STEVE WRIGHT – Graham Bonnet – The Story Behind the Shades. The Authorised Illustrated Biogra
One can only imagine how many interviews, articles, press clippings, TV specials, and so on and so forth that Wright has sifted through not to mention all the face-to-face interviews that have been conducted in order to present such a rich and detailed account of Graham Bonnet’s life both as an artist and outside of music. His private life away from the stage and the prying eyes of the public have rarely been touched on before, but Graham is honest and candid about his triumphs and defeats, the ups and downs, the depressions, the failed marriages, inspiration, creativity, and so on and so forth.
Reading about Graham’s work and dealings with highly talented musicians such as Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen (just to list a few) is fascinating and compelling, but the same thing could be said for all the lesser-known bands and projects that he has been involved in such as Blackthorne, The Skyliners, The Bluesect, and Forcefield. This book is truly a treasure chest of information and there is a lot to digest in terms of dates, timelines, and so on. Having said that, the way in which Wright weaves different anecdotes, recollections, and interviews together with historical facts spawns a nice balance between things based on the memories of those who were actually there and involved in Graham’s music and the hard and indisputable facts in terms of what went on when and where. Apart from the main narrative and subject matter of the book, Wright provides us with a Graham Bonnet discography, a concert diary section, and an appendix focusing on select songs and what they are about. The foreword by Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne) is quite moving and the countless photos and press clippings that adorn the pages of the book are wonderful to behold.
This book will make you go back and listen to all the classics such as "Down to Earth" by Rainbow, "Assault Attack" by MSG, and "No Parole From Rock ‘n’ Roll", but equally cool is the fact that it will make you seek out all those rather obscure and/or overlooked releases that Mr. Bonnet has graced with his brilliant and otherworldly vocals throughout the years. Even if you are only vaguely familiar with Bonnet’s work, "Graham Bonnet – The Story Behind the Shades" will blow you away simply because it is a great and riveting story that is as inspiring as it is heartwarming. My only complaint is that the font size of the text is ridiculously small, but other than that I have nothing but praise for this must-have opus.