Graham Bonnet says that he is not interested in hearing Ritchie Blackmore's revamped version of RAINBOW because the band doesn't include any of the other musicians who were originally part of the group.
Blackmore performed RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE material at three shows this past June. He was joined at the gigs by LORDS OF BLACK singer Ronnie Romero, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Curiano, ex-BLACKMORE'S NIGHT).
Asked by Metal Express Radio if he had a chance to attend any of the RAINBOW shows this past summer, Bonnet said (hear audio below): "No. To be honest with you, I'm not really interested. It sounds a bit dumb and horrible, but I'm not interested in what Ritchie's doing."
He continued: "If he wants to get RAINBOW, or some of RAINBOW, back together, he should invite some of the original players from the RAINBOW lineup I was in. It should be somebody like Don Airey [on keyboards] and probably Roger Glover playing bass to give the people what they sort of remember from the '80s. At the moment, that was… To me, it looked like a session band. So I didn't listen to it. I thought, 'Is he kidding?'"
Bonnet added: "I haven't listened to it. I have no opinion on it. That's it, really. I'm sure he's not interested in what I do either. But he's got his own career. He has his own BLACKMORE'S NIGHT thing, I think. He's gonna stick with that, I think. That's his baby. That's what he's always wanted to do, something like that, for years."
In 1979, Bonnet auditioned for the frontman position in RAINBOW. With his James Dean image, the choice of Bonnet to replace Ronnie James Dio was subject to some questions. However, once the band heard Bonnet sing, they knew they had their man. With Bonnet at the mic, they recorded the "Down To Earth" LP, which became one of RAINBOW's most successful releases.
Graham moved on from RAINBOW in the early '80s to work on his solo career. He also played with MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, recorded several albums with ALCATRAZZ and had a short stint with IMPELLITTERI.
RAINBOW has announced a four-show tour of the U.K. in June 2017. The very special opening night will see them headlining the second annual Stone Free Festival at The O2, London, which will be Blackmore's first London show since 1995, with further dates in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.