Gary Shea: No Parole

From Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and Alcatrazz to his new band, Rock Island Orchestra, Gary Shea reflects on his life in rock.

Gary Shea: No Parole

From Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and Alcatrazz to his new band, Rock Island Orchestra, Gary Shea reflects on his life in rock.

When keyboardist Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea formed Alcatrazz with ex-Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet in 1983, they had just spent five years recording and touring with New England. Bonnet had just left the Michael Schenker Group (MSG). Together, their goal was to combine the guitar-driven rock Bonnet had done with MSG on the Assault Attackalbum [1982, Chrysalis], with New England’s prog, overdriven Hammond B3 organ, and Mellotron sounds. “We wanted a European/classical heavy rock sound,” remembers Shea. They auditioned guitarists Laurence Juber from Wings and a 19-year-old Swedish guitar phenom named Yngwie Malmsteen, who Shea says was ultimately a better fit for the sound they were after, as evidenced on their debut album, No Parole From Rock ’n’ Roll [1983, Rocshire]. “We were successful in achieving the combination we were looking for,” he concludes. “We wanted to have a blend of styles with a sense of adventure.” Adventurous indeed. In addition to Malmsteen
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