Bonzai Beat with Jim “Kimo” West

Mr. Bonzai

Music and recording industry figure, Mr. Bonzai, sits down with Jim “Kimo” West, guitarist, composer, and right-hand man for “Weird Al” Yankovic.

West demonstrates various guitars and delights us with familiar riffs from Yankovic’s many parodies hits including, “Eat It,” a play on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Coming off a recent GRAMMY® win for his album More Guitar Stories, West performs excerpts from the record, demonstrating his skills as the world’s foremost Hawaiian slack key guitarist.

Bonzai Beat with Jim Kimo West

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Jim "Kimo" West, the long-time guitarist with Weird Al Yankovic, is regarded as one of the foremost Hawaiian slack key guitarists. He is a 2021 GRAMMY® award-winner for his recent CD, More Guitar Stories, and nominated in 2019 for a GRAMMY for the album, Moku Maluhia-Peaceful Island. While working with Weird Al, West has earned four GRAMMY Awards, and the 2015 debut of Mandatory Fun earned a Billboard #1 CD. West has also worked as a film and television composer and maintains a professional, private studio in Los Angeles. He has composed music for features films, network television, specials, and cable.

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 Studio 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.