Interviewer: Geoff Jenke
Photos: Sue Hedley & Michael Meston
In the Chair will hopefully be a regular feature on Eventalaide, highlighting artists from across Australia and occasionally overseas. 21 Questions and everyone gets the same questions. It is just meant to be a bit of fun so please treat it as such.
Bonnie Lee Galea is a busy Adelaide woman. She has been singing and performing professionally since 1999 with her various bands. She travels interstate frequently for performances and shows, either with her band, her current show or sometimes just with her partner Quinton Dunne on double bass, teaming up with other musical friends located interstate.
Bonnie performs, manages and markets her own bands. With a Mediterranean background, she has a vast repertoire, extending early classics to current contemporary numbers and occasionally her own compositions, all of which will keep you mesmerised with her translation of each song
See list of her upcoming events at the end of the questions.
Name: Bonnie Lee Galea
Alias: – Nickname amongst friends – Most common is Bon / Bonnie & Clyde / Bodacious Bonnie / Bonza / Bonnie Doon
Band (If applicable)
- Bands – Jazz in Cheek / Bonfire Blues / Bonnie & The BoyZ! /
- Shows – The Blonde Bombshells of Jazz / Simply Sade / Bessie * Billie * Dinah
In less than 50 words describe your music, your band (if applicable) and yourself.
Music is about feeling, being moved, so it depends on how I feel at the time as to my choice of songs. Kinda like clothes – dressing to your mood on the day – when possible. If the lyrics, groove & delivery move me, only then I believe you will move those around you and they can also appreciate the songs as you do. My Mediterranean background makes me passionate about everything I do for myself or others.
What was the first record you bought with your own money and where from?
60’s or 70’s Music:
I don’t really have one favourite because I love too many different styles of great music but if I have to give an idea of a couple of them here goes…. 60’s Aretha Franklin/Fleetwood Mac & 70’s Kate Bush/Steely Dan/The Police
What are you currently watching on TV?
Antiques Roadshow and Spicks & Specks
What music are currently listening to?
Nina Simone, Billie Holiday & Sade (new and more recent shows we are working on)
The Best live artist/band you’ve seen:
THE EAGLES – Unfortunately didn’t get to SEE them but only HEAR them when I was in Sweden we sat outside the concert in Stockholm, I think it was Sold Out, around 1995-1996 sometime.
Your “In the mood for love” song;
Paula Cole, Feelin’ Love
Your favourite Saturday night party record?
Your favourite Sunday morning chill out record?
Lior or Corrine Bailey Rae or Bill Withers
Which song do you wish you had written?
Just one??? First to come to mind is Chuckee’s in Love – Rickie Lee Jones
Roger Daltry once said “Rock N Roll has no future”. Do you agree with him?
Of course because future doesn’t’ exist, once the future is here it is the present….soooo it’s here to stay in all of its ever changing forms.
Vinyl, CD or Streaming?
I’m a bit old school finally converted to CD, love vinyl too. (Still have tapes too!!!)
If you could record or play live with any artist (dead or alive), who would it be?
Dinah Washington or Louis Armstrong
What is the most useless talent you have?
Brilliant at finding high quality bargains! Not being able to let go or walk by them! It’s a curse.
Your finest recorded moment?
In 2004 my song ‘Dream Spills’ (a waltz) which I co-wrote with then partner was selected for the wedding section of Annual Fashion Parade at Darwin Entertainment Centre.
And in 2017 we recorded in Melbourne a blues song I wrote in 2007 ‘That’s My Baby’ with wonderful re-known Victorian pianist Mark Fitzgibbon and my now partner Quinton Dunne.
If you could open a show for any artist/band, who would it be?
Stuck on a desert island for a year and can only take three albums. What would they be?
- Bill Withers, Greatest Hits
- Edith Piaf Collection – I would have a year to focus and practise myFrench pronunciation, I find the most difficult.
- Simply Red, Stars
Favourite all time movie;
Favourites again, too many! I love the secret double agent ones! You know like, Bourne Identity, grew up with James Bond (all of them) etc. but if I had to pick something I guess a mammoth long movie was ‘Until the End of The World’. Starts in France I think and ends up in Australia, technology within before it all becoming common and taken for granted.
Who would you rather be for a day, Mick Jagger or Keith Richard?
hmmm that would be strange to pick either of them for me but I would love to be able to play the guitar so guess I go Keith and have the stage energy of Mick Jagger!
Best show you have ever played in your career;
2004 National Port Corporation Ball on the Darwin Casino Lawns – TITANIC THEME ironically (as I have sunk in a ship before hit by an icebreaker come fishing trawler back in 1992 (Malacca Straits and swum for my life before it went under). Amazing set up with large icebergs spread amongst all the tables. The stage was in shape of a ship and had grand piano atop with my 6-piece band ‘Firewater’. Entrance was a large erected red velvet curtain doorway. Simply magnificent, unfortunately I was never able to chase up any photos years later as casino changed owners. Port Corp staff all left bar one, who couldn’t find any pics anywhere but she remembered it as it was absolutely amazing.
Paul McCartney or Neil Young?
Paul McCartney (was more familiar with him in my upbringing)
Who is the nicest person in Rock n Roll at the moment?
I am out of touch with anyone new. So, I say Sting? Is he rock n roll? Or maybe Chrissy Hynde.
What do you hope the next 12 months holds for you?
- that our shows SIMPLY SADE & BESSIE * BILLIE * DINAH are SOLD OUT this July 2021.
- THE BLONDE BOMBSHELLS OF JAZZ is selected in 2022 for Adelaide Cabaret Festival and National Cabaret Festivals.
- to resurrect my originals songs from 2000-2007 and be inspired to write more. By teaming up with some inspirational, versatile in musical style musicians interested in revisiting, remoulding and recording in view of releasing to my debut album of original compositions.
Simply Sade – The Gov Sunday 25 July (2pm) Presenting two sets of SADE’s funkiest rhythms and most loved songs.
Book Here at Oztix
Bessie*Billie*Dinah – Trinity Sessions Sun 8 August (4pm) Bonnie resurrects songs and stories of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington.
Book Here at Trybooking
Best of Billie Holiday – Capri Cinema Wednesday 11 August (6.30pm)
Best of Nina Simone – Capri Cinema Thursday 12 August (6.30pm)
Bonnie Lee Galea & her JAZZ in CHEEK ensemble – Southern Jazz Club Tuesday 7 September (6.30pm)
Bonnie & the BoyZ! – Para Hills Community Club Sunday 19 September (4pm) Free entry. Classic hits from the 60’s – 90’s.