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Jerry Bonham is one of America’ and the world’ foremost progressive DJ’. As co-owner of San Francisco’ Spundae Reckords store and resident at clubs Nikita and Spundae, he lives the music as passionately as he plays it.
Jerry began as a teenager growing up on pop music in North Dakota in the ‘70s. His first foray into DJ’ing was programming the Bonham family’ Sunday night dinner music-by making everyone listen to the Top 40 radio show. His love of music was instant and total, from Barry White to Sly and the Family Stone to the rock of the day. “My mom always knew when I was home because she could hear the music down the block driving on her way home from work”.
When he was 16, he ventured to Minneapolis where a DJ named Jim Wessels,
inspired him to take up the craft, while Chicago DJ, Michael Graber introduced him to infinite possibilities of mixing. He soon taught himself to beat match and mix harmonically as well.
Jerry began spinning in Minnesota in 1976 at the height of the Disco era but even then, he stayed away from the jukebox mentality of the jocks that just played the hits. He favored less-obvious cuts like Space’ “Carry On, Turn Me On,” and the ahead-of-his-time proto-trance of Giorgio Moroder (“I Feel Love”). He was often spinning his own extended dance mixes of disco songs, sometimes mixing between two 45’ of the same song.
After 12 years spinning in Minnesota (and a year on New York’ Fire Island), Jerry relocated to San Francisco in 1988, where he became engrossed in the local scene. 1998 saw the birth of the Spundae Reckords store in San Francisco.
Jerry’ career literally spans the history of dance music itself, from disco right up to the most progressive trance and breakbeat. Like his contemporaries (and frequent
gig-mates) Timo Maas and John Digweed, Bonham’ style is never obvious but always effective.
DJ’ing has taken him from the heart of the American scene, playing Boulder, Austin, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and everywhere in between, to Mexico City, Lima, Peru and Istanbul, Turkey. In the last year alone, Paul Van Dyk invited Jerry to play with him at Twilo in NY and later again that summer in Berlin. Despite all this, deep down Jerry will tell you he’ never happier than when he’ playing at Nikita and Spundae in his hometown of San Francisco (“Hey, it’ family,” he says.)
Jerry is a DJ’ DJ. Dave Ralph calls him "the most underrated DJ in America; “He has a real talent and depth”. Yet, despite all the touring and demands of his record store, Jerry has amassed a string of highly regarded production credits. Highlights include remixing Expansion’ “Listen” for the Texas based Funked-Up label, as well as recording “Deep Love 9” with Bedrock favorites Jondi and Spesh for Renaissance U.K. His next
single is “Erendira” (Spanish for “joy”), recorded with Planetary Consciousness, out early 2001 on the Spundae label. In 1998, Jerry released his first mix CD “Interpretations” on Spundae Recordings. In 1999, Jerry mixed “Tranceglobalnation 3” for Arcade America.
It takes a DJ who’ been around for two decades to know, but Jerry’ career has proven he’ in it for the long haul.