Alcatrazz is notable as being one of two stepping stones for
on his way to a successful solo career, having previously served
In fact Malmsteen was one of two guitar virtuosos to spend time here
(the other being Steve Vai),
and neither guitarist really was the leader of the band.
The band was founded in 1983 by bassist Gary Shea, keyboardist Jimmy Waldo,
and noted vocalist Graham Bonnet,
then newly removed from
and one who's had a history of problems staying with bands.
After recruiting drummer Jan Uvena,
Malmsteen was eventually added as the final piece to the puzzle,
and probably the band's best-known work, the debut
No Parole From Rock'n'Roll, was recorded.
Vai soon replaced Malmsteen, but his tenure was short-lived as well,
and finally the unheralded Danny Jackson was recruited in time for their
third album, Dangerous Games, after which the band broke up for
Musically Alcatrazz played light mainstream metal, with of course
plenty of flashy guitarwork from Malmsteen and Vai.
They had a sound made for radio play, and they should have been
more popular than they were, but for whatever reason the band never
truly took off.
In 2006 Bonnet formed a new version
of the band even while the others still claimed the name as theirs,
though that version, which lasted several years, never recorded.
Bonnet later made up with his bandmates and in 2020 the band
released Born Innocent, but later that year Bonnet had once again
worn out his welcome, being relieved of his duties.
He has since vowed to form a new version of Alcatrazz
(possibly going by "Graham Bonnet's Alcatrazz"), so this eventually
may be another
band-naming issue for the courts.
The remaining members, now with Doogie White at the mic,
are carrying on, releasing a new album in October 2021.