Graham Bonnet believes Ritchie Blackmore shouldn’t waste time on trying to stage a Rainbow reunion – and he should instead try to settle his differences with Deep Purple.
And the singer has expressed doubt over Joe Lynn Turner’s claims that he’ll work with Blackmore again in 2016.
Bonnet, who sang on Rainbow’s Down To Earth album in 1979, said last week that “practical joker” Blackmore’s proposed return might not happen – but he’d do “a show or two” with him if asked.
Now he tells Classic Rock: “The last time I had any communication with Ritchie about this was several years ago, when the subject of Rainbow reforming last came up. At the time, I thought there was just one man for the job – and that’s Ronnie James Dio. Sadly, his death in 2010 put paid to that idea.
“I remember talking to Joe Lynn Turner back then. He insisted he was the logical choice for the band. But to most fans, it was always about Ronnie.
“Joe still talks openly about being the only man for the job. However, I reckon he’s making a fool of himself by going on and on like this.”
Bonnet insists Blackmore should take a different tack if he really wants to bring Rainbow back. “People can fantasise all they want about the Down To Earth five reuniting,” he says. “But Cozy Powell is dead, and I can’t honestly see Roger Glover giving up Deep Purple for that. Nor, for the matter, would Don Airey.
“If I were Ritchie, and determined to revive Rainbow, I’d find the best young talent out there and go for a fresh, new approach.”
But the vocalist believes there’s an even better option available. “If he’s really intent on rocking out again, then Ritchie should contact Purple, bury the hatchet with Ian Gillan and get back with them.
“Ask yourself, what would be bigger? A Rainbow reunion with me or Joe, or Purple with Ian and Ritchie?”
Earlier this year, Bonnet said he hoped to release a follow-up to his 1999 solo album The Day I Went Mad at some point in the future.