Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Berklee Press Announces ‘Music Smarts’ Book By Mr. Bonzai

Would you like to learn how Kris Kristofferson and "Weird Al" Yankovic got their start in music? How Carlos Santana prepares for a show?

Would you like to learn how Kris Kristofferson and “Weird Al” Yankovic got their start in music? How Carlos Santana prepares for a show? How surfing has helped Jack Johnson’s music? Do you know what John Lennon considered the worst song The Beatles ever recorded?

From left: ‘Music Smarts’ book editor David Schwartz, engineer Michael C. Ross, Record Plant founder Chris Stone, author Mr. Bonzai, composer Suzanne Ciani, and producers/engineers Ed Cherney, Elliot Scheiner, George Massenburg and CJ Vanston.

Photo by KamranV

At the Winter NAMM 2009 show in Anaheim, Calif., Berklee Press, the publishing division of Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, announced the release of the book Music Smarts—The Inside Truth and Road-Tested Wisdom from the Brightest Minds in the Music Business by Mr. Bonzai. Designed as a handy illustrated pocket guidebook, Music Smarts offers an inspirational and entertaining compilation of profound observations, humor and wisdom from top names in the music world.

Music Smarts‘ official release debut took place at a worldwide press conference held at Winter NAMM. Special guests quoted in the book were in attendance.

Music Smarts features a short introduction by Graham Nash. Major music industry figures including George Martin, Tom Petty, Phil Ramone, Brian Wilson, Jack Johnson, k.d. lang, David Foster and Carlos Santana offer insightful advice for music professionals, as well as for those who are starting out in the industry, students, and all music fans.

Several notable artists commented on the book.

Music Smarts lays out the music world in three dimensions and shows what it takes to make it at every step of the way,” says Brian Wilson.

“A deep and inspiring look at how the music world really works, presented with a great respect for the musician and the music,” states Herbie Hancock.
p>”No book has come closer to the reality of a musician’s life,” Mark Mothersbaugh comments. “Actually, it’s almost embarrassing!”

Music Smarts features hundreds of quotations from artists and industry gurus, who reflect on influences, heroes, integrity, performances, and many more critical aspects of working in the industry. These gems of hard-won wisdom cover not only the highs of success, money, and fame, but also frankly reveal the lows of missteps and rejection.

Drawn from 25 years of feature interviews by notorious studio insider, Mr. Bonzai, and edited by Mix magazine’s founder, David Schwartz, Music Smarts features razor-sharp insights from the music industry’s savviest artists, producers, technicians and business execs, and showcases the brainpower that has made popular music the most influential force in modern culture. This handbook also includes a visual “who’s who” of the music biz with original portraits by Mr. Bonzai of the featured artists.

Music Smarts will be available February 1, 2009, at Amazon, bookstores and music industry retailers throughout the world. Pre-orders can be placed on Amazon’s Website.

Berklee Press, the publishing division of Berklee College of Music, is a not-for-profit educational publisher. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Music Smarts is contributed to the college’s scholarship funds.

For additional information, visit and