Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28

Thread: Alcatrazz

  1. #1

    Alcatrazz

    You can view as a turn from the sublime to the ridiculous, but today, a package from the UK arrived, with a bunch of Alcatrazz things that I ordered. If you don't remember these guys, they were the band Graham Bonnett formed after he left MSG (and he sang with MSG after he sang with Rainbow). It's also noted as the first major band that Yngwie Malmsteen was in (OK, so there was Steeler before Alcatrazz, but do they really count as "major"?).

    Anyhow, so right now I'm listening to...well, I'm actuall done listening to No Parole For Rock 'N' Roll, easily the best record Yngwie Malmsteen ever played on. Never again did he have the songwriting talent at his disposal that was present in Alcatrazz (actually, he probably did have some talented songwriters who might have made the Rising Force records, if Yngwie's ego hadn't gotten in the way).

    But anyway...I've moved onto the bonus tracks on that CD, which are identified as "instrumental demos". They basically sound like rough recordings of the songs, sans vocals, like karaoke versions or something. But have you ever heard a karaoke version of a song that had a Yngwie guitar solo in it?! I'm not entirely sure what the difference between the actual album and these instrumental demos, as No Parole... is one of those records I don't quite know like the back of my hand, apart from Island In The Sun (which I've always thought was a cool song).

    Once I'm done with this one, I'll put on either Live Sentence (Alcatrazz were so big in Japan so quickly, that they were invited over to do some shows, and of course, what happens when an Anglo/American band goes to Japan? Why they make a live album of course, and in this case, said live album is Live Sentence) or Disturbing The Peace, the album they did with Yngwie's replacement, Steve Vai. Both come with a bonus DVD of live footage from teh respective lineup's visit to Japan. So I'm kinda in post-Blackmore shred guitar hog heaven right now, I guess.

  2. #2
    In case you've forgotten what they sounded like:




  3. #3
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Dio, Alabama
    Posts
    1,538
    Saw them a few times from 84-88. The last time was when they opened for Stryper at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Danny Johnson was on lead guitar at that time. Alcatrazz & Stryper -- one of the rowdiest and loudest shows I have ever been to... for both bands!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    Saw them a few times from 84-88. The last time was when they opened for Stryper at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Danny Johnson was on lead guitar at that time. Alcatrazz & Stryper -- one of the rowdiest and loudest shows I have ever been to... for both bands!
    That sounds that must have been a good show.

  5. #5
    I'm seeing Graham perform tonight along with Michael Schenker and at least three other singers. Looking forward to it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by luvyesmusic View Post
    I'm seeing Graham perform tonight along with Michael Schenker and at least three other singers. Looking forward to it.
    You're in for a treat. I saw that show last year, and it was awesome. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnett, Robin McCauley, and Doogie White all trading turns as lead vocalist.

    BTW, the liner notes to No Parole From Rock "N" Roll tell us that Graham and Doogie are the only two singers to have worked with Blackmore, Schenker, and Malmsteen!

    (Which furthers the "Is Yngwie a clone of Ritchie?" debate, as that the two guitarists now have three vocalists in common-Joe Lynn Turner is the third-and in every case, Ritchie worked with the vocalist first)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    You're in for a treat. I saw that show last year, and it was awesome. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnett, Robin McCauley, and Doogie White all trading turns as lead vocalist.

    BTW, the liner notes to No Parole From Rock "N" Roll tell us that Graham and Doogie are the only two singers to have worked with Blackmore, Schenker, and Malmsteen!

    (Which furthers the "Is Yngwie a clone of Ritchie?" debate, as that the two guitarists now have three vocalists in common-Joe Lynn Turner is the third-and in every case, Ritchie worked with the vocalist first)
    Yes I am. Saw them last year as well. I love the songs from the different eras with the different singers. Michael is my second favorite guitarist after Steve Howe. Michael Angelo Batio has to be my favorite technical-guitarist.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Burlington Twp, NJ
    Posts
    901
    Alcatrazz are going to play the entire No Parole From Rock And Roll album and the entire Rainbow Down To Earth album on some upcoming live dates this year. Supposedly a live album from those shows is going to happen as well as a new studio record. Good to see Bonnet still out there doing it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Alcatrazz are going to play the entire No Parole From Rock And Roll album and the entire Rainbow Down To Earth album on some upcoming live dates this year. Supposedly a live album from those shows is going to happen as well as a new studio record. Good to see Bonnet still out there doing it.
    I wonder who's going to be in the band besides Graham, most especially who the guitarist will be (I'm assuming it's not gonna be Ritchie or Yngwie). That sounds like that might be a pretty cool show to see also.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,230
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    BTW, the liner notes to No Parole From Rock "N" Roll tell us that Graham and Doogie are the only two singers to have worked with Blackmore, Schenker, and Malmsteen! (Which furthers the "Is Yngwie a clone of Ritchie?" debate, as that the two guitarists now have three vocalists in common-Joe Lynn Turner is the third-and in every case, Ritchie worked with the vocalist first)
    Maybe its that if you've worked with Ritchie, and not been fired or quit the first day or first week, you have to be pretty good at dealing with an egomaniacal, impossibly difficult bandleader. So then if you are looking for another gig, Yngwie might be a possible opportunity - because if you've managed to deal with Ritchie, you can probably deal with anybody's ego, tantrums, and unpredictability. I've always found it strange that Jeff Scott Soto appears to have found his first full-time vocalist job in Sons of Apollo, at the age of 53.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Burlington Twp, NJ
    Posts
    901
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I wonder who's going to be in the band besides Graham, most especially who the guitarist will be (I'm assuming it's not gonna be Ritchie or Yngwie). That sounds like that might be a pretty cool show to see also.
    Joe Stump on guitar, Jimmy Waldo on keys, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and Mark Benquechea on drums.

    C3F9B145-DD7B-4295-ADD4-D60A67034713.jpg
    Last edited by Dan Roth; 5 Days Ago at 08:09 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    Maybe its that if you've worked with Ritchie, and not been fired or quit the first day or first week, you have to be pretty good at dealing with an egomaniacal, impossibly difficult bandleader. So then if you are looking for another gig, Yngwie might be a possible opportunity - because if you've managed to deal with Ritchie, you can probably deal with anybody's ego, tantrums, and unpredictability.
    Maybe so. In the case of Bonnett, Yngwie was still pretty much an unknown when he was drafted into Alcatrazz, so one suspects that maybe Bonnett had no inkling just how much The Boy In Black (as he's referred to at one point in the liner notes of No Parole...) had in common with The Man In Black.

    But I suppose by the time you get to...whichever record it was that Joe Lynn Turner sang on (he's on two, a studio record, and that live in Leningrad deal that Yngwie did afterwards), Yngwie's ego was a known issue, so I could see Turner (and later, Doogie) saying, "Well, if I can deal with Ritchie, I'm sure I could put with this guy!".

    And in Doogie's case, when it came to working with Schenker, I think that by that time, Herr Michael had finally quit drinking once and for all, so Doogie might have been thinking, "I survived Ritchie and Yngwie, and everyone's telling me Michael's finally got his shit together, so...".


    I've always found it strange that Jeff Scott Soto appears to have found his first full-time vocalist job in Sons of Apollo, at the age of 53.[/QUOTE]

    According to Wikipedia, Soto sang with a Swedish band called Talisman for 15 years, starting in 1989, singing on 8 studio albums before leaving the band in 2006.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Joe Stump on guitar, Jimmy Waldo on keys, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and Mark Benquechea on drums.

    C3F9B145-DD7B-4295-ADD4-D60A67034713.jpg
    I wonder if they'll bring that Stateside. Probably not. The Japanese must really love Alcatrazz, and I believe I saw another live in Japan thing from a couple years ago that they did, on Amazon.

  14. #14
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Dio, Alabama
    Posts
    1,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Joe Stump on guitar, Jimmy Waldo on keys, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and Mark Benquechea on drums.
    Never forget a last name as unique as that one! My brother and my two sisters were his age group and attended Jr High thru High School with him. I went to school and am friends with his younger sister. She's a knockout, even now! Such a nice family.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,230
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    According to Wikipedia, Soto sang with a Swedish band called Talisman for 15 years, starting in 1989, singing on 8 studio albums before leaving the band in 2006.
    Okay. But he clearly had a strong enough voice, solid enough musicianship, and big-time enough connections and management to sing with the big boys, and did so over and over. Yet he seems to have done most of his work as a fill-in, or in revolving-door situations. Just bad luck? He couldn't be all that hard to get along with, or he'd never have gotten the jobs he got.

    Maybe he wanted to be an equal one-fifth of the band - which he very much seems to be with Sons of Apollo. And none of the other bands (except probably Talisman) would let him write the bulk of the lyrics and vocal melodies, or wouldn't pay him as an equal partner, or something less obvious.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Burlington Twp, NJ
    Posts
    901
    Jeff Scott Soto has had a long and successful career - but always somewhat under the radar. Most of his work has been as a full member in a couple melodic rock bands. As mentioned, he was in Talisman for 16 or so years, and scored a huge hit in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe with "I’ll Be Waiting", a song that Soto still includes in any live shows he does in Europe. He was also a co-writer on most of their songs. That band pretty much ended when their bassist died. He also is another band based in Europe called "W.E.T." (The band name is made up of the first letters of the groups the musicians had previously worked with, the "T" in W.E.T. coming from Talisman.) That band has worked intermittently, and released a few albums and performs when their schedules line up. His current group is SOTO and they have released three albums on Frontiers and InsideOut and is definitely more of a hard rock thing than he normally has done. Again, he is the chief-songwriter in this band as well. He has also released 7 solo albums over the years, all more in the melodic rock style of Talisman and W.E.T. His profile - particularly in the melodic rock genre - is much higher in South America and Europe, where he has regularly toured and played festivals either solo or with one of the aforementioned bands for decades.

    In between all of that, he had formed Soul Sirkus with Neil Schon and Virgil Donati which released an album and led to him fronting Journey for a while. He also sang "Stand up and Shout" for the Rock Star soundtrack, a song that he sings at virtually every show he does and is always a big highlight with the crowds. What's been helping pay his bills for many years though is his work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra - he has been on their tour for 10 years now and has sung on two of their non-Christmas albums.

    He has just flown under the radar - particularly in the US - for most of his career. I thought it was pretty cool that he wound up in Sons of Apollo, which is probably the highest profile thing he has done in the USA.

  17. #17
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Dio, Alabama
    Posts
    1,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    In between all of that, he had formed Soul Sirkus with Neil Schon and Virgil Donati which released an album and led to him fronting Journey for a while.
    His stint in Journey was roughly 6 months, if I remember correctly. In May of 2006, I was at a concert in Las Vegas that Soto also attended. We began chatting about Soul Sirkus and I asked if he was going to be the lead singer for Journey. He smiled and asked, "Who do you know??"

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,230
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Jeff Scott Soto has had a long and successful career - but always somewhat under the radar. His profile - particularly in the melodic rock genre - is much higher in South America and Europe, where he has regularly toured and played festivals either solo or with one of the aforementioned bands for decades. I thought it was pretty cool that he wound up in Sons of Apollo, which is probably the highest profile thing he has done in the USA.
    That explains things. You don't usually think of Americans as being bigger stars in Europe than back home, but some of them are, of course - to the point where being "big in France" is a running joke about bands perceived as second-raters here (The Strokes, for example). And I think the reverse is true sometimes: Weren't both Gentle Giant and Renaissance seen as third-or-fourth-tier acts in Britain, but had solid fanbases in the States and made most of their living here?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    That explains things. You don't usually think of Americans as being bigger stars in Europe than back home, but some of them are, of course - to the point where being "big in France" is a running joke about bands perceived as second-raters here
    I'd always heard it was Japan where everyone is supposedly "big". You always hear stories about how a given band got lukewarm or cold response Stateside but, "They went crazy for us in Japan". In the liner notes of a couple of the Alcatrazz CD's, they talk about how they got the full blown Beatlemania treatment over there. I can't remember which band it was (probably several of them), but it was one of those 80's glam metal groups, I read back in the late 90's they would regroup once every year or two to do a Japanese tour, because they were still popular there.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ningbo, China
    Posts
    561
    Must admit I am rather partial to the Vai-version of Alcatrazz - and Vai himself apparently still holds the album he made during his time in the band in very high regard. I love the live in Japan video - the version of 'Breaking the Heart of the City' on that is absolutely fantastic, and Bonnett's vocals in particular absolutely jaw-dropping. The Yngwie version...not so much; it just suffers from too much Yngwie. But then I think everything Yngwie does suffers from too much Yngwie, so this isn't particularly unusual. One wonders what he'd have done with himself if he'd never discovered the harmonic minor scale...

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,230
    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    One wonders what he'd [Yngwie] have done with himself if he'd never discovered the harmonic minor scale...
    Probably discovered the Mixolydian b6 b9 scale.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    HAM
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I'd always heard it was Japan where everyone is supposedly "big". You always hear stories about how a given band got lukewarm or cold response Stateside but, "They went crazy for us in Japan". In the liner notes of a couple of the Alcatrazz CD's, they talk about how they got the full blown Beatlemania treatment over there. I can't remember which band it was (probably several of them), but it was one of those 80's glam metal groups, I read back in the late 90's they would regroup once every year or two to do a Japanese tour, because they were still popular there.
    probably DOKKEN. and the “big in japan” in-joke is as old as the closing segment of “this is spinal tap” ))

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ningbo, China
    Posts
    561
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    Probably discovered the Mixolydian b6 b9 scale.
    Ha!!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by iguana View Post
    probably DOKKEN. and the “big in japan” in-joke is as old as the closing segment of “this is spinal tap” ))
    Bringing up Dokken, in relation to "big in Japan" reminds me of a story George Lynch told about playing there, when they first tried to get the band together in the late 90's. Apparently, at the time George had a new hairdo, which he quickly changed. For whatever reason, probably because someone writing for whichever guitar magazine thought it was "funny", decided to ask about this. It seems, after one of the shows, the promoter or whatever essentially asked George if he wanted to go any of the gay clubs! Apparently, in Japan, only gay men have that kind of hairdo, or whatever. So as soon as the band got back Stateside, he changed it!
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 3 Days Ago at 10:50 PM.

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    HAM
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Bringing up Dokken, in relation to "big in Japan" reminds me of a story George Lynch told about playing there, when they first tried to get the band together in the late 90's. Apparently, at the time George had a new hairdo, which he quickly changed. For whatever reason, probably because someone writing for whichever guitar magazine thought it was "funny", decided to ask about this. It seems while in Dokken, after one of the shows, the promoter or whatever essentially asked George if he wanted to go any of the gay clubs! Apparently, in Japan, only gay men have that kind of hairdo, or whatever. So as soon as the band got back Stateside, he changed it!
    ha! i recall he sported a more grungeable shibuya-kei (90s j-pop, ref: pizzicato five) moptop during that era; but he’s certainly not the first western artist to learn certain things the hard way upon arriving in nippon. ask TOTO.

    anyway, back to ALCATRAZZ … no such issues with bonnet’s flat top then …

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •