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After publicly feuding with their former lead singer, the Taz Taylor Band has replaced vocalist Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group) with another MSG vet, Keith Slack.

U.K. guitarist Neil Taz Taylor moved to San Diego in 1997 and teamed up with Graham Bonnet when he found the fellow Brit rocker living nearby. After working together on the Taz Taylor Band’s 2008 album Welcome to America, a Russian tour was booked, but the singer quit before departure.

“The reason for the cancellation,” according to Bonnet on his website, was “we’d recently performed in Europe and the fees I’d negotiated and expected were not honored. I lost money on the tour, as my modest outgoings were far greater than my final paycheck…. I don’t know of anyone who would work for free or, even more bizarrely, pay to work.”

Taylor responded that “There were no fees ever negotiated by Graham for the recent European tour that he refers to. Graham knew and agreed to participate in the tour for whatever the revenues were, based on ticket sales.… At the end of the tour, Graham and a hired keyboardist received every cent of the revenue, including all the money from our own merchandise sales.”

“Only hours after flights were paid, Graham changed his mind about performing the [Russian] shows, stating his intention to begin work on other projects.” Besides MSG and Rainbow, Graham Bonnet’s other collaborators included Yngwie Malmsteen, Bob Kulick, Steve Vai, Chris Impellitteri, and Danny Johnson.

The Taz Taylor Band DVD Live in Prague — Ultimate Bootleg features Bonnet in a “complete unedited performance,” including songs from Bonnet’s tenure with Rainbow and MSG and instrumentals from Taylor’s solo CD Caffeine Racer.

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 5, 2009 @ 12:15 a.m.

Taz Taylor had more to say about the European tour that Bonnet claims to have lost money on. "The tour was arranged and booked by a German promoter into some of the most popular rock clubs in Germany, Vienna, Budapest and Prague. While hardcore fans of Graham and our Welcome To America album did turn out and made the shows excellent concert events, their numbers were not enough to cover tour costs, flights, nightliner, hotels, taxes, etc."

"Classic hard rock concert-goers in this region are apparently fewer than ever with SCORPIONS, [MICHAEL] SCHENKER, GLENN HUGHES and others also posting low attendance. Even so we and all fans in attendance considered the shows an enormous critical success albeit not a financial one."

"The Russian shows were a different promoter, with a guarantee of payment before departing from the U.S. Hundreds of tickets were pre-sold for these shows and a strong turnout for both shows was expected."

Of Bonnet's collaborations with Taylor, the Michael Schenker Group, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bob Kulick, Steve Vai, Chris Impellitteri, and Danny Johnson, all but one lasted only one album or less. That would seem to tell much of the tale...


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