Geoff BondPhoto Provided

Geoff Bond has worked with some of the biggest names in the music and movie business, engineering songs and productions into mega hits.

Tulsa Choctaw reflects on life in the music industry ahead of new album release

By Shelia Kirven
November 1, 2023

Fame is not unfamiliar to Geoff Bond. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the music and movie business, engineering songs and productions into mega hits.

Though he grew up around celebrities, Bond made a name for himself as a musician, singer and recording artist, but it was being a producer, sound designer and engineer that brought him fame.

Growing up, the greatest in show business were guests in his home. He remembers Tony Bennett, Tony Randall, Donald O’Connor and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. being among the many who came to visit Bond’s father, Ridge Bond, a famous actor in the Broadway production of Oklahoma!, and his mother, Maxine, a well-known antiquities restoration artist.

His love for music came from his father. They sang together in the car, and his dad taught him to sing harmony. They also sang in the Episcopal church choir.

Bond played guitar and drums as a child and can play music by ear. He started his own bands growing up, and played percussion in the school band, resulting in a college scholarship. In 1970, he began writing songs and graduated from Tulsa University with a radio, television and film degree in 1972.

In 1974, he formed The Blowout Relaxer Band in Colorado.

He began to play the MIDI guitar, where different instruments are set up on each string and earned the nickname, “The One-Man Bond.” He even demonstrated his ability to the manufacturer at the National Association of Musical Merchandisers. The Business Journal newspaper said of Bond, “…when he picks a fast melody on his Zeta guitar, a full rock band blares out of the speakers.”

Bond charted his first record release in 1980 and VIP Records signed him a few years later.

Geoff Bond
Photo Provided

Geoff Bond

He began experimenting while recording at a studio in Memphis and started to work on microphone placement. He was taught guild secrets and engineering by masters of the business, but he is also somewhat self-taught.

After moving to Los Angeles, Bond bought all the digital audio workstations he could afford and began working for Pink Floyd saxophonist Scott Page at The Arena studio. The first week, he worked with artists Edgar Winter and John Anderson. He said it was “eerie” to work with that caliber of musicians, because “nobody makes mistakes; they just don’t.” He had as much work as he wanted with Disney, AC/DC, Black Crowes, Metallica, Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, Cinderella and others. He also edited sound and did effects for the mega-hit project Monsters of Rock.

In 1994, Bond returned to Oklahoma and started 21st Century Audio Systems, a 3D audio engineering company, with a friend.

The company remastered the late Jimi Hendrix’s music in HD3D from original analog masters, working with the Hendrix family. In a November 2002 story in the Denver Post, Bond said, “I take the Hendrix audio on the 21A computer and do like what people do with graphic arts. I extrude it, give it height, width and depth, depending on what we think the sound design should be.”

Hendrix’s father said, ‘”Jimi would have loved this.'” Bond remains one of a handful who have had the chance to work with the Hendrix originals.

He created HD3D virtual experiences for Universal Studios’ theme park flight simulator rides in addition to working as editor, sound designer and producer on “This is Garth Brooks,” “For Those About to Rock,” and the film, “The Doors.” He also did effects for movie productions including The Addams Family and Twister. For Twister, Bond used real-time sounds of a shuttle launch slowed down with a binaural microphone inside a metal structure flying apart in air. He said his best effect was created by putting honey next to a microphone and recording the sounds of hundreds of insects buzzing around.

Bond said his favorite career projects were the Jimi Hendrix project and working alongside Alan Parsons to edit MTV videos for the Alan Parsons Project.

His band, B-OND, is set to release a new single LP vinyl in early 2024. “For this release, I’m putting the best stuff together.” Bond did his own engineering for the LP, which is how he got into the business of music engineering originally.

He is happy vinyl is back. “I see somewhat of the same ingredients that were present in the 60s are present again. They are fermenting.” He believes in fixed print because it can’t be altered, that it needs to be analogized and allowed to decay. It is important to him that the arts become true again. “I believe that unless art is rare, it’s not appreciated on a certain level. Because digital is so common, we can get anything at any time; nothing is rare anymore.”

Bond’s wife, Alice, is also a member of the band. She studied music theory at OU and is a classically trained French horn player and pianist. She was in a women’s folk ensemble previously, performing Eastern European singing and dancing, and can sing, “…very odd harmonies because of Romanian and Bulgarian influence,” according to Bond. He says Alice is the reason he has written so many songs and can apply himself daily. In his career, he says he has written around 300 songs.

His Choctaw heritage and parents’ contributions to the arts steered Bond’s life, and he is revisiting those contributions and giving back. Recently, he and his sister, Pam, contributed the bulk of their father’s Broadway memorabilia and ancestral possessions to the Choctaw Cultural Center.

Choctaw roots run deep in the Bond family, and some of the most prized family items are photos of ancestors who were Choctaw Lighthorsemen.

He said, “Having a degree of blood is a feeling of continuity that I cannot quite describe at the base level, the very base level. It’s a feeling of belonging,” and when he visits the Choctaw Cultural Center, he says he feels like he is home.

Bond thinks he would get the seal of approval from his dad, not only on the contributions he and his sister made, but also what he has done with his life. “I think he would say, ‘You’ve finally got it.'”

Geoff Bond’s music has come full circle, from playing music for himself to engineering for others, and now back to working on his music own again. Looking forward to his band’s future and the release of their new LP, he is self-motivated, excited for life, and full of memories of a lifetime in the music business.

For the complete story on the Jimi Hendrix project, read the article at Sound Art Magazine.

You can read more about the Bond family.