who is Mr. Bonzai?

Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author –
Mr. Bonzai
graduated from the University of California, B.A. English Lit. with minor in Art & Film. After college, he was writer/performer in the improvisational Praxis Theater, and co-founded “Strangemouth,” a radio comedy group which broadcast live in the U.S. and Canada. As Creative Director of Canada’s top-rated CHOM-FM, he served as announcer, writer and producer and upon his return to the US managed Lyon Recording Studios, also operating as inhouse producer/announcer/engineer.

Since 1980, Mr. Bonzai has written over 1000 articles for magazines in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including over 500 interviews with leading musicians, artists, directors, producers and media figures. He has published four books: “Studio Life – The Other Side of the Tracks,” “Hal Blaine – The Story of the World’s Most Recorded Musician,” “FACES OF MUSIC” (to order click here), and MUSIC SMARTS (2009)(to order, click here). In television, he has performed and written for: “Club Rhino” (Heritage Ent. & Rhino Records for ABC) and “Rock Commandos,” a behind-the-scenes music documentary.

His photos and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Mix, EQ, Pro Sound News, Artist Pro, Keyboard, EQ, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles magazine, Disney Channel Magazine, Computer Life, Los Angeles Times, Sound & Recording, and Relix, as well as leading music magazines in England, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, and elsewhere on the planet.

In 2009, Mr. Bonzai established BonzFire Films and has produced interview videos for such clients as Boston’s Berklee College of Music, as well as independent projects with Spinal Tap,“Weird Al” Yankovic, Chicago, and others.

A selection of subjects, interviewed and/or photographed by Mr. Bonzai

Josh Abraham, Will Ackerman, Ryan Adams, Aerosmith, Steve Allen, Mose Allison, Herb Alpert, Laurie Anderson, Fiona Apple, Jann Arden, Peter Asher, Babyface, P.D.Q. Bach, BBMak, Joe Barresi, Jeff Baxter, Beck, Walter Becker, David Benoit, Ray Benson, Rand Bishop, Stephen Bishop, Clint Black, Hal Blaine, Tchad Blake, Blink 182, Martin Böhm, Pat Boone, Bruce Botnick, Michael Bradford, Michelle Branch, Jon Brion, Sally Browder, Julie Brown, Jackson Browne, BT – Brian Transeau, Lindsey Buckingham, Jimmy Buffett, James Burke, T-Bone Burnett, Butthole Surfers, Vanessa Carlton, Richard Carpenter, Bob Casale, Gerald Casale, Rob Cavallo, Tracy Chapman, Cheech and Chong, Ed Cherney, Julia Child, Suzanne Ciani, Eric Clapton, Stanley Clarke, Bob Clearmountain, James Coburn, Leonard Cohen, Harry Connick, Jr., Ry Cooder, Stewart Copeland, Carmine Coppola, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Marshall Crenshaw, Walter Cronkite, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Crowded House, Robert Crumb, Ice Cube, Eddie Delena, Dr. Demento, Devo, Thomas Dolby, Steve Douglas, Dr. Dre, George Duke, Faye Dunaway, Clint Eastwood, Duane Eddy, Danny Elfman, Harlan Ellison, Eminem, Geoff Emerick, Ron Fair, Manuel Farolfi, Jerry Finn, Neil Finn, Tim Finn, The Firesign Theatre, Mick Fleetwood, John Fogerty, David Foster, Stan Freberg, Mitchell Froom, Peter Gabriel, Albhy Galuten, Terry Gilliam, Dana Glover, Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Greene, Bernie Grundman, Sammy Hagar, Larry Hamby, Herbie Hancock, Susan Herndon, Charlton Heston, Al Hirschfeld, Ross Hogarth, Brian & Eddie Holland, Mark Howard, Husky Hoskulds, Paul Horn, Mark Hudson, Michael Hutchence, Eric Idle, Chris Isaak, Mark Isham, Maurice Jarre, Jimmy Eat World, Dr. John, Elton John, Ethan Johns, Stephen R. Johnson, Booker T. Jones, Leslie Ann Jones, Quincy Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, Led Kaapana, Casey Kasem, Paul Kantner, Alan Kay, Jim Keltner, David Kershenbaum, Kevin Killen, B.B. King, Kitaro, Koko the Gorilla, Al Kooper, Danny Kortchmar, Leo Kottke, Eddie Kramer, Kris Kristofferson, Nathaneil Kunkel, Russell Kunkel, Greg Ladanyi, Alexi Lalas, k.d. lang, Latin Playboys, Rhett Lawrence, Norman Lear, Timothy Leary, David Lindley, Linkin Park, Lisa Loeb, Los Lobos, Courtney Love, Lyle Lovett, Steve Lukather, David Lynch, Jeff Lynne, Taj Mahal, Henry Mancini, Gregg Mann, Rose Mann, Ray Manzarek, Ziggy Marley, Branford Marsalis, George Martin, George Massenburg, Michael McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Miller, Marcus Miller, Robert Moog, Dudley Moore, Bob Mothersbaugh, Mark Mothersbaugh, Graham Nash, John Neff, Willie Nelson, Rupert Neve, Laraine Newman, Harry Nilsson, Jack Nitzsche, No Doubt, Michael O’Donoghue, Danny O’Keefe, Gary Olazabal, Hugh Padgham, Andy Paley, Michael Palin, Van Dyke Parks, Alan Parsons, John Paterno, Bill Payne, Les Paul, Dave Pensado, Tom Petty, Jean-Luc Ponty, Jack Joseph Puig, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Ramone, Lou Rawls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Reitzas, LeAnn Rimes, Johnny Rivers, Robbie Robertson, Janice Robinson, Smokey Robinson, Tom Rothrock, John Romero, Rick Rubin, Todd Rundgren, Tony La Russa, Leon Russell, Danny Saber, Joe Sample, Carlos Santana, Father Guido Sarducci, Elliot Scheiner, Al Schmitt, Rob Schnapf, Ken Scott, Paul Shaffer, Artie Shaw, Harry Shearer, Duncan Sheik, Mike Shipley, Kevin Shirley, Allen Sides, Dexter Simmons, Richard Simmons, Sinbad, Slash, Spinal Tap, Rick Springfield, Harry Dean Stanton, Ringo Starr, Chris Stone, The Strokes, Andy Summers, Ralph Sutton, Bruce Swedien, Tommy Tedesco, Toots Thielemans, Third Eye Blind, David Tickle, Isaac Tigrett, Russ Titelman, Tricky, Tuck & Patti, Jacquie Turner, The Turtles, Was (Not Was), Leanne Ungar, Al Unser, Jr., Steve Vai, CJ Vanston, Don Was, Fee Waybill, Jimmy Webb, Max Weinberg, Tim Weisberg, Wim Wenders, Wendy & Lisa, Jim West, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Barry White, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Phil Woods, John X, Weird Al Yankovic, Dwight Yoakam, Neil Young, Ahmet Zappa, Dweezil Zappa, Frank Zappa, Hans Zimmer

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice Leung April 5, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Dear Mr. Bonzai,
Thank you soooo much for sharing with us the Graham Nash tattoo clip. I was about 5 yrs old when I often heard the song “Our House” in the radio. This song touched me so deep and recently I was super hooked with CSN Acoustics Concert DVD and couldn’t stop playing it. Graham sang “Taken At All” super beautifully that it’s in my head all day and night. It was a nice bonus to have found it in your clip. I see he’s a lovely father with great sense of humour too. I hope he’ll come to Vancouver again!
Great job, Mr. Bonzai!
Best wishes to you!

Vancouver, Canada

MrBonzai April 6, 2009 at 5:46 am

Glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more!
Mr. Bonzai

danny saber August 1, 2009 at 2:34 pm

mr B

lets catch up lots to tell you check dannysabermusic.com




MrBonzai August 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm

mr Saber,

glad you’re alive,
been listening to the Stones.
didn’t you “remix” them once?

da Bonz

Chandra September 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for the photo you did of me. I posted it to my homepage with a link back to your site.

I want to see a photo gallery of all your artist shots. Do you have them posted?

Dave Malam December 22, 2009 at 4:58 am

Good to meet-up with you and Keiko in Graz recently.
Hope to see you before you return to the US.
Cheers and enjoy your stay and trip around Austria!

MrBonzai December 24, 2009 at 11:57 am

Dave M.,

Likewise, a playjour meeting you. Just got back from Innsbruck – wunderbar learning more about Max the First. We hope to visit Graz again before we leave… MrB
PS: what is your email address.

Dave Swartz January 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Hi David:

Good to see at NAMM. You look great. I have a Guitar shop in Sherman Oaks since 2001. Let’s get together when the decks clear for you.

Stay well,

danny saber April 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

mr b lets catch up when you get a sec
hit me at dsaber1@roadrunner.com
so i can send my numbers


Chris Goosman November 12, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Good to meet you and chat with you for a few moments about the Bryce Goggin that you aren’t related to. ;-) As with the previous panel in NYC, yours was quite entertaining! Is it time for lunch? I’m hungry now. I’m leaving to eat……


Monte and Janice Stephens December 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Mr. B
Over 40 years in the biz. I have sat and read some of your articles, while wating around in a Nashville studio. Never thought I would now be able to learn more about you, the person.
Share and e-mail address and I can give you some numbers, and other info. Thank you for being a contact on Grammy365, Janice and I will be able to learn so much from you. The things you know can help us reach more souls for our Father’s Kingdom.
Best wishes,
Monte and Janice

JP Hawkins January 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hey there David Goggin!!! I started UCI at about the same time you did!!!
You are doing great I can see! I would enjoy reminiscing
I have provided my Facebook account and here is my linked in profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesjphawkins

Mark Shuper March 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hey Bonzai–how are you doing? And is everything OK re Sendai and the earthquake?

Hope this finds you well!


MrBonzai March 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm

So far , so good. But hard to say about tomorrow…

MrBonzai March 15, 2011 at 6:40 am

How have you been? Are you with RDP Cloud?

Lisa Popeil January 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hi David,
Not sure if you got my last email… I sent it to mrbonzai@mrbonzai.com

If I don’t write things down, can’t trust myself!

Let me know if you get any free time in February or March for a meet n’ munch at the Beachwood Cafe! I’ll wait to hear from you, when your schedule opens up..

MrBonzai January 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

got it. check your email.

JD Smith March 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Hello, A friend named Paul Lynch, ex engineer who worked in various studios in NYC around the 70s and 80s just lent me your book “Music Smarts”. Wonderful and very informative book. Great quotes. The range of interviewees is extrordinary. I especially liked the ones with Artie Shaw, but they’re all great. Some comments contradict each other, which I also found interesting. I’m a little amazed that for their longetivity, social livelyhood, economic success as well as their technological importance to history that you didn’t get any of the Dead in there. Graham Nash is a wonderful human being too. Great guy to have for the “grace note”.

MrBonzai March 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Thank you for taking a long look.

Lillian Davis (Douma) July 21, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Who are you?
I was an engineer for RPNY & RPLA, 1968, 1973.
Lillian Davis

MrBonzai July 24, 2017 at 7:21 am

I am working with Marty Porter on the Record Plant Diaries book.

MrBonzai August 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm

So, you are OK?
Mr. Bonzai

MrBonzai July 14, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Nice to hear from you, Bruce. I was a member of our school club, The Grape Jelly Plot, and put up posters in Hollywood. I think we called the event Mind Flash. I saved Janice from getting thrown out by telling her to hide the Southern Comfort when the Dean arrived in the dressing room. You can catch me on FaceBook as Mr. Bonzai.

MrBonzai July 14, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Please get in touch, if you can. I am Mr. Bonzai on FaceBook.