Monday, July 02, 2007

Bonnet rocks!

Bonnet rocks!!!

Last night I saw Graham Bonnet at The Brook and he was fantastic!
Chosen by Ritchie Blackmore to replace Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow, he sang on the Down To Earth album, which spawned two huge hit singles in 1980; "Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long". Bonnet also appeared with the group headlining the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donington. Bonnet only did a couple of years with Rainbow, leaving to resume his solo career, releasing the Line Up album in 1981, handled by producer John Eden. For the recording of Line Up he managed to enlist several well-known rock musicians including Deep Purple and Whitesnake keyboard player Jon Lord, Whitesnake and Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, Status Quo guitarist Francis Rossi, Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody on guitar and bassist Gary Twigg.
Tempted by an offer from ex-UFO German guitarist Michael Schenker, Bonnet joined the Michael Schenker Group for the Assault Attack album. Unfortunately at a warm up gig in Sheffield prior to a booking at the Reading Rock festival, a drunken Bonnet not only exposed the uncredited rythem guitarist working behind the amps off-stage but also himself leading to his abrupt departure. Bonnet referred to the infamous gig in some stage banter during the show, in fact he had the patter down to a 't' with the audience eating out of the palm of his hand by the end of the show.
Opening with 'Lost in Hollywood', he also gave the audience what they wanted playing all his hits as well as songs off his new album recorded with the Taz Taylor Band.
After performing a rollicking version of 'Stargazer', Bonnet made a quip about how difficult it was to sing Dio-era songs and I shouted out that he should join Black Sabbath (which Tony Iommi had asked him to do many years ago!), leading the band to play the first few chords of Paranoid which got a few laughs.
What a talent! What a showman! And what a voice!


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