Rainbow changed my life

My first success in the music business was the duo The Marbles in 68-69. My cousin Trevor Gordon had been in The Bee Gees in Australia and came to England at one point. I had a band then and Trevor joined, also as a singer. During a performance in London, the ex-manager of The Bee Gees suddenly approached us and advised us to call Barry Gibb. Trevor did that and then Barry gave us the song 'Only One Woman'. It became a worldwide hit and we became a duo on the advice of Robert Stigwood, the manager of The Bee Gees, who also had The Cream and The Foundations under contract. From one day to the next we were stars. That took two years. We've performed maybe six times in all, and I've never seen any money of that record's sales. After the second single, we broke up. That song was also called 'The Walls Fell Down', hahaha. Trevor quit because I always did the lead vocals and he didn't like it after a while. Today he teaches classical guitar in London.

Around 74-75 I made a few more singles together with Maurice Gibb, but unfortunately that didn't work out. I also made an LP that was never released, plus played the lead role in a movie. But anyway, about three years ago things went pretty bad for me; my wife had thrown me out, I had no money at all and I went to my parents because I had hardly eaten anything for a long time. Those lovely people were frightened and immediately called for the doctor.

Afterwards I heard that he had told my parents that I could no longer be saved; if I ate something, I immediately vomited it out again. But miraculously I kept on living and when I was a bit on top, I even got a phone call asking if I wanted to make a record. That resulted in two solo albums, "Graham Bonnet" and "No Bad Habits", which were very successful in Australia.

Later, one day I got a call from Roger Glover, who found out through a studio engineer where I was. He asked if I would like to audition for Rainbow in the studio in France. Now I didn't know Rainbow, but I had heard good stories about the boys and so I said okay. I had to rehearse the song 'Mistreated' and come straight to France. No sooner said than done and so after a few days in the studio I was singing 'Mistreated', I was very nervous, especially when those guys suddenly stopped playing in the middle of the song. I thought I could leave again, but Ritchie and Cozy started laughing and then Ritchie said he never had someone had heard the song sing so well. So I was hired and to this day I like it very much. Rainbow has changed my life dramatically.

I still have to think back to the first performance now and then, as support act for Blue Oyster Cult in America. I had not performed in years and never in such a large hall. I had drunk a little too much from the nerves and I was going to tell Ritchie that at one point, I thought he would be angry, but then it turned out that the nerves made him just as drunk as I was, hahaha ... .

© Kees Baars, Muziekkrant Oor no 4 - February 27, 1980
Photo: © Kees Tabak