, when you get home late, you know, it's 12 o'clock, one o'clock in the morning, go into the hotel lobby and there's all these kids or whatever. I said, No, he's, he's a good man. He really is. But he's a very shy person. You know, what's your space? You know, that wouldn't be working. Give him a break.
Randy Hulsey 44:13
That kind of reminds me a little bit of you know, Neil Peart from rush. He was always very shy. And they had written a song called limelight and in that song, it says something about I can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend, meaning I'm adored by so many and so many come up to me after the show. They all seem to know me, but I don't know any of them. So it was always really weird to him. Yeah. And he shied away from that Limelight much like it sounds like Richie did it's not that he was trying to be a dick, right? He just didn't want you know, he just wanted a space and he wanted separation from that maybe
Graham Bonnet 44:55
God says watch TV. Yeah. Yeah, but but he that's it. He was I mean, he chose it had a few friends but he had a very small group of friends. You know, he chose him very carefully. He became my friend and my dad's friends. Yeah. My dad loved him. And so when we're in like a holiday or something, my dad was there, coming to come to a summer shows in England. He would go sit in the bar wishing she wished he'd gabbing away my dad was a foul but Lincolnshire father Sure. They had a great side to it. I'll see them laughing. I'm going to my mom, but what are they talking about?
Randy Hulsey 45:35
Well, I have to say that I but I have to say that I love what him and Candice do together and Blackmores night I really liked that type of music. And so kudos to them for that now. we fast forward to somewhere I think around 1983 You formed Alcatraz, and you once again found yourself kind of surrounded by guitar greatness. There's this guitar greatness thing that follows Graham bonnet around a little bit. That being in vain. Malmsteen and Steve Vai. As a musician. Were you able to spread out a little bit more? In Alcatraz. The new were in rainbow or or the Michael Schenker group, were you able to do a little bit more Graham bonnet type things?
Graham Bonnet 46:23
Yeah. Okay. Because some of the metal is all that talk also about Britain box. I wrote the song as carbon, which was I didn't, but I wrote a couple songs on that first album, you know, the arrangements and Bowlby and then invade play on his way. eBay mounts, you know what a fine. That was. I mean, that was just unbelievable. He used to come over to my house every day, I will sit down there and just talk about music. But what was the question again?
Randy Hulsey 46:55
Well, I was just curious if you were able to spread out and explore more of who you are as a musician, in Alcatraz than you were maybe some of the previous two outfits that you are with? Yes.
Graham Bonnet 47:09
Yeah. Because these couple of guys in the Bible, like fans of rainbow or whatever, when I had Alcatraz, I could write any kind of lyric, I liked any kind of melody, and they wouldn't complain. Okay, you know, that you don't have that respect for me in that way. You know, Oh, sister, you know, but a lot of people didn't understand my lyrics, but I just said, well read their story. You know, that's one thing. I never had any problem at all. Without contrast? Anybody would ask me, Well, you know, where you want to put guitars and things. So we meaning they work together a lot, you know, and when I get my things, my arrangements, he will say, Oh, yeah, that's a will copy them. Exactly. releasing them up in the middle. Yeah. Okay. I get it. Great. And so he would do it. But of course, later on. Things change. Yes. It became this monster of, you know, DisArt hero thing. And he was all over the sage every every night. You know, watching him? Yeah. And you can't i can't compete with that no vocalist cannot compete that. No, you know, it's a visual thing. Yes. A vocalist is
Randy Hulsey 48:19
it's a very shown on here. Yeah, it's,
Graham Bonnet 48:22
it's very. I was thinking, what the hell's he doing? I said, Can you please have a bit of stage etiquette when I'm doing my bit? Don't come up to me or when I'm doing whatever. And he said, Okay. And of course, he didn't carry on doing the same. Because, you know, when you see a guitar player, you can see what they play. Absolutely. It's amazing what he did. There. Not many people were like him. Yeah, it was a one off. Yeah, your Van Halen. And of course, Richie. That's he was in a bit more than those guys. You know, he was tall. And a young guy, a young man. So he got all people were turning towards him all the time. Instead of looking at me.
Randy Hulsey 49:03
Yeah, the storyteller of the band. Yeah, sure.
Graham Bonnet 49:07
It was kind of a bit of an ego thing. You know, with me,
Randy Hulsey 49:09
I can see that I'm seeing
Graham Bonnet 49:11
the bloody song. And meanwhile, he started to play like melodies while I was singing my say a verse or something. Behind me, yeah. And all this. And of course, he distracted potential from what I was doing. So it was one of those times when we had to say, That's it. Not because I've got to go. Yeah. Especially one that I tried to strangle. This is I've told this story many times probably. And I'm sure anyway, so too. I went. You're doing a solo, guitar solo and I went off stage. And I didn't know this but I pulled his lead out of the van. And I didn't know I went to the boss and I was talking to the bus driver. And anyway comes rushing out said your fucking count. When you got home my neck stay squeezed right here. Really, really hard. Right? Oh, no, it's also is on everything. And I was choking, basically gagging and one of our crew was there ambiguous Yugoslavia and Kitt was a few years ago died, which is unfortunate. But he said, he may call me he'll pass and he got ahold of Ingo put his head between his arms. I got ahold of him with that said you probably grammar more. And you will get Yeah. Okay, okay. Okay, because it's a big guy. Yes. So yeah. And he really was given him what Greenbay was doing to make sure he could read my voice. Yeah. Yeah, for sure that he didn't kill me. I'm glad to say, well, but here is a pretty awful night with Charlie on the bus. And he was firing the bus at night. Because you don't
Randy Hulsey 51:01
do that now. Now, you can't be a cohesive unit and have that going on in the unit.
Graham Bonnet 51:08
Nicholas? Yeah. Well, I mean, I didn't mean to do all this. It was an accident. Yeah, I didn't know.
Randy Hulsey 51:14
Yeah, I want to rewind. Just a little bit on your career, you had success before joining any of the bands I previously mentioned. And you and you made mention of this a little bit earlier. But you had a song that hit number three on the charts, called It's all over now baby blue. And you also had a number to hit with a song called Warm ride. And I wanted to share a short clip of it's all over now baby blue with the listeners and then come back and just chat briefly about that song if you don't mind all right standby. What's up? I have to admit that I've fallen in love with this cover song. And when I say cover, this was a song that was written by Bob Dylan. Right and covered by quite a few artists. I think Van Morrison might have covered it and there was a few others. But but I'll have to say too. And it's not just because you're on my show. But this by far is the best cover of that song. But I wanted to ask you, how did you decide to do a cover of that song? Why was that song special to you?
Graham Bonnet 53:22
Ah, well, I'll tell you, my cousin and I, my cousin and I, the other guy in the marbles, which we were called in 1968. Trevor used to come over we play together, you know, they just want us together. And I said, Have you heard that song by Rod Stewart? And if some Oh, crap.
Randy Hulsey 53:45
I bet you're thinking of Maggie Mae, aren't you? Yes, yes.
Graham Bonnet 53:50
Hear that rhythm? I said, Yeah. It's good, isn't it? I mean, we were playing baby blue. I said, let's try it not like that. I saw. Yeah. So I went to Pete Williams, my producer and guitar player. And I said, What do you think about doing like, Maggie Mae. You mercy, you know, do it. I said, well, listen, I give I can't think
Randy Hulsey 54:14
that way comes Wickham, Maggie. I think I
Graham Bonnet 54:18
just say, Yeah, I said, Let's do it like that. I'll sing it. Sort of like that, you know? And he said, What a great idea. So that's how that came about in the arrangement. And then it was a second hit record. I was totally surprised by that.
Randy Hulsey 54:33
That's a really cool story. And if my wife was if Terry was to walk through those doors right now, I would ask her, Tell Graham what I said just last night, because I had her listen to that song. And I said, That song is very Rod Stewart ish. And it has kind of the making of Maggie Mae in it. I could hear some similarities throughout it. And I don't know if that if that bothers As artists when you have a sound like somebody else, but that's a compliment as far as I'm concerned, because I'm a huge Rod Stewart fan, but I could detect that's why I called it out. Yeah. Were you thinking of Maggie Mae? Because it had little remnants of that. Just had that feel to it, right?
Graham Bonnet 55:17
Absolutely. Yeah, that's what I did. Yeah, just play like making me. Yeah. Good old road. Yeah. Yeah, I don't mind.
Randy Hulsey 55:26
No, no. And you did a great job of that song too. And I wanted to say your song warm ride. gave you some charts success. As I mentioned, there were a couple of things that stood out to me about the song but one of them that it was was it written or CO written by the Bee Gees was that that's the one that was written by Morris, Robin and Barry, correct? Yeah.
Graham Bonnet 55:50
Yeah. They all had they all had a hand in back. Robin was the original. Yeah, the original idea. And it came along. I got the demo from Barry. He gave me the demo. And I thought, I can't make any sense of this. Because Robin, he didn't play anything. There just seemed like something. It played them a laudatory. I want to say that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That was in a while. But he sang. He was trying to play piano I seem to remember, a black some, Robin didn't play a thing with any, you know, verbal knowledge of the instrument. He had this melody, which is eventually completely changed. And Barry put put it down, he put it down himself as acoustic, and said, Okay, I've seen something like this. And that's how that kind of kind of came about. And what was going to happen. It was probably going to get to be in the movie, Saturday Night Fever. And it wasn't it was one of those that couldn't make it but it didn't know scaffolds. But it would have been great to be in that thing. It would be great for me. Yeah. Great for that. A million songs in that movie anyway. Yeah. So that was there was another band. Shit. I'm trying not for tops. I can't think of that. Look at the data diversion. And I listened to it. And I thought my mind they're on fire. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And I heard it I thought, Well, I think our version is better, you know, but it was a different houses more country. I think it's good that I saw. Well, both of those songs. Acoustically. It was weird. But the people in the crowd likes it. You know,
Randy Hulsey 57:39
you ventured off a little bit on that song because it did have more of a kind of a, I wouldn't say disco but it was it was very BGS ish, if you will, like when people think of Graham bonnet they think of rainbow Michael Schenker rock and roll you know, the the heavy the heavier stuff, right? So you've ventured off a little bit there. But, you know, like I said, it just goes to show you that if you're a talented singer, you can sing the phone book and it really doesn't matter what genre of music you're singing, but I thought warm ride was a great sounding song. I really enjoyed that one, too.
Graham Bonnet 58:17
Yeah, it was dead disco, real disco. By the time Barry got the arrangement together. I said to my manager. I don't want to do this. He says really discouraged. Uh, yeah, but look what's happening now. It's everywhere. It's fucking disco. Yeah, so around that time for sure. I think it started out well,
Randy Hulsey 58:35
thank you for your Yeah. And to just say that you you you collaborated with such magnificent songwriters is those three brothers? I think they're probably if not the best some of the best that you know of my time for sure. Right? Those guys those guys couldn't fuck a song up like everything was it to them. It's a mic and just wrote some great music. And it's, it's a shame that three of the four brothers are gone now. And there won't ever be probably, you know, nothing new from the BGS. But that's a whole nother story in itself. But I did want to jump ahead in the time machine a little bit. Fast forward to today. A brand new record is out from the Graham bonnet band. Congrats on the release if I'm not mistaken. This is your third album with the Graham bonnet man. Am I correct? Okay, yeah. And the record is titled a day out of a day out in nowhere. And it's it's an 11 song LP and I did want to feature a song off the new record called Brave New World. And if we can take a listen to that one and come back and chat about that. That would be great. Standby. Yeah, Now great tune there, Graham. I really liked that and being this music savant that I that I've always been from a young kid, I was the kid that went out and bought a record and didn't even listen to the music. I read the liner notes first, because I was just more interested in the details around the music. I wanted to pick your brain a little bit on that song. What inspired, brave new world for you?
Graham Bonnet 1:00:46
Well, I was watching TV. That was our usual Graham. I'm always watching TV.
Randy Hulsey 1:00:55
Right? My friend. Okay, switch
Graham Bonnet 1:00:56
to living on my own too long. Yeah, well, I'm watching TV and this kind of porn over and cave on. And I've seen this, this rubber suit. And you know, the hats I've made that head part and the whole thing, this woman's dressing up in it. And that's where the idea came from. Because it's, it's about the girlfriend saying to her boyfriend, let's try something different. So she got this latex suit. Really? And that's something different. Yeah. And that's what happened. That's it. That's what it's about. Plain and simple. So it's a bit kinky. Yeah. That's, that's what he's five. It was like, I saw somebody saw this on TV. That's a great idea. So you know, it's great. Hey, how about this? And he goes, what, fuck is a surprise? And then the loss that follows? Yeah, that's really smell based,
Randy Hulsey 1:01:52
isn't it? I mean, it's so cool how you pick up inspiration. And most people if they never asked you about that song would not have a damn clue. But you know, what were what was on your mind and I in it, for some reason it went back to it reminded me of where Steely Dan got their name from. If you don't know that story, they were in a I think it was a hotel room. The TV was on, there was a porno movie on the TV back when you could rent the porno movies in the hotels. And the vibrator that the girl was using was called a Steely Dan. And that is where they got their name from. Yeah. So there's some there's some trivia for you for the day. You can thank me later for that. Yeah. Just on the cover of the new record. And we talked a little bit, this is not the cover, I'm showing you the back of the vinyl that I have. But you're pictured with a male and a female artist on the record, right? share with the listeners who the musicians are on the back cover? And is this your core Graham, the core of the Graham bonnet band? Because I know, I think there was five people in your band at one time, right? And maybe you tour with five people, but talk about the players. And why there's not five, and there's only three, or four however many you had?
Graham Bonnet 1:03:16
Yeah, well, as I've said before, this part of the family group, you know, the three of us have known each other for 10 years. And we just gel and Bethany is the bass player. I'm the singer. And of course, Colorado is the guitar player. And we want you to do well, after we had that thing happened to us. I think best we explained it, it was fired from our band, for no apparent reason is ago and we got it back without a lot of lies. We're going around, and people were just manipulating me and Bethany. And oh, anyway, that's a whole story. That's another thing. But the three of us together are a great team, I think me and Conrad when we get in the in the studio and start playing pause and say, well, let's do this, let's do that. Commerce always very supportive of what I write, you know, sometimes changes some of the chord but that is the basic center of the band is the three of us. Okay. And then on the row, we have, you know, a keyboard player, and obviously a drummer, which we have at the moment, but I don't know how long they'll stay with us. Because we're playing in England very soon. And I'm not sure you know, everybody folks around me is in 20 Fucking bands is not the same as it used to be.
Randy Hulsey 1:04:38
That's all friends.
Graham Bonnet 1:04:40
You know, it's not like that anymore. And everybody's struggling in this music business. The music is great, but the business is crap. As always Saturday. So that's at the moment we have Carlos is playing drums and we have done it all because a great keyboard player. And so we at the moment that's the A sense that there will be five people on stage. But this is the core of the band this, the three of us. And what will happen with the band after we go out? I don't know, I think it kind of depends on the reception we get, because we play some gigs, a while back a few months ago. And it was very good. The reception was great. We had some great reviews and etc. We did four shows. One was like a festival. That was real fun. And so, I don't know, because people are so it's so fickle, and it's all about the money as well. Yeah. So how much do we get for this? You know, it's not like it used to be No, I remember going out, you know, getting money like, you wouldn't believe in my pocket. And now it's like, you got to share that money. Nobody my pocket with some of the guys in the band. Yeah. And it's not good. isn't good? Yeah. And you know, some club dates are? Yeah. A bit iffy. I'm not sure. Who will say I think probably Kyle who is like, say their drummer is 25 is very, very good. But I think he might say, but you never know because he's looking for. I hate to say it a stepping stone. Just something that. Yeah. Which was just happened to me over and over with Steve Vai. He got it. It's the money. You went through. David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, whatever. And anyway, huge career by himself. Yep. They went on to better things. And that's what I feel may happen with this. You might not Yeah, but he's a young man. And that's what happens. It's I get good reviews for this. Yeah. Then I can, you know, say to another band, it killed me as your drum or whatever. You get people calling him up. I don't know. But you said that feeling that that's probably what
Randy Hulsey 1:06:57
will happen. Well, you
Graham Bonnet 1:06:57
are right. Another drummer. Probably a different keyboard. keyboard player. I don't know yet. But we'll see. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:07:05
yeah. You are right about that because I've had a few people on my show. Michael Sweet from striper is one of them. Joel Hoekstra from Whitesnake is another and they're both playing in like three or four different bands right now. Right. Michael has striper. He has iconic he you know where he's playing with Joel and a couple of other guys and it seems like a lot of the musicians these days, like back in the 80s I say in the 80s If you were Whitesnake, that was it. You were just in Whitesnake, but now these guys are in what you said they're in two or three different outfits and they're they're all a little different from one another right and it's it's a it's a it's a way to it's a money making thing, right? I mean, it's a business at the end of the day. Right?
Graham Bonnet 1:07:54
Yeah, but our Richie black boys on the perfect Yeah, he's the main guy. Yeah. On board of course. We wish we we mourn. Yeah. You know, John, but don't damage on those. Those guys. Best keyboard players in the world. Well, yeah. Yeah, it's a revolving door, or it always is. Yeah, it was in the band this week. Exactly. We don't all live in the same fucking country.
Randy Hulsey 1:08:19
Just sending sending sending tracks to each other recording and doing it, you know, yeah. You know, sending files, right. That's the way it's all dance it Yeah.
Graham Bonnet 1:08:28
Oh, jeez. Can we find somebody here? Yeah, well, whatever. You know, it goes on and on. But the band is really good. Now. We got I said, we got a good reception when we played in England a couple of months ago. And I'm just thinking, I hope it stays that way. Yeah, because they liked the people in the band. They they identified very much with them better than they love her. And comrade of course is big here. I mean, those are the main and maybe are the main focal point, I'd say. But it will be nice to have a band actually stay together. You know, I was in fucking two bands at one point. Yeah, yeah. Because it's about the money. Yeah. And now there is no fucking money. Right? So yeah, you have 20 minutes to make a reasonable purchase.
Randy Hulsey 1:09:18
It's watered down for sure. I wanted to share one more quick clip off of the new record. The song's called 12 steps to heaven. We'll listen to that and come back and chat real quick about that one. Okay. Okay this request some you suck this road away when this was too hard, miss some shots Another great track off the record and titled day out in nowhere great song gram and a great a great driving song. You can hear that good double bass working in that in that song. Great job there. Now this effort was put out by frontiers. Correct? I'm curious how long you've been working with frontiers records have all three of those efforts from Graham bonnet band come in frontiers. Okay, maybe eight years. Okay. Okay. Well, I've had quite a few of the frontiers artist on my show Johnny gol II think, you know, chips enough from enough's enough. And of course, Michael Sweet from striper has been on the show, and it seems like I've had quite a few of the frontiers lineup there. So that's great. I'm glad. I'm glad that add you to the fold. Thank you. Yes. Besides the new record, is there anything else exciting to share from the Graham bonnet camp as it relates to, you know, tour, new projects, collaborations, anything to share with the listeners?
Graham Bonnet 1:11:34
Okay, well, this is kind of a touchy one. I am going to have a band called Adria Graham bond is Alcatraz. The other guys are going out as we're having a fight mode. You know, who's gonna take the name, you know, lawyers, blah, blah, blah, blah. We're having a it's a shitty thing that's going on. And I said to them, well, you can go out. I don't know you go out with advertisement. They don't want me to do. So. If I call it gray and Bonnie's Alcatraz, and I could do it. I miss speaking, written six songs already with a guitar break or Jeff Loomis. You know who? Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:12:12
I haven't heard of him. No, I'm sorry. Yeah.
Graham Bonnet 1:12:15
He's a really heavy guitar player.
Randy Hulsey 1:12:19
Because he here is he here in the States? Or is a UK based? Okay. Yeah.
Graham Bonnet 1:12:23
He's on Tour mode. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 1:12:25
So he's the one working with you. And grant bonnets. Alcatraz. Is that correct?
Graham Bonnet 1:12:30
Yeah, it'd be that. So if the other guys had, they can do what they want. But so that's I've written six songs, which kind of heavy kind of good, we have another four to write, he's still on tour with Nevermore or the other band number. The other band is never
Randy Hulsey 1:12:53
the metal, the metal, the death metal.
Graham Bonnet 1:12:58
And he's a heavy player, but he's very, very melody oriented, his songs are very, you know, I can, as soon as he plays me, something always sends me something. I can hear the melody in my head, but when should be, you know, it comes to the chorus, he when he plays a chord, he has another he has a great melody for choruses. So what I do is like, do a counter to the chorus, Melody, okay, you know what I mean? So I'm not singing what he's playing, but it fits under undermine melody, perfectly. Good luck. But that's what will be happening. And that will be me and Conrad working on the vocals. And that's kind of what's going on now. And we're hoping that this banker get more gigs. Here, we need more in the site. We can never play anywhere here. Yeah, unless we go to, I don't know, somewhere in the middle of Timbuktu or something. We're just not popular. Yeah. Even though people like who we are. It's on the register, though.
Randy Hulsey 1:14:03
It's It's probably why Yeah, it's changed. You know, back in the back in the 80s, the 70s, the 80s You know, the the big rock bands come to town was always the big draw. But now it's, you know, if you're not a Justin Timberlake or it's more pop now, you know, it's Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, if you're not in that genre of music, you know, unless you're, you know, guys like Elton John, or something that's going around doing these large stadium things, right. You know, it's just, it's different in and I'm a local musician here that doesn't make a living per se playing music, but I've seen the music, how it's changed over the years from the 80s to even it is now so I could, I could only imagine the impact that you might feel from it. Right. And surely you've seen it change dramatically over the years that you've spent on it, right?
Graham Bonnet 1:14:55
Yeah, I mean, I certainly sub that I don't like to listen to music, but now Because I don't want to be influenced by it and try to be like that. Yeah, I remember Rob did this, you know, with his. What was his band called? What noble rock from Judas Priest, Rob? Oh, Rob Hallford. Yeah, what was bad while
Randy Hulsey 1:15:21
he was in his own band called Hallford, right?
Graham Bonnet 1:15:23
It was years ago he did like a bad a heavy band. And it was really different. It didn't work. He was trying to be, you know, fashionable, okay. He's trying to pull away. Everybody else was doing and it didn't work. Okay. We should just be himself, you know? Sure. Anyways, back to being himself. But it didn't work. You can't do that. That's why I never listened to him. I have heard things and it's just like,
Randy Hulsey 1:15:48
Graham Bonnet 1:15:49
I don't hear music anymore. Yeah. On, you know, on anything. And I've heard, you know, my kids play it. And, but my kids are Beatles fans as well. So they're, you know, there's nothing that impresses me anymore. Yeah. I've waited for the day that another queen comes out. Yeah. Yes. I remember hearing that. Go. What the hell is that? Yeah. You know, as soon as that is fucking good. Yeah. Something like that has got to happen again. Or another Beatles? I don't. I don't see another Beatles.
Randy Hulsey 1:16:26
Were you a big Queen fan? Yeah, yeah. Okay.
Graham Bonnet 1:16:30
I mean, anybody albums. Sure. I got all the Beatles album. Of course. The Beatles changed the world. Oh, yeah. The hairstyles. Yeah, the clothes we wore the things we said sometimes. But it's the change the music business. I remember playing the epi twist and shout up. My mom was so when I played on the radio. She said what's that is a band called The Beatles. So but they can't sing. I started became was the Beatles couldn't do it. So can I hear your ordinary Joe working in a voice is all that good? Oh, I couldn't do that. So he came very much. All bands chamber unlivable all the sudden. They're often livable. livable. So how you doing? Walk your eyes. Little fucking crazy. I like it. That's when I believe it was all like that, certainly ever. But it's um, you know, it was like that, because they were almost like a folk group, if you will. But it did become, you know, you think about Eleanor Rigby, and, you know, Strawberry Fields. Those songs are fucking amazing. Yeah, yeah, they are. It's folk music. Totally a story about a real place.
Randy Hulsey 1:17:45
Sure. You know, Penny Lane. Yeah. All of those. Exactly.
Graham Bonnet 1:17:49
Yeah. And that's something that I tried to take from reality.
Randy Hulsey 1:17:54
Yep. Where can the listeners find Graham bonnet on social media? I don't know. I had a feeling you were gonna respond like that. Right? You probably let somebody else handle all of that. Right. I don't know.
Graham Bonnet 1:18:08
I just googled the grant money ban. You'll find it on YouTube as you've got two, two videos on YouTube from the album, the new album. Yeah, Google that. If you see those two songs, you'll be okay, that gives you a taste of what we're doing now. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:18:26
I will. I will also go out and do that research for you. And make sure that when I dropped this episode on my show that it has the links to as much of the Graham bonnet bands social media as I can find so the listeners know how to buy your records and find out where you're playing and all of those good things. Okay, Graham, listen, thanks so much for being so gracious with your time and your stories. You're a revered vocalist, and one of the most versatile vocalist of our time. As far as I'm concerned. This has been a true pleasure. So so thank you for this went a little bit longer than 30 minutes. And I had a good feeling that it was going to grant but you can't tell your story in 30 minutes, and you should know that right? I do
Graham Bonnet 1:19:15
ramble a bit. Yeah. But anyway, good. Good. Got my point across.
Randy Hulsey 1:19:18
Yeah, good, good stories. As always, I asked the listeners to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. Also, make sure to follow Graham on all his social media outlets. Again, you can find the show here on Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast on Instagram at backstage pass radio, on Twitter, backstage pass PC, and on the website at backstage pass. radio.com. I'd like to thank everybody for tuning into the show. You guys remember to take care of yourselves and each other and we'll see you right back here on the next episode of backstage pass radio.
Adam Gordon 1:19:56
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. Go to Backstage Pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Hulsey music and on Twitter at Mr. Halsey music. Also make sure to like, subscribe and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio