When the Graham Bonnet Band’s 2017 tour reached Japan, something unexpected happened. In addition to the standard band shows promoting the then current album ‘The Book‘, three more shows took place where bassist Beth-Ami Heavenstone stood aside and ex-Alcatrazz man Gary Shea performed. Those shows, performed under the Alcatrazz name, celebrated that band’s short career with its many hits and misses. Almost as an important a time in Bonnet’s past as his all too short-lived tenure with Rainbow, Alcatrazz remain a much loved band – especially in Japan – so it was only right the shows were recorded for later release.
Following in the footsteps of various archive solo releases by Graham Bonnet – ranging from his unreleased solo debut to a three disc anthology of unreleased recordings from his time in Australia – this six disc box set from Hear No Evil Records gives Bonnet’s fans another reason to celebrate. ‘The Official Bootleg Box Set 1983-1986’ does exactly what it says on the tin. It presents three different live shows from Texas on the ‘No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll’ tour – featuring Yngwie Malmsteen on guitar – alongside three discs’ worth of rehearsals and demos culled from a four year period.
Graham Bonnet is one of the UK’s hardest working rock vocalists. In the past, he’s fronted big name bands, been a voice for hire for several widdly guitarists and even found time in between for a hit and miss solo career. When on good form, Bonnet can be terrific (as evidenced on Rainbow’s classic ‘Down To Earth and his own ‘Line Up); when he misses the mark, he has the ability to do so in a devastating way (the Blackthorn debut is pretty nasty, and somehow his solo LP ‘No Bad Habits’ from 1978 ended up being one of the worst albums ever recorded). Despite these inconsistencies, the Skegness born singer has reached legendary status.