Alcatrazz’s Graham Bonnet Says Yngwie Malmsteen Tried To Kill His Voice By Strangling Him
During his conversation with Misplaced Straws, Alcatrazz singer Graham Bonnet has recalled the time when Yngwie Malmsteen had almost strangled him to disrupt his singing ability after he thought Bonnet unplugged him on purpose during a performance.
It is known that the successful self-thought singer, Graham Bonnet founded Alcatrazz after he left the band MSG in 1987. The band’s line-up consisted of Gary Shea, Jimmy Waldo of the band New England, Alice Cooper’s ex-drummer Jan Uvena, and guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. Malmsteen has appeared on the band’s ‘No Parole from Rock ‘n’ Roll’ in 1983 and ‘Live Sentence,’ the live album released in 1984. It is reported that Bonnet and Malmsteen had a fight during a show about who was the frontman, and Malmsteen was fired from the band immediately.
Speaking to Misplaced Straws, Bonnet remembered the time that fight took place which ended Yngwie’s career with the band. He told that although he was a great guitar player, Yngwie had to go. He recalled the incident saying one night he walked off stage during Yngwie’s guitar solo and tripped over his cord, unplugging him. Bonnet then said after he went to the bus, Yngwie came and got him by the neck, choking him, accusing him of doing what he did on purpose.
Graham claimed that he did not know what he had done, but Yngwie was trying to kill his voice. After that, he added one of his friends came up to him and locked Yngwie’s head under his arm, threatening him to break his neck if he touches Bonnet again. After the incident, while they were driving back to L.A., Bonnet stated they fired Yngwie on the tour bus.
“Yngwie had to go. We just had a battle, we had a battle which was not very good. I remember one night what happened with Yngwie. I wish you to stay, but this is a kid, he grew into a monster, but a great, fucking great guitar player, no doubt. But one night I walked offstage when it was time for his guitar solo, and I walked off stage and I tripped over his cord, I pulled it out of the frickin amplifier and he thought I did it on purpose.
I went to the bus and I was sitting there talking to the bus driver and Yngwie runs in, gets me by the neck. Does this [makes a choking motion], pushes his thumbs right into my throat, [and said], ‘You fucking asshole, in the middle of my solo you unplug me’. I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I didn’t know, I really didn’t know what I’d done. What happened was one of our crew saw this happening, saw Yngwie, he was trying to kill my voice, basically. He dug his thumbs right in, right in here.
So I was choking and this was this Hungarian guy who was big and one of my close friends back then, came up to him and said, ‘Yngwie’, and got Yngwie under his arm like this [makes a headlock]. He said, ‘You fucking touch him again, I’m going to break your fucking neck’. That night I remember driving home the bus back to L.A., we were driving back and we fired Yngwie on the tour bus because you cannot do that. You can’t strangle the singer. So that was the end of Yngwie. “
It is known that after that incident, Yngwie Malmsteen is replaced by Steve Vai, who had only one day to work on the songs for the tour that was going on.