Graham Bonnet will be unable to participate in MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST's U.K. dates in April 2020 because he will be recovering from spinal surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve. Bonnet will still take part in MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST's Japanese shows in March 2020.
Graham regrets he is unable to make the U.K. shows and will see all the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST fans there next time.
Earlier this year, Bonnet told Japanese journalist Masa Ito that he was glad to still be fit enough to survive the rigors of the road.
"Everybody's a baby compared to me," he said. "I will be 72 soon — a very old man. I'm okay — I'm doing good. I'm very happy to be in good health. A lot of my friends have died — a lot of people I've known have died over the past two or three years. I'm glad I'm still walking and smiling."
Asked by The Rockpit how he manages to keep his voice in such good shape, Bonnet said: "Keep smoking, keep drinking. No, no…. I quit drinking a while ago — well, a long time ago; about 15 years ago, something like that. I don't smoke, don't drink at all now, and I don't eat foods that will necessarily poison my body, irritate my throat. I try as hard as I can to be careful with what I do, but it isn't always there. Some days it's not always there, like today. I've just come off tour and I'm tired. I surprised myself in rehearsal yesterday, I thought I'd better go out and sing with the band, I'd just got off a plane, we're all rehearsing at the house here, and so I decided to go in and sing some songs and I kept on singing, and I thought, 'Blimey! My voice is still there after all this travelling and sleepless nights.' I've just been very lucky, I think. There's a lot of people at my age [who have] lost the lung power, and that's what it is. You really rely on your lungs to produce the notes. [It's] pretty obvious, but to hit the higher notes, to have the flexibility in the voice, [it] has to come through the air that goes through your body into the vocal cords, and if that's gone, you don't have the control. I've been very lucky in that I have my grandad's lungs. He had a huge chest, like a greyhound, and that's my build, pretty much. So, you just have to be careful not to stress, because sometimes stress can ruin the performances, we all know, and that's why people drink. 'Oh, God, I can't go on tonight. I can't face it.' But I've got past that, and I say, 'I think I can do this,' and I do, usually."
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST is an ambitious and unorthodox project featuring four singers with whom legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker has worked since 1979 — Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White. The drive to create new music is based on the same ethos that has shaped Schenker's whole career, ever since he recorded his first album, "Lonesome Crow", with the SCORPIONS in 1970 at age 15.
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST's second studio album, "Revelation", was released last week through Nuclear Blast.