Bon Lozaga

Born : November 11th, 1955 - Swetzingheim (Germany)
Past Bands : Gong (1977), Pierre Moerlen's Gong (1978-81)
Current Bands : Bon, Gongzilla, Project Lo

A Short Bio:

American guitarist Bon Lozaga was born in Germany in 1955, and spent his early years there. At the age of 7, he moved to America with his parents and has been living there since. As a teenager, he became involved in a succession of local bands and soon developed a talent for composition. In 1976, he recorded a tape of his material which he sent out to various record labels and bands. One of them was Gong, which he'd heard on the radio and liked. Unfortunately, the band had just broken up following the Gazeuse! sessions and Bon was left without hope of ever working with them.

Eventually, though, Gong regrouped under the leadership of drummer Pierre Moerlen was very soon went looking for a suitable guitarist. Meanwhile, Lozaga had sent his tape to Stomu Yamash'ta, the famed Japanese percussionist, who in turn passed it on to Graham Lawson, Gong's manager. Lawson liked the tape, and Bon was recruited. He played a several tracks on Expresso 2 and later played live with the band, who at that point went under the name of Gong-Expresso. But with Pierre Moerlen working extensively with Mike Oldfield during that period, Lozaga was left without much to do and went back to play in the US. He was replaced by one Ross Record, but when the latter proved incompatible in a live context (he suffered from severe stagefright), Lozaga was summoned back to the band, now called Pierre Moerlen's Gong.

Bon Lozaga stayed with PMG until the band's breakup in 1981, playing on three further albums - Live (1979), Time Is The Key (1979) and Leave It Open (1981) - and numerous tours. During Mike Oldfield's 1980 tour, which involved PMG bassist Hansford Rowe as well as the Moerlen brothers, Bon was involved in a shortlived band project with Eddie Jobson (keyboards and violin), formerly of UK, and Mark Craney (drums) of Jean-Luc Ponty's band. Unfortunately, this never materialised, as EG Records (Jobson's label) didn't like the material, and Jobson and Craney were both invited to join Jethro Tull, which they eventually did.

The end of PMG coincided with Lozaga's decision to retire from the musical scene. Although he kept writing - some of the material composed during that period later resurfaced on his debut solo release, the aptly titled Full Circle - Coming Home (1993) - his main occupation was as owner of restaurants. But in 1993, he finally decided to get back into music full time, and formed his own label, LoLo Records, with former PMG accomplice Hansford Rowe. He then formed the band Bon with Rowe and drummer Vic Stevens. The resulting, aforementioned album was met with critical acclaim.

In 1994, Lozaga and Rowe attempted to have Pierre Moerlen to reform PMG, but the drummer was too busy with his work in the musical "Evita". Yet the idea remained and resulted in the band Gongzilla, with Pierre's brother Benoît handling the tuned percussion and Allan Holdsworth guesting on lead guitar on several tracks of the band's debut, Suffer (1995). The following year, a second album, Thrive (1996) was recorded with new, full-time drummer Gary Husband, formerly of Holdsworth's band, and David Torn sharing lead guitar duties with Lozaga. Gongzilla's latest release is The East Village Sessions (2003), again with Husband on drums.

In the meantime, Lozaga has played numerous gigs, both solo and with Bon, who released the follow-up to Full Circle, entitled To The Bone, in Autumn 1996. He has also recorded an album of atmospheric music under the name of Project Lo, with keyboard player Jim Loretangeli, and various guest musicians, including Pierre Moerlen and Percy Jones of Brand X.