Graham Bonnet Recalls the Gig That Got Him Fired From the Michael Schenker Group
The next time you think you're having a bad day at work, spare a thought for former Michael Schenker Group singer Graham Bonnet.
Bonnet seemed bound for hard rock greatness when he stepped into the MSG lineup for the band's 1982 Assault Attack LP — he'd come over from Rainbow after fronting the band for its hit 1979 album, Down to Earth — but his time with Schenker was destined to be short-lived. In fact, as he recounts in an interview with The Metal Voice (which you can watch above), he was out of a job after a single gig with the group.
"I was completely out of it," admits Bonnet. "I’d been drinking all day and I'd had a bit of an argument with Michael. I had all the lyrics stuck on the stage, then the audience pushed forward, and all the lyrics screwed up because the monitors shifted — I was screwed in the first song."
Lyrics soon proved the least of Bonnet's worries. "My fly broke," he continues, "and out comes my penis, because I don’t wear underwear. Out it popped, and I made it part of the act. Everybody was telling me to f--- off. I started swearing at the audience, and they were swearing back at me."
Schenker quickly decided to pull the plug on his new frontman, and it fell to Bonnet's manager to relay the information the following day. "The whole thing was a shambles," he says now, claiming he "said sorry" for the disastrous gig and chalked it up to "just a bad day."
Time heals all wounds, however, and this year, Bonnet ended up back onstage with Schenker when the ex-bandmates teamed up for a Japanese tour that found Bonnet promoting his new My Kingdom Come release and occasionally coming out during Schenker's sets with his new band, Temple of Rock, to perform songs from Assault Attack. According to Bonnet, the experience has been "amazing."
"We smiled at each other in a knowing way. We looked at each other and said, ‘Yeah, this is good.’ I hadn’t seen that smile in a long time," says Bonnet. "It was magical."
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