GRAHAM BONNET RETURNS TO COUNTDOWN:
May 16, 2007
Singer Graham Bonnet is looking forward to returning to Australia for the Countdown Spectacular II shows. Countdown has fond memories for him. “It was the start of my so called career,” he tells Undercover News. “It was the first time I ever hosted a show and it was the first time I ever got a Gold record”.
Bonnet was given the Gold record award by Marcia Hines on an episode of Countdown.
It started a love affair with Australia for him. “I was there for 4 years,” he says. “I moved there when my band came to a crashing halt. My wife said “go to Australia” so I joined The Zep Boys, a Led Zeppelin covers band and lived in Adelaide”.
His Aussie jaunts lead to a stint in Paul Christie’s Party Boys. “I replaced John Swan, then I left and John replaced me”.
Australia was also the catalyst in his next job as lead singer of Rainbow. “Richie Blackmore heard my first Australian recording, it was my audition for the band,” he said. “I was completely uncomfortable in Rainbow. I had short hair and wore a suit”.
Bonnet’s biggest successes were thanks to the Bee Gees. His first hit in the late 60s was in the band The Marbles. Their song ‘Only One Woman’ was written for him by the Bee Gees. A decade later, they wrote his number one hit ‘Warm Ride’. “I recorded ‘Only One Woman’ with my cousin Trevor Gordon who was in the Bee Gees at one point. That’s how I got involved with the Gibb brothers,” he said.
Robin Gibb came up with ‘Warm Ride’. “Robin had the idea,” he said. “It was very rough. Barry got a hold of it and demoed it. Barry always arranged while the brothers came up with the songs,” he said.
His other major hit was a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’. “It was a song I used to sing as a kid,” he said. “It was when the folk thing was in the pubs. I wanted to do a version sounding like Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie Mae’. ‘Maggie Mae’ is really ‘Baby Blue’. The chords are very similar. I am one of those people who spots tunes within tunes”.
He also came close to joining ELO at the start of that band. “I went along to meet Jeff Lynne is 1969,” he said. He was forming Wizzard and ELO. He wanted two bands at the same time so he could alternate members. He wanted me to sing and play bass. I could play guitar but not bass, so I passed on it. ELO went on and became a successful band. I can’t believe I turned them down”.
Graham will perform ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’ and ‘Warm Ride’ on the Countdown Spectacular 2.
Countdown Spectacular 2 commences on August 18 in Newcastle.
Courtesy of undercover.com.au