Graham Bonnet speaks out about his Rainbow era haircut that reportedly angered Ritchie Blackmore
Former Rainbow and Alcatrazz frontman Graham Bonnet was recently interviewed on VintageRock Pod and he set the record straight on his infamous haircut that reportedly angered his Rainbow leader, bandmate and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and supposedly led to the singer getting fired from the band in 1980.
In response to Blackmore‘s version of the incident, Bonnet indicated (as provided by VintageRock Pod): “Yeah, he’s embellished that story a bit. He’s adding to it every time I hear it, I’m surprised that story is still traveling along after all these years. What actually happened was we were in, I can’t remember, maybe in Scotland, I think, actually. And I was with my ex wife, and my hair was getting like this, like it is now. [Indicates to his current hair length] I’ve been off the road for so long. We go back on the road in a month. But I didn’t have my hair cut when I was off the road. And you could see I’ve got a fucking ponytail back there.
Anyway, so I was walking around the city with her I think it was Edinburgh, and my hair was quite a long of fist. And I said to her, “I’m going to get a haircut while you go and shop.” So I went to get a haircut and that was it. That’s all I did. And there was no guard on the door or anything like that. In fact, I saw our road manager, let’s say about three months ago, and we were talking to him and laughing about that story. He said, “I wasn’t put on the door to guard you.”
I know, but isn’t it a great story? So I just had my haircut. So I walk out on stage that night. Ritchie hadn’t seen me all day. We never saw each other all day. It was always just showtime, that’s when we all saw each other. And I sort of come on last. They’re doing the intro to song called “Eyes of The World”, the intro song. And I come running on and he looks at me and goes… flabbergasted. And he disappeared. He went behind the amps went behind the stack and didn’t come out. And he played there all night.
And next day, Ritchie called a meeting. He said, “I want to see everybody in my room.” We all went to his room in the Holiday Inn somewhere, and we walk in and, what is it? What’s the matter? We thought it was something really serious. And he looks at me and he goes, “It’s Graham‘s hair.” And everybody burst out laughing “What? You called a meeting about that?” and Cozy just said “Oh for f*cks sake” . You can imagine what he said, give me a fucking break. And everybody else said, what about his hair? [Ritchie:] “Well, he had it cut. I thought he was being mean to me. I thought he’s insulting me by having his hair cut because I’m always saying his hair is too short.”
And he always did you always say, “Well, your hair’s a bit short.” And because everybody else in the band had longish hair. It wasn’t long long. It was longish. And so that was the meeting. I just thought he was a complete fool, but Ritchie bless him. As I said, every time I’ve seen that interview or another interview, he brings that up. And it’s magical, because I didn’t know what I did that day, but he’s telling me what I did. Guard on the door and I went out the window. And then what happened? I’m waiting for something. Hit by a car. He always adds a little bit. But I think it’s good. Just going out the window is good enough because we’re like seven floors up, so, you know, of course, you know.”
You can listen to an excerpt from the interview with Graham Bonnet on VintageRock Pod below: