BLACKTHORNE was formed in 1992 by vocalist Graham Bonnet, guitarist Bob Kulick and keyboarder Jimmy Waldo. The threesome toured temporarily with assistance from session bassist James Lomenzo and session drummer Greg D'Angelo before recruiting bassist Chuck Wright and drummer Frankie Banali. In 1993, Blackthorne debuted with Afterlife, which featured guest appearances from guitarist Bruce Kulick as well as backing vocalists Steve Plunkett, Paul Rodriguez, Stella Stevens and Astrid Young (ex Sacred Child). The music held references to the 1970's hard rock. The album was a commercial flop and Graham Bonnet left Blackthorne. They continued with another singer, David Glen Eisley, and drummer, Jay Schellen, and changed their name into Murderer's Row. They also only released one album in 1996 and then split up.
BLACKTHORNE - AFTERLIFE
1. Cradle To The Grave
3. We Won't Be Forgotten
4. Breaking The Chains
5. Over And Over
6. Hard Feelings
7. Baby You're The Blood
8. Sex Crimes
9. Love From The Ashes
10. All Night Long
Here's an interview from 1993 with
Graham Bonnet, Bob Kulick and Jimmy Waldo
GB: It's kinda nice to go back to that high screaming stuff again, which I love to do, it's nice to show off, that's what we're all in the business for, to show off and say "look what I can do", Some of the past albums I made have been mediocrity, kinda inbetween melodies, kinda safe and this is very unsafe, it's always nice to have kids come back and say "where's that voice come from?" That's cool. That's what I love. I love to scream and show off.
BK: I think Graham really pushed himself on this record, really went for it. He didn't take any melodies just to sing them. He can sing anything. But this time he really went for it.
GB: Yeah, that's basically the answer.
ALL NIGHT LONG
BK: It's a band thing, but I have pushed to make it as heavy as possible so it can fit on the record because in the terms of what the versus are in a song it's more -correct me if I'm wrong- a Rolling Stones kinda chord sequence and to get it fit on this record it really had to have that umpf to it. So I've pushed, because of the way I play it on guitar but everybody pitched in their own ideas cause this is a band's band, it's not Graham's band, my band or Jimmy's band.
GB: Bob is absolutely right about that Rolling Stones thing. When we first wrote that tune with Rainbow, it was taken from a song called "Out of Time", which Mick Jagger wrote [sings Baby, baby, baby you're out of time]. So I was given a rough chord progression from Ritchie and I said "get a melody to that". So he's absolutely right.
JW: Bob brought a fresh approach to things. For me having played that song with three different guitarplayers for me as a keyboardplayer. To be fair none of the three brought anything new to that song. It was more like ok we'll play it again, this is "All night long" and we've done that whereas Bob came in and had a whole different idea about that. For me it was good to sit back and let him do that. It worked out great, a fresh approach and more of a band thing instead of copy somebody's else song.
GB: It's a great encore song.
BK: The first shows we did in L.A. when we started, we did a Skull songs, a couple of Alcatrazz songs, some other people songs. Now that we have this record I don't think we'll be doing those songs. I think we'll do this stuff and if we do another song we probably do something off the wall, not necessarily something of Skull or Alcatrazz. One other thing that I wanted to mention before I forget we're putting this record out in Japan first. And the reason for that is the support, the enthusiasm shown us by the Japanese fans, we're very excited to release the record here first.
WE WON'T BE FORGOTTEN
GB: As soon as I got back to L.A. I went with these guys to a couple of clubs and I knew I wasn't forgotten. That was always in my mind. I said to these guys "who set this up?". Because people from the bands I came to see said "Good to see you again Graham, welcome back to L.A.". I was very surprised and very embarrassed at the same time.
BK: The funniest story was when we went out to the FM Station which is a big club in the valley of Los Angeles and Rob Halford was there. And Rob Halford is a big Graham Bonnet fan and the look on Rob's face when he saw Graham was WOW. So the response that Graham saw and felt when he came back gave him all the encouragement that he needed, if he had any insecurity whatsoever.
GB: Yeah, it was very comforting because I was very worried what direction it would take musically and everything but it was great. I was very surprised and happy.
JW: We're really happy to be back here in Japan and we're really thrilled to be back on Polydor. For Graham and me it's a homecoming. Great people, great label.
GB: Obviously I'm happy to gettin' back here, coming back and playing here again. I love the Japanese people because they love this kinda music and I think we're really gonna rip them apart with this stuff. I think they really going to enjoy this band.
Sony Music TV April 1993
This is what Graham had to say about Blackthorne 10 years later
Blackthorne's 'Afterlife' was actually one of the earlier releases on CMC International. Was it a real band?
GB: That was a piece of... to me, it was... I'm not gonna say it. (laughs) I just don't like it. Let me just say that.
I think the Blackthorne album got mixed reviews by fans. The jury's still out on that one.
GB: Yeah. I'd rather not have done it, to be honest with you.
The Fuze, February 2003