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Bill Bonk Quarantine Concerts – Senior Planet



When Los Angeles went into lockdown, musician Bill Bonk knew immediately how to cheer his quarantine neighbors in Laurel Canyon.

"I thought: Why not do a concert from my porch – where all the neighbors could hear some good vintage music while keeping a social distance? "says Bonk, 60, who has toured with artists around the world, including Grant Lee Buffalo, Aimee Mann, Susannah Hoff's, Lisa Loeb, Bonnie Raitt and his dear late friend, John Prine.

After all, Laurel Canyon has a rich music history, harking back to the '60s when Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, David Crosby, The Byrds and The Mamas & the Papas first settled in this lush Hollywood Hills enclave, just a few miles up the mountain from lively Sunset Boulevard. [1

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"It was actually my wife's idea to do these concerts," he admits a few seconds later, referring to his wife Deborah Davis-Bonk, a former music industry marketer.

"And then when all the neighbors chimed in to suggest songs, we started working on it, says Bonk. He started his weekly Saturday show at 7pm on April 4, each week and performed five classic songs for 25 minutes.

After Bill Withers died, he performed his legendary song Lean on Me and after Prine's death, he was honored with Angel From Montgomery a song he felt with heart after having followed with Prine and Raitt during hundreds of live shows.

"I mainly cover songs that reflect the Laurel Canyon story. It only makes sense, "he explains.

Although he is a successful singer and multi-instrumentalist (keyboard, guitar, bass, mandolin, accordion, cello, flute and harmonica) – he knew he could not go it alone. He recruited his daughter Jas, 13, on vocals and acoustic guitar and neighbor Jackson Kay, 14, on electric guitar.

"I try to make it a teachable moment for the local kids so they understand what our neighborhood is about so I include songs from Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and other classical artists who helped create the artistic magic of Laurel Canyon.

"I have a great repertoire of my own music from my old band, The Brothers Figaro, but with the veranda concerts, I find songs that the kids are comfortable with and also what the neighbors want to hear. "[19659002] With audiences growing every week through word of mouth and FaceBook, Bonk's show on Saturday night 1 has become an esteemed highlight of society; a place to gather – in the distance – and maybe sip a martini in an ongoing cup while dancing with the neighbors.

"It is very emotional and heartwarming to see everyone get together and find some joy in our lives that has been temporarily set up," says Bonk, a music teacher at Episcopal School of Los Angeles.

His ultimate playlist for quarantine? Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man Jackson Brownes For Everyman Crosby, Stills & Nash & # 39; s Our House and Joni Mitchell's A Case of You .

He promised to continue his porch concerts as long as he needed. “I feel such a longing from the people who gather here every Saturday night, just looking for a connection. Everyone wants to be together, even at a distance. Music is so healing and we have started a great new tradition. "

Music has been a canyon for a long time," he says, recalling the "needle drop" during the 1960s and '70s when locals chose a new album, everyone opened their windows at 7pm on Saturday, dropping the needle in sync so that it could be heard in the streets. "Obviously the Rolling Stones & # 39; Sticky Fingers and Pink Floyd & # 39; s Dark Side of the Moon were big hit on the" needle release. "

Bonk & # 39; s Secret to Aging with Attitude?" Improve Every Day, Learn a New Instrument and Never Grow Up. "

One of his favorite shows with his daughter Jas is the California Dreamin & # 39; at https://www.youtube.com/watch? v = kiMQcztbtNI

Follow Bill Bonk's weekly Saturday shows at 6pm on livestream at https://www.facebook.com/laurelcanyonporchconcerts/strong19659002 Dollars19459008.08PIX Dave Rygalski


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