Alcatrazz: “We ran fake vocal tracks with Graham Bonnet as our singer for years. Sadly, the guy’s voice is toast.”

Author Staff - 17.1.2024

The members of Alcatrazz wish to share that between January 2017 and the split with Graham in mid-2020, nearly every song in every live performance was lip-synched to pre-recorded vocal tracks.

The band further states in various replies and comments on their Facebook page:

“We are guilty as well, we went along with it, some nights we even encouraged it…it was a drag, we felt trapped, we couldn’t work without the tracks, we couldn’t even get through a gig without the tracks, we are sure this wasn’t fun for Graham either, but his voice is toast and has been for a long, long time…3 or 4 songs a night he was fine, but more than that it was impossible, we tried to be supportive and get through it together, then he threw us all under the bus in the end and has continued to needlessly slander us in interviews… the most recent comments regarding the songwriting is the final straw.”

Keyboard player and founding member Jimmy Waldo confirms that as a member of the Graham Bonnet Band, he was responsible for recording, pitch correcting, and putting into a pro-tools session the tracks for Graham to “mime” to live.

“I did what I needed to do to be a team player and help Graham, however possible, work through this; we were friends.”

The comments come in response to Graham and his girlfriend Beth-Ami Heavenstone (in an interview with the Laughing Monkey Podcast) claiming that no one in the current Alcatrazz band ever wrote any music for Alcatrazz and that any songwriting credit given to these musicians was simply a gesture on Graham’s part.

The band stated in various posts on their FB page (note: they do not speak for current lead vocalist Doogie White, who replaced Graham in late 2020)

How can this woman claim to be an expert on “who really wrote what” 40 years ago?

By her own admission in the full-length interview, she “knew nothing about Graham before meeting him” in 2013.

One such example:

Remember a song called “Island In The Sun”?

The main theme of this signature Alcatrazz song (arguably the first successful single the band had via MTV) was written by Jimmy Waldo, the bridge part was written by Yngwie Malmsteen, and the lyric and vocal melody was written by Graham Bonnet, this is an example of how you fairly give credit amongst writers.

We will post (in the FB comments below) the song (In demo form) containing Jimmy’s parts (the entire main melody line) when it was called “Take Another Ride” as a New England demo (Jimmy and Gary’s previous pre-Alcatrazz band)

Clearly, “Island In The Sun” became a better song due to the COLLABORATION of the writers in Alcatrazz (including Graham Bonnet and Yngwie Malmsteen), but him excluding someone who wrote a main part of a signature song (by way of outright saying “those guys never wrote anything” based on resentment over an ongoing personal/trademark issue) shows the lack of professional class Graham Bonnet has”

“Jimmy has co-written numerous other songs both with Graham as a member of the Graham Bonnet Band, Blackthorne, and Alcatrazz, and with the other members of Alcatrazz past and present; what she is saying is complete personal vendetta-fueled nonsense

Jimmy was also a prominent writer during his time with Quiet Riot, New England and many more projects.
His resume speaks for itself.

Alcatrazz guitarist Joe Stump co-wrote much of the “Born Innocent” album and continues to be a main writer in the band today.

“Beth-Ami also claims that the current Alcatrazz band sounds “Nothing like Alcatrazz.” We could reply to that comment that Rainbow’s ‘Down To Earth’ album didn’t sound like the Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio either, but we all liked it and accepted him.”

The band also made the following comments on social media in replies to fans:

The overall sound of Alcatrazz, it can be fairly said, has always been pretty much dictated by the guitarist in the band at the time… not by Graham. This is why the first 3 albums all sound remarkably different from each other, and Jimmy would often write with the guitarist at the time, him getting on well with all three”.

“Joe Stump wrote a considerable amount of the “Born Innocent” album, and last time we checked, he is in the current band, as is Jimmy and founding member Gary Shea. We aren’t claiming to be the band with Yngwie, Steve Vai, or Graham. We have two original founding members (one of whom named the band), a great guitarist, Joe Stump, who has been with us since 2019 and has done 3 albums with us, and we are happy performing and recording music for those who want it, we had some great years with Graham but we aren’t going to stop just because he quit suddenly on us – he has given numerous interviews where he says he quit, and that’s what happened to put us in an awful spot with the label, promoters and fans.”

Sadly, this is yet another example of Graham trying to take credit for the work of others…only this time via his girlfriend speaking for him – utterly pathetic“.

“Furthermore, over the past 4 years, we have read and seen numerous interviews where Graham has discredited his former (Alcatrazz) bandmates, claiming members of this band to be sub-par players, or to quote Graham directly, “pretend musicians.”
 … We had chosen to take the high road and wanted to continue to do so, but this restraint on our part is now officially over“.

“And strong words from Beth-Ami Heavenstone, who while being credited as bassist on the two Graham Bonnet Band albums “The Book” and “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage,” did not play a note on them… so talk about giving credit as a gesture! – If you are so good, film yourself playing a bass solo”.

“Do your own interviews, Graham. Stop having your girlfriend speak for you while you sit there knowing the real truth, do your thing with your GBB group, and let us do ours. Stop running people down who helped you when your girlfriend threw you out for 3 months, and you were terrified you were going to end up homeless, and we helped you get sorted out… you were our friend when it suited you… when you were desperate, telling us how embarrassed you were about Beth-Ami’s musicianship and her (to quote you exactly) “Hollywood bar-band attitude” (we have the text message), stop with this stupid trademark nonsense, and leave your comments about us out of your interviews, or this will only get worse for you, we will not hold back, and there is plenty to tell …and show.

To everyone else, sorry about this, but some things can’t be ignored, we will see you on the upcoming tour dates with Girlschool, Lillian Axe and Kingscrown!

100% Live!