Graham Bonnet Reflects On Alcatrazz, Ynwie and Steve Vai

09/20/2013
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(Classic Rock) Graham Bonnet says guitarist Ynwie Malmsteen wasn't difficult to work with when Alcatrazz started out but that changed with time. And the frontman, who's also been a member of Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group, has recalled how quickly things came to an end with Malmsteen's replacement, Steve Vai.

Both axeman have gone on to much bigger and better things, but they were far less well-known when they were part of Alcatrazz in the 1980s. Asked if Malmsteen was "hard to work with," Bonnet tells Songfacts: "He wasn't at first but he was suddenly engulfed by people telling him how wonderful he was.

"When a kid of 19 years old and everybody's telling you how marvellous you are, you could be better than this, you could be the next Jimi Hendrix, it was very tempting for him. His ego suddenly inflated.

"He became not a band member any more. He wanted to go off on his own, and, eventually, he did. It just wasn't working I could see it happening."

Malmsteen left when the band was just a year old in 1984, and Bonnet found a replacement in the form of Vai, who only stayed for two years before moving on to become part of David Lee Roth's solo band. "I didn't even know he was leaving," says the singer. "He said to the rest of the band, 'Don't tell Graham yet,' because he knew I'd be pissed off. And of course I was; I was very upset." He had a lot more to say.

Classic Rock Magazine is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Classic Rock Magazine- Excerpted here with permission.

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