Ronnie James Dio wasn’t the only Rainbow singer Black Sabbath considered as their frontman. In a podcast appearance, Graham Bonnet reveals Tony Iommi once asked him about joining the legendary metal group and why he didn’t feel he was an ideal fit at the time.
As history proven, Sabbath had a brief habit of tabbing singers from other well-known bands as they navigated the 1980s without Ozzy Osbourne.
Rainbow’s Ronnie James Dio sang on Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, followed by Deep Purple‘s Ian Gillan on the divisive Born Again and then another Deep Purple alum, Glenn Hughes, appearing on Seventh Star, which was intended to be an Iommi solo album but was ultimately released under the Sabbath moniker.
This range of singers and the many differences they each bring to the table opened up songwriting possibilities for Black Sabbath, but how would they have sounded with Bonnet, who sang on three Alcatrazz albums before a brief (1978-1980) tenure in Rainbow that yielded one album, Down to Earth?
Bonnet himself tells the Disturbing the Priest podcast (named after the Born Again song) that he had a difficult time wrapping his head around the idea of joining Sabbath in the ’80s.
“[Tony Iommi] called me one day and I thought, ‘I don’t know about that.’ I couldn’t imagine me somehow in a band called Black Sabbath with the way I look. [Laughs] I don’t look very Black Sabbath,” the singer explains (transcribed by Blabbermouth), joking, “I’d have to grow my hair really long and dye it dark black and grow a beard or something. I wasn’t sure.”
The image wasn’t the only thing Bonnet was grappling with at the time as he continues, “And I wasn’t sure about the music either, because I thought I wanted to do something that wasn’t like Black Sabbath. I was so sort of anti-heavy in a way, because the way I write a song, the way my other friends who are guitar players, the way they wrote songs, it wasn’t the typical so-called heavy metal/heavy rock, whatever you wanna call it, way.”
Listen to the full podcast here.
Graham Bonnet on the Disturbing The Priest Podcast
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