In a recent post on their official social media page, Alcatrazz/Jimmy Waldo responded to recent comments made by Graham’a Bonnet and his girlfriend Beth-Ami Heavenstone, reports Marko Syrja at Metal-Rules.com.
Specifically, a video in which Beth-Ami (who seems to be the only one speaking) claims that Jimmy Waldo and the other members of the band’s current lineup “composed nothing” on any past Alcatrazz albums, and that any authorship attributed to them was simply a mere show of Graham’s generosity.
The band stated on their page (note: they do not speak on behalf of current vocalist Doogie White):
“How can this woman claim to be an expert on ‘who really wrote what’ 40 years ago?
By her own admission in the full interview, “she knew nothing about Graham’e until she met him” in 2013.
Here’s one such example, “Remember a song called ‘Island In The Sun’?
The main theme of this signature ALCATRAZZ song (arguably the band’s first successful single on MTV) was written by Jimmy Waldo, the transitional part was written by Yngwie Malmsteen, and the lyrics and vocal melody were written by Graham Bonnet, here’s an example of giving fair credit to the writers.
The song containing Jimmy’s parts (the entire main melody line) when it was called “Take Another Ride” as a New England demo (Jimmy and Gary’s previous band before ALCATRAZZ) can be heard below and compared for yourself to what was released as ALCATRAZZ.
Obviously, “Island In The Sun” was the best song due to the COOPERATION of writers in ALCATRAZZ (including Graham’a Bonnet and Yngwie Malmsteen), but the exclusion of the man who wrote the main part of the iconic song (bluntly stating, “Those guys never wrote anything” based on a current personal attitude/trademark issue) shows Graham’a Bonnet’a lack of dignity.
Jimmy has co-written numerous other songs, both with Graham with the Graham Bonnet Band, Blackthorne and ALCATRAZZ, and with other ALCATRAZZ members past and present.
He has also worked extensively with Quiet Riot, New England and many other projects. ALCATRAZZ guitarist Joe Stump co-wrote most of the album “Born Innocent” and continues to be the main writer in the band at present.
It’s safe to say that the overall sound of ALCATRAZZ has always been largely determined by the band’s guitarist at the time, not you Graham. That’s why the first three albums sound very different from each other, and often Jimmy would compose material with whichever guitarist was in the band at the time, and got along well with all three.
Unfortunately, this is another example of Graham trying to take credit, only this time his girlfriend speaks for him.
Moreover, over the last 4 years we have read and seen many interviews in which Graham discredited his former bandmates, claiming that the band members were low-brow musicians, or, to quote Graham’a directly, “pretenders”.
We chose to take a wait-and-see attitude, to be above such squabbles and wanted to continue in the same vein, but now this restraint on our part is officially over.
While this may be Graham’s personal opinion about these artists, the incorrect narrative that these two continue to publicly promote is extremely disrespectful and unprofessional towards other writers and performers who have worked with Graham in the ALCATRAZZ band, as well as in other projects with him.
I hate to hear harsh words from Beth-Amy Havenstone, who herself did not play bass guitar on any of the Graham Bonnet Band albums “The Book” or “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage” (where she is listed as a performer)… If you suddenly want to talk about “paying tribute to people”, you may have forgotten that Jimmy was in the band at the time and knows exactly who was playing what.
And if you really want to start throwing it on the fan, it’s a game you can play with just the two of you. We can also tell you how starting in January 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas, you Graham performed most of your sets to plywood. Yes, it was a cheat that we used for ourselves (as a means to get through the show and make a living) because without vocal tracks, your performance was driving fans out of the audience.
You didn’t criticize Jimmy’s work when he recorded, proofread and spent weeks on end for free getting your fake tracks ready for tour, did you? Recording them in ProTools and even buying a computer for our then drummer (Mark’a Benquechea) to run those tracks on?
We suggest you answer your own questions in your own interviews and remember to be polite. Otherwise, we can always start publicly discussing the things you often liked to say about the late great Ronnie James Dio, your colleagues like David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner (before you started getting on well with him), Rob Halford, Michael Schenker, and pretty much everyone you ever worked with who wasn’t named Don Airey, Trevor Gordon or Barry Gibb.