Sonic Perspectives

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JIMMY WALDO Remembers ALCATRAZZ Early Days: “Our Record Company Wanted Us to be FOREIGNER or SURVIVOR, and We Were a Hard Rock Band”

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As part of the Graham Bonnet Band‘s 2017 “The Book” tour in Japan, a three night special engagement and reunion of Alcatrazz was presented much to the delight of the Japanese hard rock faithful.

Founding Alcatrazz members, Graham Bonnet (vocals), Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and Gary Shea (bass), reunited after 33 years for a unique series of shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan in March 2017. For the special occasion, the band was rounded out by Mark Benquechea (drums) and Conrado Pesinato (guitars), both from the Graham Bonnet Band. In addition to this unique farewell performance captured on audio and video, Alcatrazz raided the archives and added some unreleased bonus tracks taken from the original sessions recorded in 1985, including one song, “Emotion” with a young Steve Vai on guitar.

Alcatrazz was formed in 1983 by former Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group vocalist Graham Bonnet along with Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea and made three studio albums in the 1980’s. The band’s debut album included a young Swedish guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen and their second album, guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. Alcatrazz split up in 1987 after the release of their third album, Dangerous Games.

After the news of the upcoming release of the Graham Bonnet focused set recorded that very same night in Japan entitled Live In Tokyo 2017, which will see the light of day next July and can be considered an accompanying piece to last year’s Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017 – our never-resting collaborator Rodrigo Altaf sat down with Jimmy Waldo to talk about the live album, pressures from the band’s record company in the 80’s, what was it like to work with Malmsteen and Vai, as well as the undergoing plans for an Alcatrazz new record. Find all about this and much more in the interview below, and remember to subscribe to our Podcast in several platforms to listen and be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.

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