First episode features guitarist, Jim “Kimo” West
NAMM is launching a new 15-minute video series, the “Bonzai Beat,” as part of its Playback blog. Music and recording industry figure, Mr. Bonzai, hosts the series, with his first guest being Jim “Kimo” West, guitarist, composer, and right hand man for “Weird Al” Yankovic.
In this initial episode, West demonstrates various guitars and plays familiar riffs from Yankovic’s many parody hits, including Michael Jackson’s “Eat It.” West is also regarded as one of the world’s foremost Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists and performs excerpts from his 2021 Grammy-winning album, “More Guitar Stories.” For his work with Weird Al, he has earned four Grammys and a Billboard #1 debut for 2015’s “Mandatory Fun.” West has also worked as a composer for film and TV for many years and maintains a professional private studio in Los Angeles. He has composed music for feature films, TV shows, specials and cable shows.
Jim “Kimo” West is seen recording in his LA studio. Photo by David Goggin.
Mr. Bonzai is an award-winning photographer, author, and interviewer. He has written more than 1,000 articles for the United States, Europe and Asia, and has published numerous books, including “Stuio Life” (Mix, 1984), “Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew” (Mix, 1992), “The Sound of Money” (Focal, 2000), “Faces of Music” (Cengage, 2006), “Music Smarts” (Berklee Press, 2009) and “John Lennon’s Tooth” (BookBaby, 2012). His photos and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Mix, EQ, Keyboard, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, Disney Channel Magazine, Sound & Recording and Relix, among others. http://www.mrbonzai.com
NAMM’s Playback blog shares compelling stories to inspire innovation in and connection to the industry and member community. NAMM is a not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,400 member companies located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation’s (https://www.nammfoundation.org) efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit https://www.namm.org