C.A.P.E.R. Project: You and Cosie worked together in Friendly Fire, too!  Lots of terrific young actors in that segment . . . any memories of that filming?
Steve Bonino: I remember enjoying that shoot.  Working with Cosie is always a treat.  Heís such a good actor.

C.P.: After C.A.P.E.R. you made several television appearances on series like Eight is Enough and One Day at a Time.  Did you remain in Los Angeles mostly after working on C.A.P.E.R. or did you split work between L.A. and New York?
Steve Bonino: I stayed in L.A.

C.P.: Did any of these jobs stand out in your memory for any reason?
Steve Bonino: I remember being scared out of my mind on the first shot of Eight is Enough.  I was asked to drive a stick shift car from off screen up to a certain curb area to pick up one of the actresses in the show my character was dating.  I had never driven a stick before.  One of the stage crew saved me by giving me enough of a crash course that I was able to (barely) drive up to the curb.  Whew!

 

C.P.: You and Robert Emhardt both appeared in the television remake of Itís A Wonderful Life with Marlo Thomas entitled It Happened One Christmas.  Did you actually get to work with Mr. Emhardt again or see him during your time on the film?  And do you recall what your role was in the movie?
Steve Bonino: Yes, I was a smart aleck in a pool scene where characters fell into the pool.  I donít remember too many specifics, but I did not get to work with Robert Emhart on that shoot.

C.P.: In a handwritten questionnaire for Tiger Beat magazine you mentioned you liked horror movies.  So was it exciting to get to appear in one of Alan Landsburgís killer insect films (okay, technically theyíre arachnids), Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo?
Steve Bonino: I remember having fun shooting that movie.  Other than working on my role what I remember most was what an incredibly cool guy Claude Akins was.  Heíd be out there working all morning and then get behind the food counter and serve lunch along with the catering people to make sure everyone was well fed and taken care of.

C.P.: You got to work with Michael Lembeck and Dennis Quaid in the wacky comedy film GORP.  What was that shoot like?
Steve Bonino: I remember having fun hanging out with the guys.  I learned a lot from them.  There was something special about Dennis Quaid.  He seemed very interested in a wide variety of subjects (I think I remember him reading about astronomy), not just a self involved actor.  I am so happy to see him become a star.

C.P.: Was acting something you moved away from gradually because you were just devoting more time to music, or was it a conscious decision to focus on the music?
Steve Bonino: I drifted away from acting as I developed a network of musicians to work with over time.

C.P.: Would you consider acting again?
Steve Bonino: I would consider acting again if it seemed a good idea.  For now, I'm dedicated to music.

C.P.: You said you began to set up a network of musicians to work with and as a result you have performed with a staggering number of artists over the years.  What were some of your most memorable moments performing?
Steve Bonino: On stage with Emerson, Lake and Palmer at Madison Square Garden with my high school choir singing "Silent Night" at Christmas time.

Just for name dropping purposes Iíve shared a stage with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, guitarist with Steely Dan and The Doobies - Billy Sheehan, bassist with Mr. Big, Niacin, Talas and others - Jethro Tull drummer Barriemore Barlow - Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins - Greg Kihn who wrote and performed the hit song "Jeopardy" and Iím sure a few others that donít come to mind.

My favorite musical moments have been on stage with my current cover band The Trip when we get the crowd going . . . itís magic.

C.P.: How did you come to work with Screamin' Jay Hawkins?
Steve Bonino: A very talented drummer/composer friend of mine, Rik Shannon and I were in an original band together named 1X1.  He was friends with Herb Cohen who managed Screamin' Jay Hawkins.  Rik was playing drums on Screamin' Jayís album and got me invited to the studio to sing some backgrounds.

C.P.: Youíve done some film scoring as well.  How does writing a score differ from writing individual songs and did you enjoy it as much?
Steve Bonino: The scores I wrote were almost exclusively song based, so it wasnít very different.  I enjoyed it very much.

C.P.: Youíve also worked as a session musician on a wide variety of projects.  In what ways does session work differ from playing with a regular band?  And can you recall any memorable sessions you were part of?
Steve Bonino: I like being in a band more.  The session that comes to mind is one I did a few years ago where I was hired to try to emulate Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nailsí singing style on some original compositions.  It was fun trying.  Did I get it?  Ehhhhh.

C.P.: You have worked with a large number of cover bands over the years.  Were most of these bands ones you put together yourself?
Steve Bonino: I just gravitated to other musicians in different groups over time.  In the Orange County, CA music scene almost everyone has played with everyone else in some situation.

C.P.: Do you ever get the chance to perform original material with these bands?  Or did any of the bands you were in perform *only* original material by the members?
Steve Bonino: I performed exclusively original material in Tomorrowís Game, 1X1, Native Language, Black Spring, Lucid Dreaming and now with my own band (coming soon).  Iím also working in a new original band called Children Of The Moon which is still in the development stage.

C.P.: Youíre currently performing with Gigmasters "Best Rock Cover Band in the USA," The Trip.  Can you tell us how this band came together?
Steve Bonino: It is the remains of a previous cover band incarnation called Gypsy Beggars which disbanded.  Guitarist Steve Fazio and I, who were members of Gypsy Beggars, joined forces with guitarist Erik Johnson and a revolving door of fine drummers (Greg Babcock, Jimmy Keegan, Pat Leon and now Mike Lewis) to create The Trip.  It has been my most rewarding cover band experience to date.

C.P.: The Trip has a loyal following in Southern California, and rightfully so!  But really, do you ever get tired of playing that "Funky" song?
Steve Bonino: Weíre still trying to get it right . . . maybe tonight. : )

C.P.: I think itís interesting that you are essentially doing the same kind of work your father did for so many years, in that you are performing the standards of our day (classic rock songs) in clubs.  Do you think he was proud to see you carry on this tradition?
Steve Bonino: My dad loved "beautiful" music . . . Frank Sinatra and the like.  He always supported me musically but thought the music I play is noise.  Is he wrong?  You tell me.

C.P.: Tell us something about Steve Bonino which might surprise us!
Steve Bonino: My nose is real, believe it or not.

C.P.: What projects do you have coming up in the immediate future?
Steve Bonino: "Steve Bonino - Peace Rocks" CD / download album is coming out in the next couple of months (True North is not going to be a separate release but will be part of Peace Rocks, so there will only be one release.)  I would love to hear your feedback when it comes out.  Also the Children Of The Moon group and album currently in the development stage.  I will keep you posted.

C.P.: Musically speaking, you've just about done it all!  But is there anything you havenít done that you would like to do in the future?
Steve Bonino: Have an original music career with my own original compositions.  I want to earn enough to give back by helping keep music in our schools and communities.  There are programs out there now that I would like to become a part of and help expand.  Hey, whatís keeping me? . . . something else for my to do list!

C.A.P.E.R. Project: Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions, Steve!
Steve Bonino: Thank you for carrying on the C.A.P.E.R. flame.

Keep up to date with Steve at his website and at The Trip's website!

Steve Bonino Official Website

The Trip Official Website

 


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