ALCATRAZZ was formed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California by Graham.
Bonnet was a veteran of both Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, with whom he enjoyed a worldwide hit with a cover of Russ Ballard's "Since You've Been Gone", and Michael Schenker Group. Using Rainbow and MSG as templates, Bonnet enlisted Swedish guitar sensation Yngwie Malmsteen, whose only work of note up until then had been as a member of Ron Keel's Steeler. Filling out the band's ranks were keyboardist Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea - both of 70's AOR underdog New England, and ex-Alice Cooper drummer Jan Uvena.
The group's debut record, 'No Parole from Rock 'n Roll' (Polydor), yielded a hit single, "Island in the Sun". The video for the song became somewhat of a staple on MTV, and a follow-up video was made for "Hiroshima Mon Amour". Alcatrazz then released 'Live Sentence' (Polydor), recorded during the band's inaugural Japanese tour. The album would effectively close the band's first chapter. By the time Alcatrazz returned to the studio for its sophomore album, guitarist Malmsteen felt he had outgrown the group. He left to embark on a solo career, and the band drafted in ex-Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai.
1985's 'Disturbing the Peace' (Capitol) redefined the band's vision. Lead single "God Blessed Video" was fresh, innovative and featured in high rotation on both MTV and USA's Night Flight. However, Vai would leave for greener pastures, opting to join up with David Lee Roth, who had just left Van Halen.
Alcatrazz returned to the well a third time and came away with ex-Derringer/Alice Cooper guitarist Danny Johnson. The band recorded 'Dangerous Games' (Capitol) in 1986, but the instability of the group's lineup had taken its toll. Alcatrazz called it a day, and its members went on to other projects with varying degrees of success. Bonnet went on to record with guitarist Chris Impellitteri, before resuming his solo career. 1998 saw the release of 'The Best of Alcatrazz' (Dreamcatcher), which compiled tracks from all eras of the band, and was intended to be the final word on the band.
In 2003, bassist Tim Luce introduced Graham Bonnet to guitarist Howie Simon. At the time, Simon was working with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Journey) and the Swedish group Talisman. Bonnet, Simon and Luce invited powerhouse drummer Glen Sobel (Impellitteri/Beautiful Creatures) to sit in with them at a few low-key LA concerts. The group discovered they had a unique and exciting chemistry, but prior commitments kept them from venturing any further until 2007, when the band was invited to co-headline a sold-out Japanese tour with Joe Lynn Turner.
The band rang in the 2008 New Year with Bay Area legends Y&T, and in January, 2008 Alcatrazz was a featured performer at the Fender Guitars Custom Shop’s annual ‘Fret Fest’ at NAMM. In July the band was invited to headline the 2008 BerkRock Festival in Berkovitsa, Bulgaria. ALCATRAZZ is back! The band is currently writing material for a new album, and will be hitting concert stages worldwide The band's high-energy live show incorporates all the Alcatrazz classics, as well as highlights from Graham Bonnet's years with Rainbow, MSG and Impellitteri. The return of Alcatrazz to the scene of the crime proves there really is no parole from rock 'n roll!
Todd Seely 2009
Jimmy Waldo - keyboards, backing vocals (1983–-1987)
Gary Shea - bass (1983–-1987)
Clive Burr - drums, percussion (1983)
Yngwie Malmsteen - guitars (1983–-1984)
Jan Uvena - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1983-–1987)
Steve Vai - guitars (1984-–1986)
Danny Johnson - guitars, backing vocals (1986–-1987)
Glen Sobel - drums, percussion, backing vocals (2006–-2009)
Dave Dzialak - drums, percussion (2009-–2010)
Current line-up - Alcatrazz (featuring Graham Bonnet)
Graham Bonnet - lead vocals (1983-–1987, 2006-–present)
Howie Simon - guitars, backing vocals (2006– present)
Tim Luce - bass, backing vocals (2006 –present)
Jeff Bowders - drums, percussion (2010– present)