From the category archives:

Photo of the Week

The new 50th Anniversary Beach Boys album, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” debuted at #3 on the Billboard chart — the band’s best ever debut and a milestone in their chart-topping history.  On the very last day of sessions at Ocean Way, I was privileged to be the only photographer on hand.

(L-R) Al Jardine, David Marks, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston.  Photo by David Goggin.

(L-R) Al Jardine, David Marks, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston. Photo by David Goggin.

The producer sits at the console in Studio A control room.

The producer sits at the console in Studio A control room. Photo by David Goggin.

For millions of Beach Boys fans spanning multiple generations, the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour and new album, “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” represents a dream come true.  Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, David Marks, and Jeffrey Foskett (dubbed Vice Principal by the group) recently completed recording sessions at Los Angeles’ famed Ocean Way Recording for the band’s 29th studio album, the first in decades to feature all of the band’s surviving original members.

During the official video I make a split-second cameo appearance here.

Pictured in Ocean Way’s historic Studio A are Beach Boys (L-R) Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, “Vice Principal” Jeffrey Foskett, Mike Love, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured in Ocean Way’s historic Studio A are Beach Boys (L-R) Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, “Vice Principal” Jeffrey Foskett, Mike Love, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston. Photo by David Goggin.

Brian works out a part at the piano with (L-R) Al, Bruce, and Jeffrey.  Photo by David Goggin.

Brian works out a part at the piano with (L-R) Al, Bruce, and Jeffrey. Photo by David Goggin.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, The Beach Boys are a beloved American institution that remains iconic around the world.

It’s really a beautiful  Beach Boys tour de force and the first album in decades that I’ve listened to repeatedly.  It’s full of the spirit of Summer, but all things must come to an end.  Enjoy it while you can!

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This insightful and inspiring anthology features over 400 photographs, many never-before published, and 160 interviews with popular music artists, songwriters, producers, and recording engineers including Jimmy Buffet, Ed Cherney, Leonard Cohen, Devo, Geoff Emerick, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Kramer, k.d. lang, David Lynch, George Massenburg, George Martin, Robert Moog, Willie Nelson, Phil Ramone, Carlos Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Al Schmitt, Bruce Swedien, Don Was, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa.

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An award-winning photographer, author and renowned chronicler of the music industry, Mr. Bonzai’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Mix, Electronic Musician, EQ, Sound & Recording, Sound on Sound, Keyboard, Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter, among numerous others.

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Mr. Bonzai Hosts Bernie Grundman, Gavin Lurssen, Stephen Marsh & Doug Sax

February Update: Feedback has been great, because the panelists were so great.  Many thanks, gents!

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Pictured clockwise from top left are mastering engineers Bernie Grundman, Doug Sax, Stephen Marsh, and Gavin Lurssen.

Pictured clockwise from top left are mastering engineers Bernie Grundman, Doug Sax, Stephen Marsh, and Gavin Lurssen.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) has announced that the H.O.T. Zone will present “Mastering Engineers on Optimizing for Multiple Release Formats.”  Hosted by Mr. Bonzai, the panelists are Bernie Grundman, Gavin Lurssen, Stephen Marsh & Doug Sax.  The event takes place at 12:30pm on January 20 in Room 203 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

Mastering is described by panelist Bernie Grundman as “basically post-production for the recording industry — the final creative step before delivery to the public as physical vinyl, CD, or any of the various digital formats.”

The name Bernie Grundman is synonymous with Mastering.  His world renowned facilities, responsible for a consistently large percentage of chart recordings, were launched in 1984, following Grundman’s 15-year tenure with A&M Studios.  In 1997, Grundman opened his Tokyo mastering studios and in 1998 relocated to expanded facilities in Hollywood.

Gavin Lurssen established himself in 1991 as a prominent mastering engineer in the industry, and has earned three Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy Award. Lurssen’s work has been recognized with two TEC awards in 2008 for Mastering and for Outstanding Facility as well as with a Berklee College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award.

A native New Yorker, Stephen Marsh came west at 19 to take a job at Sony’s West Coast Mastering operation, working under David Mitson.  Having now spent half his life behind the mastering console, he has been fortunate enough to count Grammy(r) nominees and winners, multiple Gold and Platinum albums and numerous chart successes among the releases to his credit.

Doug Sax opened the doors to The Mastering Lab Hollywood in 1967, founding one of the first independent facilities in the world, as well as the most recognizable name in mastering. Now located in Ojai, California, The Mastering Lab remains a revolutionary, state-of-the-art company, utilizing unique signal flow concepts and unequaled electronics pioneered by Doug’s brother, Sherwood Sax.

“Providing relevant and high-value education programs to the thousands of pro-audio and live sound members of NAMM is one of our key objectives,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “The role of technology continues to expand and we believe that this unique educational opportunity at the 2012 NAMM Show makes attendance a must for anyone working in this important segment.”

The H.O.T. Zone is a feature of the 2012 NAMM Show, which will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, Jan. 19-22, 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2012

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“Fairy Tales Can Come True” Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, ©1987;  Exhibition Excellence Award; All City Art Open, 1989; Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park;  Judges: Merry Norris and Henry Hopkins.

Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan, is also celebrated in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles. I was asked by Hirokazu Kosaka, of the Japanese American Center, to make these large scale mural drawings, based on the paintings of Henri Rousseau. In the shadow of the stone sculptures of Isamu Noguchi, I took this photo of a young artist as she went to work on my giant coloring book.

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"Shinto Shines"

"Shinto Shines"

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“Santa Claus would have to travel at 40,000 miles a second to reach all of the children on Christmas Eve.”  — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

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Santa’s Secret Sled ©1979

Oscar-winning animator Bruce Lyon and award-winning photographer/author David Goggin have written the next chapter in the myth of Santa Claus, the North Pole, and Christmas itself. Santa’s Secret Sled is the story of how Santa and his extended family deliver on the promise of Christmas, an extraordinary feat of teamwork and technology. It’s a race against time and ultimately Santa has to choose: save his family or save Christmas. Which would you choose?

Click for larger view.

Click for larger view.

For three decades, this novella has circulated among our families and friends, as a good folk tale should.  We have decided this year to share our story, and we welcome your comments and those of your families and, most importantly, your kids.

Wishing you a kowabunga holiday season!

–  Uncle David and Brother Bruce

For a free download of the manuscript, click HERE.  Link expires 12.31.11.

Approximate storyteller’s time: 60 minutes.  Commercial free.

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