Inductee Biography for BOB BOZE BELL
Bob Boze Bell was born in Forest City, Iowa on December 19, 1946.
When he was six-months old his family moved to Peach Springs, Arizona on Route 66. In 1956 the family moved to Kingman, AZ (also on Route 66) .
Growing up on Route 66 turned out to be a major influence on Bob’s interest in the history of the wild west. As a child he had no idea how important the road that spanned the United States was in history.
Kingman, AZ offered some real western culture and Bob had some real cowboys in his family growing up
As a young child, Bob showed an early gift for drawing and art that would become his true calling later in life.
Bob had an early fascination with old west history but was derailed for a time as his teenage years led to other interests, but his love for the True West magazine he read as a child never died.
Bob would eventually become the owner of True West magazine…
Bob’s interest in old western history went on break when he started playing drums in a rock and roll band.
Bob was swept up in the rock & roll of the late fifties
Bob says he was really influenced by Phoenix’s own home town boy who was having national hits, named Duane Eddy.
Bob said “he had the hair and that big, fat guitar sound that just floored me. I wanted to be just like him, but unfortunately I was a drummer…”
Bob played in his first band in 1963. They were called The Exits. Bob claims the name came when someone said that was where people would head to when they heard them..)
Bob’s band was one of the opening bands for the Beach Boys at a concert in Mesa. AZ in the late eighties.
He played in many bands over the years and one of the most notable bands was valley favorite “Smokey” circa 1979.
After graduating from high school in Kingman in 1965 he attended the University of Arizona in Tucson majoring in art. Bob had been drawing for many years and showed a great talent.
The music and the art were all part of Bob and he loved both types of artistic expression,.
In 1972, Bob and Dan Harshberger started The Razz Revue magazine. It was a humor magazine along the lines of the National Lampoon magazine that had started in 1970. The Razz Revue had local advertising and Arizona related subjects. It was the best underground humor magazine in Arizona.
In 1978 he created a comic book character named Honkytonk Sue. That same year he produced the first of 4 comics books featuring that character. Bob sold the rights to Hionkytonk Sue to Columbia Pictures as a vehicle for Goldie Hawn. Three scripts were commissioned, the first two by Larry McMurtry, but the movie was never made.
Bob continued to do his drawings spread his name and art even further,.
From 1986 to 1994 Bob did a morning drive radio show called The Jones & Boze & Jeanne Show on KSLX (100.7 FM). His often controversial and wacky shows are now legendary in Phoenix radio history.
In 1992 he published his first book called “The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid”. He has released 9 more books all based on western historical themes.
In 1999, Bob Boze Bell bought True West magazine, the same magazine he read as a boy. True West had been published since 1953. He moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona where they are today.
In addition to his artwork for True West, Bob’s art and writing have appeared in Arizona Highways, New Times, Playboy, Wild West, and National Lampoon.
He has illustrated numerous book and cd covers and appears on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and the Westerns Channel. He has illustrated for Disney’s production of: A.K.A. Billy the Kid, Northport Pictures’ The War in Lincoln County, Discovery Channel’s Outlaws and Lawmen and the PBS production entitled Alias Billy the Kid.
As Executive Editor, Bob is featured on True West Moments on Encore’s Western Channel daily and answers inquiries that come in from around the world.
Bob is one of Arizona’s favorite artists and the original zany “zonie” (a term he originated on his radio show) who is woven into our entertainment history.. His love for Arizona is clear.
With several new books in the works and the magazine starting to expand into digital online markets, Boze shows no sign of slowing down.
Bob Boze Bell is a major part of the entertainment hsiory in Ariozna
He has lived in Cave Creek, AZ since 1986.
We are proud to induct Bob Boze Bell into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.