For Those About to Rock(in’ Chair)

Graham Bonnet was one of my first vocal fascinations, going way back to his inimitable cover of Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now (Baby Blue)” in the ‘70s.

Even as a pre-teen kid, I just LOVED his ferocious, ‘leave nothing on the table’ vocal delivery. Well, at 74 years old now Graham is going still making original music, touring and releasing albums.

I recently came across this track, which I thought was an absolute gem. Graham takes on the subject of ageing head-on with this track “Imposter” - Compelling and thought provoking lyrics I’m sure a lot of us here can relate to.


I knew I recognized the name Graham Bonnet, but couldn’t place it right away. I must not have taken in a lot of his music other than his short time in Rainbow - “Since You Been Gone” was all over MTV in the early 80’s - and maybe I heard him in early Alcatrazz, as I was familiar with that band. He has a long résumé, so I’ve probably heard some of his other contributions without realizing it.

The combination of “epic Euro-metal” and the topic of aging is an interesting paradox! He puts his point across with his powerful vocals though. Indeed, this topic hits home … the youth wants to become the adult in order to fully live … the sun-downer wants to recapture his/her youth to feel fully alive again. But each stage is a journey, if we manage to accept where we are and make the most of it.

Nice thread title BTW, especially as an avid AC/DC fan myself. :beerbanger:

I didn’t catch all the verse lyrics in the dense mix, so I looked them up. It looks like the album is coming out 13 May 2022.

Who is the man that stares at me
Shaving my face electric
Could it be the mirror glass
Somehow became defective?
He’s an aging imitation of the man I am
He can’t be me, he’s unwelcome
So get out, be gone!

Who are you, pretender now I can see
The stranger reflecting, that man is me!

We made a promise to ourselves
We would be young forevеr
Growing old’s for someone elsе
Age is just a number
As we watch the number climbing
We all want to hear
Someone say “my God, you look good”
After all these years
Who are you, pretender now I can see
The stranger reflecting, that man is me!
Who are you, pretender now I can see
The stranger reflecting, that man is me!

The long lost summer left us
Worn autumn skin
That tanned physique, a badge of honor

Who are you, pretender now I can see
The stranger reflecting, that man is me!
Who are you, pretender now I can see
The stranger reflecting, that man is me!


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This is the track that brought him to my attention as a kid - Before the hard rock stuff, from '77… He completely made this track his own:

… and a live vocal/canned music performance from TV in the same era

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The song reminds me quite a bit of The Eagles in their early days. I also got some flavor of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” in there. Interesting to see Graham from before the time I had ever even heard of him.

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I don’t know Graham at all but I like that he still does what he wants to do and makes a very personal and revealing lyrical statement that, yes, I can relate to. I like the Dylan cover better though, don’t know if it’s him or Dylan or the treatment but it works.

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Yeah, I agree Ingo. I’ve never been a fan of that kind of hard rock / metal myself. In heavy music, my tastes always ran the the bluesier vein. I can appreciate the skill and talent it takes to play it, though.

The Dylan cover is another thing altogether - Like a lot of Dylan songs, the covers sometimes eclipse the originals and become the definitive versions. (All Along the Watchower, Mr Tambourine Man, If Not for You etc, etc) In this case, I think the magic is in the way the raw desperation in the vocal seems to really mirror the lyrical carnage of the song.

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Ah, I don’t think I knew that Bob Dylan wrote that. The Olivia Newton-John version was my first introduction to her. I liked her early countrified songs perhaps even better than her later stuff, even though by then I was pretty much a rocker at heart. It looks like her producers followed the George Harrison version for recording though, and going on memory, I think there was some similar flavor between ONJ’s “If Not For You” and George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”. I may have to pull those songs up and listen. Interesting history.

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Great track. I didn’t recognize the name until Stan mentioned Rainbow, with whom he sang great but seemed out of place.
He does lay it all out there for sure. I hear a touch of Fee Waybill in there in terms of how his voice rings out. Pretty intense song.


And following after Ronnie James Dio is no cakewalk either. :wink:

I do hear some similarities in vocal timbre, style, and delivery to Fee - for both the old and new song. The old song would have been around the time The Tubes were putting out their best material IMO (1st & 2nd albums) and getting some decent AOR radio airplay and popularity.

It’s interesting how much appearance affects perception. Dio definitely had an aura about him, but was about 3 feet 12 inches tall and not particularly photogenic, but he fit right in, and of course his voice was amazing.
This guy has it all going for him, and his voice is very good, but the relatively clean cut look against the band (Rainbow video) made me feel like I was watching a Vegas act.
It’s disheartening that you not only need the goods musically, but you also need to look the part to be taken seriously. You can’t be 27 forever.

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Ironically, that’s what I always dug about Graham. He’s looked like that since day one, and hasn’t changed.

I can relate, because I’ve always been clean-cut. It’s always fun walking into a guitar store and having all the typical wannabee musician, long-haired, tattoo’d, hipster, try-hard music store staff completely ignore you - or talk to you like an you’re an idiot - until you start playing the guitar, that is. :wink:

I find it hilarious that in the world of the arts, where individual expression is supposedly championed, there is so much pressure to conform to a stereotype to be taken seriously. Ridiculous.

Me too. Never got into looking like you fell off a boxcar. There are a few who got away with it, but for the most part you’re expected to say goodbye to the real world if you want to be taken seriously in the music world. I was never willing to make that sacrifice. I also kind of find the whole infatuation with tattoos puzzling. It seems to me to be proof you’re willing to prove you’ll make a lifelong commitment, but the commitment is skin deep. Like “I have no regrets, but I haven’t spoken with “Linda Lou” since she moved out of the trailer park”.

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:joy: :rofl: :clap:
All I can say is that there are a lot of young girls walking around now, so proud of that pretty butterfly tattoo on their shoulder, who are facing the inevitable dismay of looking in the mirror on their 60th birthday at a (possibly now, much larger) blurry green blob of indelible ink and crying “What the hell was I thinking!?!?”

Heck, we collect enough unsightly marks on our skin as the years go by, let alone putting them there on purpose!

Ha, he was definitely short. And his first band was named “Elf”. :joy: I noticed that he is never shown in full-length photos unless it’s ‘forced perspective’, they’re almost always from the knee or hip up …

Unless you’re in “The 27 Club”: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse. Sometimes it’s not just looking the part, it’s acting the part. It’s a fine line between genius and insanity, they say. Of course, those who say that - if they’re not genius or insane - how do they know? :thinking:

I didn’t know this thread existed??? duhhhh
Pause this exactly at 53 sec. Makes for a great morning wake up. haha
He has me (age) by 6 months. Hair by a bunch :frowning: I have a solution…don’t look in the mirror EVER. You need a good wife to say your nose hairs about to touch your upper lip.
Challange every day and screw the lifetime longevity stats. Rock on