From the category archives:

Music Photos and Stories

Mr. Bonzai’s “FACES of MUSIC: 25 Years of Lunching with Legends”, long out of print, is now available in a new hi-res digital  edition. The original coffee table hardback edition published in 2006 has been converted to a striking digital edition by BookBaby and is now available at the Apple Book Store: and at Amazon for the Kindle:

FACES of MUSIC: 25 Years of Lunching With Legends

“Mr. Bonzai takes you through the inner sanctum of the recording industry to meet artists, producers, and engineers who have shaped modern music.”
- Phil Ramone, producer (Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra)

This insightful and inspiring anthology features over 400 photographs 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, Carlos Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Al Schmitt, Bruce Swedien, Don Was, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa.

“In brilliant words and images, Mr. Bonzai digs deeply into the fine art of making music.” – Ray Manzarek, The Doors

On September 29, 1967, Mr. Bonzai attended his very first recording session at the invitation of John Lennon. The location was London’s EMI Studios, now Abbey Road, and the song was “I Am The Walrus”. In attendance were George, Paul, Ringo, producer George Martin, and engineer Ken Scott. This privileged session with the most influential rock band in history set the stage for a life exploring the world of music and recording. In 1980, Mr. Bonzai settled in Hollywood to begin this collection of photographs and words of wisdom and wit.

Pictured (L-R) are Phil Ramone, Herbie Hancock, Alan Parsons, Mr. Bonzai. George Martin, and Father Guido Sarducci. Photo by Eric Slomanson.

Pictured (L-R) are Phil Ramone, Herbie Hancock, Alan Parsons, Mr. Bonzai. George Martin, and Father Guido Sarducci. Photo by Eric Slomanson.

Mr. Bonzai is an award-winning photographer, music journalist and author. He has written over 1,000 articles for magazines in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and has published numerous books, including “Studio Life” (1984), “Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew” (1992) “The Sound of Money” (2000) “Faces of Music” (2006) “Music Smarts” (2009) and “John Lennon’s Tooth” (2012). His articles and photos have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Mix, EQ, Music Connection, Keyboard, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles magazine, Disney Channel Magazine, Sound & Recording, and Relix, among others.

View a sample and order, $9.99:


|| John Lennon’s Tooth ||

December 26, 2012 Music Photos and Stories

How I met the Beatles, Thanks to Dorothy 

In September of 1967, I walked up to John Lennon’s home south of London. John was asleep, but his housekeeper, Dorothy, let me wait in his garage until he awoke. John came out and invited me in. We spoke about meditation, movies, and music and he [...]

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|| Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Album at Ocean Way ||

August 5, 2012 Music Photos and Stories

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.
For millions of [...]

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|| New Film: “Weird Al” Meets Mr. Bonzai ||

August 2, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

THIS JUST IN: new “Internet Leak” from Al, a White Stripes spoof called CNR:
Coinciding with my interview with “Weird Al” Yankovic appearing in RELIX magazine, now on the newstands, I have just posted my new BonzFire Film of the conversation (scroll down for the links).   Here is an excerpt from the text interview:
There is [...]

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|| Spinal Tap: LIVE & Back From the Dead! ||

June 28, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

During this 25th Anniversary of the film and album This is Spinal Tap, the band has reunited to set the record straight, once and for all.  What a stupendous relief for the countless fans who empathized with Tap’s well-documented fall from grace and money.  All of the original album has been re-recorded along with much [...]

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|| Ross Hogarth “Delivering that Analog Sound in a Digital World” ||

May 31, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

I’ve seen Ross Hogarth at work many times and he is not only smart, he’s got a lot of heart.  He creates a roomful of comfort, with special considerations for each of the musicians.  It’s a pleasure you can feel in the music he’s recorded with artists such as REM, Ziggy Marley, Keb Mo, Jewel, [...]

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April 26, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

Last Friday, we visited “Weird Al” Yankovic in the studio.  Al’s most recent parody is “Whatever You Like,” which can be downloaded from various music services by going to the offiical Yankovic website. Just click on his site to the right in my “Friends” category.  This tune is from Al’s forthcoming album, and he is [...]

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Jim Scott “Engineering Success” — Got MUSIC SMARTS?

March 8, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

Ace recording engineer/mixer Jim Scott may be one of the best examples of a disappearing breed.  He started his career in the analog days as a gofer at Record Plant LA and worked his way up through the traditional tiers from janitor to assistant engineer, and eventually “super-assistant.”  His first gig as a fledgling solo [...]

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Join Jack Johnson in the studio with Mr. Bonzai

February 7, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

The Surfer’s Path   surfers_path_jack-johnson1
Mix magazine    jack-johnson-instudio1
SchoolJam auf Deutsch   jack_johnson_mrb_german1

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Ozomatli: Don’t Mess with the Dragon!

February 5, 2009 Music Photos and Stories

Ozomatli is a celebration waiting to happen – a fiery brew of jazz-funk, Latin salsa, and urban hip-hop. Basic tracks for their album, “Don’t Mess With the Dragon,” were recorded in Ocean Way’s Studio B with engineer Robert Carranza and KC Porter, who wrote and co-produced with the band. The project was completed at KC [...]

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