Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Ed Roman
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Introducing Ed Roman
Ed is an Award-winning singer/songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada.
And if that sounds like a pretty standard introduction then think again.
As this guy is not normal, in any shape or form, and to be honest this was one of the hardest introductions to write as it is hard to pin down Ed Roman.
He is hugely positive. Loves his music. Is up for a laugh. Loves entertaining. But also is a deeply sensitive guy inspiring the world to do their own thing and love their lives in the process.
As we see time and time again on Join Up Dots, the people who really seem to be setting the world alight, always have tapped into the thing that they loved doing from the time they were a small child.
The kind of things that didn’t require money as a reward, as they simply loved the task.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ed Roman
And our guest seems to be the very same, as linking him back to starting to speak at a very young age, and living in a very musical house, you can see he wanted to express himself.
His grandmother and mother also were always singing to him… and so at an early age the entertainment bug was starting to show itself.
He learned a bunch of childhood songs like row row row your boat, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmit and old Slavonic songs, and would perform for people when they came to the house and to dinner..
As he says “My family were very proud of me and I think sometimes they loved to show me off; especially if I did imitations of other people. There was a lot of laughter.”
So it seems the path to his first album “Special Ed and The Musically Challenged”, released in 2000 (which I admit I read twice before I grasped the pun!), was there from the early days.
And with the follow ups “Oracles and Ice Cream”, and Letters from High Latitudes, (an homage to his Ontario, Canada home) he has joined up his dots taking him back to his childhood, to live the life that he should.
So can he remember the first time that he stood up on a stage, strummed his guitar and started creating his destiny?
And was it terrifying or like walking into a comfort bubble waiting for him to enter?
And knowing what he knows now what would his biggest advice to his younger self be?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Ed Roman
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Ed Roman such as:
How his dyslexia as a child was of course difficult to overcome, but in it’s own way was a gift, giving him a greater understanding of what it takes to think outside the box.
How we managed to get him to admit that he is a freak in life, always wanting to push the boundaries of what is possible in life. Join the Freak Club Mr Roman!!
Why he likes nothing better than surprising himself with his creativity, before pushing it out to the world. The journey is the real delight to everything.
Why he 100% tries to not live his life in fear, after realising that it all comes down to treating people with respect, and being aware of your location. Start living life everyday, not just existing.
How To Connect With Ed Roman
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Ted Yoder, Sean Swarner or the amazing Alfie Best
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Ed Roman Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:36]
Yes, hello there, everybody, I tell you what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this show I’ve recorded four shows back to back and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s like, line them up, people line them up. And let’s have a great conversation. And if you can get to the point where you can’t get enough of your job, when you really found your thing. And I think our guest today has bounty spring because he is somebody who’s rocking and rolling. And he’s seems really authentic to me. And we’re going to sort of delve into that in the conversation to find out if he is quite authentic to himself. And if he’s always been that way is an award winning singer, songwriter performer and multi instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada. And if that sounds like a pretty standard introduction, then think again, as this guy is not normal in any shape, or form. And to be honest, this was one of the hardest introductions to write. as it’s hard to pin down the guy is usually positive loves his music is up for a laugh loves entertaining, but he also seems to have a dp sensitive side inspiring the world to do their own thing and love their lives in the process. Now as we see time and time again, on join up dots the people who really seem to be setting the world alight always have tapped into the thing that they love doing from the time they were a small child, the kind of things that didn’t require money as a reward. They simply love the task. And our guest seems to be the very same as linking him back to starting to speak at a very young age, and living in a very musical house. You can see he wanted to express himself. His grandmother and mother also was singing to him. And so an early age the entertainment bug was starting to show itself he learned a bunch of childhood songs like Row Row, Row Your Boat, john Jacob, jingle, Hi, Mr. Schmidt, an old Slavonic songs and would perform them for people when they come to the house, and to dinner. As he says, My family were very proud of me. And I think sometimes they love to show me off, especially if I did imitations of other people. There was a lot of laughter. So it seems that after his first album special ed and the musically challenged released in 2000, which I admit I read twice before I grasped the poem was there from the early days, and with the follow up articles and ice cream and letters from high latitudes, a homage to ease Ontario, Canada home, he has join up dots taking him back to his childhood, to live the life that he should. So can you remember the first time that he stood up on stage drunk the second time and started creating his destiny? And was it terrifying or like walking into a comfort bubble, waiting for him to enter and knowing what he knows now? What would be his biggest advice young self? Well, we’ll find out as we bring on to the show, to start join up dots with the one and only Mr. Ed Roman.
Good morning to you, ed.
Ed Roman [3:12]
Good morning, Sir David, how are you?
David Ralph [3:14]
I am very well, I tell you what, there was some words in there that tripped me up three or four times I find Ontario, Canada, I can say now, but you live in a world of difficult words, sir.
Ed Roman [3:27]
Well, words have always been a conundrum. To me. I mean, I was a dyslexic and diagnosed as a dyslexic at a very young age. And I guess, when you so eloquently put my mom and my grandmother always saying to me, when that happened, my mom was like, you know what this is sort of understood at the time, especially in the 1970s. And what is this? Is it a cognitive problem? Is it a, or recognition problem of what the words are? Is it all of those kinds of things, despite they were problems, my mom was always trying to amplify the positive, I guess that’s where I get that side of me from from both my mom, my grandmother and my dad, for that matter. But regardless, it was like, I had an old guitar, my mom got from a secretary, a lady that she knew it was missing a bunch of strings. But that thing was the vehicle for me to be able to get out of that shell in that regard. Because, you know, when you hear, you know, seven or eight years old, and you think you’re doing well in school, and you’re getting, you know, called to the teacher’s desk, and there’s umpteen amount of spelling errors, and it takes you three times the the amount of time to actually read anything and and to go through everything that you do in pre fruit, it proofread it continually, all of that stuff was like, Whoa, what’s going on, but the musical aspect was, like you said, continually happening. My house was like an envoy for gender iterations of music between my grandparents listening to Eastern Europeans stuff, my, my grandmother who loved all kinds of popular music of the day, it didn’t matter what it was, you know, people fighting over for, you know, record, player space, we just had this little fold out looked like a little suitcase record player that, you know, we’re taking from bedroom, two bedroom. That all was like the fodder and then the competition, behind, you know, trying to remember lyrics, even from classic TV shows, it seemed like this elation and my family and because of it, it was infectious. For me, it was like, Okay, I think there’s something magical a little bit more than just like, going to work every day and having a job.
David Ralph [5:45]
Yeah, I agree with you. I agree with you totally. And it’s fascinating as she was talking about having dyslexia, but it was making me wonder or ponder as he was talking, whether that gave you an additional focus to sort of find your way around problems. Most people I find that have got everything laid out in front of them, almost don’t achieve as much as people that need to struggle. I always say to my kids, I would rather have the stupidest kid who’s willing to work really, really hard than the cleverest kid who just thinks that they can just ease through life. I said dyslexia been a saving grace for you, in many ways.
Ed Roman [6:26]
Yes, because I had some friends of mine at one point in time that just said, Look, Roman man, it’s not a problem. It’s actually like, in a weird way, a help because you’re forced to think outside of the box in order to play correction, quote, unquote, or the game or fit into the academic box. So because of that your imagination or maybe some would say a photographic like memory or all of that. But at the same time, yes, completely. The aspect of great growing up in a rural area on a farm, also, and I was speaking with my brother about this sort of recalibrates your thought process in a multitude of ways. Because at any given moment, in time David you could have to deal with a large animal, you’ll be baling hay, you’ll be working in a field, you’ll have to fix an electrical problem, a plumbing problem, you could get crushed by 1000 pound plus animal, all of those kinds of things make you hyper aware. And and you know, thinking back even on sociological level, it’s kind of the compartmentalised idea, both of those things coming together, that kind of made me partially the way that I am. But it is, and there’s a lot of people, I mean, we can go through a list of artisans and writers and actors that all in some way struggle from this quote, unquote, problem. But I’ve also been a teacher for 24 years and worked as a music therapist, I’m at the pine river Institute for four years. And with that said, all those kinds of boxes, and I guess that’s what it is, for me living outside the envelope, I kind of go Wait a minute, just like you said, If everything is just handed spoon fed, and you don’t fight for it in some way, or kind of in a way have to tactically work your way towards it. It’s, it’s it kind of you know, that doesn’t make you weaker, but just doesn’t make you more open to to concepts and ideas. My mom and dad were the same way. Well, if you want an instrument, you got to work for it. You know, it wasn’t just something you went to bought. So it’s like summers of working on a farm in order to buy a bass or guitar or, you know, as jobs and stuff, they recognize that to feed that as well, in another way, which made me you know, stay up till three o’clock in the morning, you know, knocks coming on the door, go to bed, you know, like go into the back room with my guitar, like it was like I just became an addiction.
David Ralph [8:58]
Now, it doesn’t surprise me But you say about thinking outside the box. Because as I said in the introduction, it was a difficult one to write because I struggled to get a steer on what you are I seen some images, I think, yeah, I know what he is. And then I see another images. And I’ve read this and I read back, it seems to me in some ways, you don’t know yourself where you actually fit? Would that be? Right?
Ed Roman [9:26]
Well, you know, what is fitting, I mean, in the, to me, the people that I’ve loved to listen to or Aspire, as a young musician, or still to this day study, were themselves. I mean, in, I could point out a list of people that would be like, you might consider them pioneers. I don’t consider myself a pioneer. I mean, if somebody wants to say that in, you know, time and stature is as my life moves on, that’s one thing, but I’m just trying to continually be me and experience what music has to offer for me, because the reality of it is David you know, we may sit down with a pen or however we decide to write pencil computer. But I’m always trying to listen to what that original spark in the emotion is to why I set on the journey is telling me I’ve seen some really interesting people from Tom Waits to Keith Richards and other people in the last little while, who kind of submitted it for me and my own thinking about, you know, people are like always like, Well, how do we pigeonhole you, you know, that I hate that? Or how do we put you in a box? Or how do we, it’s fine. I understand marketing is one thing and the way that it all needs to kind of, you know, be available to people to buy and purchase and understand what it is. But I keep realizing that I’m learning more as a human through my experience, other than just trying to make it the artisan and the commodity, because, like, you know, before I even thought about making a living at this, it’s something that I’ve always just had to do. It’s it’s like therapy in a way. I mean, as people we go through so many changes in our lives, ups, downs, elation, sorrows, whatever it may be. But ultimately, I think that’s why people in the field of the arts do that, because there’s something deeper somehow inside of them that they need to release, and perhaps just, you know, keeping it bottled up or whatever. And this is why, you know, teaching for me and working with kids and getting him to those levels and having those experiences for me, it’s like, Okay, well, that’s kind of my giveback point, yeah, I’m getting paid to do what I do. But some of the students I’ve had have been, like, you know, my children. And, and, and I guess it’s the same thing, it’s like, I’m writing and I’m not worried about what other people are thinking, My dad always, you know, instilled in me Look, you know, believe what you believe, believe in yourself. And, and, and everything will kind of fall into place, because that’s your mission, stay true to yourself, be good to yourself, you know, look after yourself, but at the same time, you know, don’t you know, I’ve had other people say to me, like, before, I’m going at a party or something like, Well, why don’t you write the big hit, that’s gonna make you millions of dollars, I don’t know, what the next hit is going to be, I can only know what feels right in my heart, I can give you some mathematical equation or some kind of, you know, graph, it’s like, well, here’s the basis for 21st century posture tune. And this is exactly what you need to do, you know, a couple verses couple courses of bridging, of course, and, you know, given the given the course of what the math is it, it said yes,
David Ralph [13:01]
I i understand that it I do understand that. But I think the fact that you’re answering in such a in depth way would answer me that you at your heart you don’t fit in, I don’t fit in, I’ve always felt different from everybody else. And I’ve always wondered why I’m have this desire to challenge myself when I could have an easy life. You know, I could just go for the corporate life that I used to do for many, many years. It never made me happy. And I couldn’t understand it. And I used to look around thinking, Why Why are people just happy to be sitting there? So I think that if we asked that question again, do you fit in Mr. Roman? I think you would say, No, I don’t. Because I think you’ve got the same vibe as me.
Ed Roman [13:47]
If you say it like that. No, yeah.
David Ralph [13:48]
Yeah. Because you are a freak. You’re a freak like me. And we should be proud of it. Just a fact. But I saw a picture the other day of you wearing a very long sock, and I’m being too interest to you by saying it’s a very long sock on your on your main sausage. And I thought, well, that’s not a normal photo. So is how did that come about? If you are not being uniquely freaky to yourself?
Ed Roman [14:15]
I’ve always been the freak. I mean, that’s me. I’m the
David Ralph [14:20]
way we got there.
Ed Roman [14:21]
Of course, of course, I guess I was going for the philosophical looking kind of you know, now, but the reality is, yeah, I was I was somebody had sent a message to silver about doing an article in a magazine and they said, Well, what do you do the sock on the cock thing? You know? And I was like, Okay, give me five minutes at the studio and took a photo and send it to them. And they were shocked. But they used it. And it was on the front page of the magazine at the same time on the online magazine. So I mean, I’m, you know, dare me and I’ll go there. You know, that’s, that’s kind of the way it is. But that’s what makes it exciting for me, like you said, is it make us a freak? Or does it just make life a little more interesting? Because it’s a bit of a roller coaster? Some people are like, how can you live from paycheck to paycheck and, you know, not have a stable job. And I don’t know, I just, I’ve never been I’ve had jobs I’ve taught, and that’s what’s brought in money for years. But at the same time, I’m a free agent. I’m like, I can’t be in that schedule of certain things for too long. Otherwise, I go crazy.
David Ralph [15:23]
And well, why do you think that came from? Easy? Is it breaking free from conformity? Or where do you think that you’ve got that free spirit?
Ed Roman [15:34]
My grandmother, for sure. And just an end my whole family? I mean, the reality of it is, is that like I said that Norman Rockwell, like, you know, Endless Summer, long days hard work on the farm kind of thing is what it was because we went to school, and we hung out and did certain things as kids hide and seek, catch the flag, whatever it was, but there was this, like, I can’t explain it, you know, the hamlet of Victoria Square, where we grew up, was isolated from the sort of greater metropolitan area of Toronto and a lot of the suburbs. So it was this like, little bubble of fans, small families, lots of kids. And we all seem to really migrate into the artistic world, there was so many of us that I can look down and think, my God, this person’s doing this, this person’s doing. Yes. And we all felt it. It was like this magical time were those kinds of things that we could do with our hands. And, and, and having that like, freedom, like mentality, you know, we were mile and a half down the road, our parents weren’t worried when they knew where we were. We had that license and freedom then in our actions because of what we did. And at the same time, just our parents get to assure you want to do that. Go ahead, go camp out at your friend’s house for a couple of days.
David Ralph [17:05]
That was the words, wasn’t it? Well, what time do I be home when it’s dark?
Ed Roman [17:09]
Yeah, it was when the lights come on, you know, when I lived a little further down the road, but a half a mile down the road, kilometer and a half or something, but
I had to be home long before all the other kids that lived in the sort of smaller street area did but you know, my, my mom was always so encouraging of, as you mentioned, the beginning of the show this Come sing for people do your imitations, telling stories, jokes. All of that was that kind of pusher. For me, that thing that really turned me on to the idea that Wait a minute, yeah, all these people have jobs and everything else that we do from day to day, but the way that they lived their life was very free. And, and open. And I remember that as being something exciting. And I guess for me, you know, did they kept pushing it, they kept encouraging it, you know, I’m lucky David that I, that I that I had that environment. And I look back at so many friends have just had a friend visit from Germany in the last little while we’ve known each other since we were five. And we’ve been playing music together just as long. And I was like, you know, Tobias, it’s so wonderful to see all the other things that go hand in hand with seeing a longtime friend, and not for a long time for that matter. But I just made me realize and even said to him, I was there the other day, I was visiting a cemetery because a friend of ours had passed away. And it’s like that area again, has still in time. It almost as like, I’m standing here at the age of 46. Looking back, I can feel like, it threw me back to being seven and eight years old again. And I know it’s like what you’re in the space, you’re in the area, there’s familiar things, but smells certain trees. And despite it’s been all built up and and everything around it, I still feel that like, right. This is what it meant to be a kid and to be free. And I guess I kept that in me. I’ve tried to be five, and seven and eight when I can and in my sense of how I feel about life. And maybe maybe in some cases, in some cases to a fault, because it’s like, well grow up, you know, you know, get a job done. That’s not for me, my grandfather always said, Look, if you’re not whistling when you go to work, go into the wrong job.
David Ralph [19:41]
And let’s play some words now that really now what you just said Jim Carrey
Unknown Speaker [19:45]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an account. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [20:12]
Now, he’s that the Spirit? Obviously, that’s the spirit of this show. And I think it’s the spirit that you live by. But is it the spirit that only certain people will respond to? Do you think the masses are never going to get those words?
Ed Roman [20:27]
Perhaps but they do. But it’s hard to do it. That’s the thing. I think there’s people have said to me, man, I wish I could do what you’re doing. I wish I had the guts, I wish I had the ability. You know, in some cases, you know, three or four children needing to bring in money, a different kind of lifestyle, all of those things. I mean, I’ve kind of forged from the very beginning, I knew that this was something at a very young age that I wanted to do and pursue it. So I’ll not like I’ve set pitfalls for myself. That’s not what it is. But not having children and continually working in the music field. And in whatever aspect it is. You know, I’m sure there are people that will like you, I love to do this. And I was really good at it in high school. And I went to college and I studied it, but now they’re doing something completely different in their fields. Again, it’s it’s something I’ve fought for, I fought hard to get to this position to where I am to be able to have that kind of freedom that I’ve always wanted inside of what I do. You know, that statement that Jim made is very true. I mean, my dad was an amazing football player. He was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts, the Hamilton Tiger cats, he played hockey with Frank Maha village, you know, he was his roommate at St. Michael’s college, my dad loved agriculture, all of those kinds of things that, you know, that he loved and passion, he sort of kept. I mean, he was a sportsman he, we still ran a big farm. But he found his mission in life through becoming a politician. And I hate using that word, because he considered himself to be a public servant, all because he lost the card game. So fate has an interesting way of working itself into your life. I mean, and my dad loved what he did. It’s, you know, there were times when he ran it the first time preventively. And he didn’t win. And he didn’t take it personally, like it wasn’t meant to happen. But at the same time, you know, I guess that’s the other part of it, I saw my dad loving to respond to his community. And I guess music does the same thing for me, aside from it being you know, something I love to do, it connects me to humans. I love talking to people. I love telling stories, I love hearing them tell stories. So you know, people also take those steps in their lives for their family, because they have to, that’s also quite a heroic thing. But they should never shut off their passions, the passions for me, or what would drive you in your life, they, they make you excited, it becomes the adventure. It’s like even in the songwriting process.
David Ralph [23:16]
I think I’m getting a Steve of you now that on the wider sense, you are a romantic, I think that you thrive on connections, it can be one to one, it can be audience, it can be the connection that you get with the creative ventures that you go into when you suddenly realize that it’s just becomes effortless. Now I’m going to play some of your music. And then we’re going to talk about how you actually construct your songs how you get your inspiration. This is off your latest album I play called letters from high latitudes. And this is called coming my way.
Unknown Speaker [24:26]
I could tell you
David Ralph [24:35]
well, there was a point in there where I had my lighter above my head waving it around that was that there was so many different sort of elements to that song. So where do you get your inspiration because it is difficult to pinpoint your musical style. I was listening to the song Jamaica, and I thought, Oh, this is going to be standard reggae and it went like a rocket at the beginning before the wreck a bit comes in. Are you somebody better like to surprise yourself as much as your listener?
Ed Roman [25:04]
a wonderful question. I mean, yes, that’s the in the light of discovery, the surprise of what comes through the search, that to me, that electricity, that that you feel when you connect with what that is, is the same thing that then perpetuates itself into the listener. For so for me, it’s, it’s, it’s a humbling moment, but yet you cannot help but feel it and know it for yourself, you don’t know yet what other people are going to think. But that that electricity, or that feeling that you get is is even the catalyst for everything else, it may be the most simplistic thing. And at the same time, you know, it may be from a mistake, there’s been so many times and I was having this conversation with my friends youngster was here. And and I was like, yeah, you know, like, it’s okay to work on something that’s difficult in a part of a song over and over again, release what you know. And sometimes working on that difficult part, you’ll get better at one, but two there through the the process of trying to get through it. If you listen to yourself, in a way, you might hear a new kind of magic, a new kind of electricity, that that sparks you in a way that becomes like okay, well, what is this? And that excitement again? Is it what makes you you know, stay up all night working on it, or picking it up day after day or thinking about it or crafting it and molding it and, and at the same time listening to it, because there’s something more potent in that first light of discovery than the entire song itself. You made it and it’s not like, oh, the old trick transmitter receiver comment, you know, I’m the receiver. There’s a transmitter to me. It’s like no, but yes, but no, the reality is, look, the trailhead is there because of the excitement. And as you pull yourself through it, there are things that start to show themselves as potentials. What I hate is going for the common denominator. There are things in a forest when you come to there’s a path Yeah, but wait a minute what’s over there because on the other side of that bush, it may take you a little bit of extra time to get around it. But there could be a beautiful river there until the fish and berries all around. You knew nothing up so for me I’m a bit of a bush whacker if that’s what makes people go How do you pinpoint this? What is the, for me? That’s the the kind of method to the madness. I mean, the path is already there. We know it’s safe, it leads from A to B But wait, what we’re missing all this other stuff. So the songwriting experience continually for me is that even from song to song, from album to album, there’s always some differential in some aspect. It’s me you hear my voice, the tambor quality, the color of what I do, but there’s always some other aspect to it. And I like I said, I’m humbled by it because I love so many different kinds of music david i, if you went through my vinyl collection, you’d be like, Whoa, like this is from like, classical opera to hard rock, heavy metal, old disco, funk, folk, r&b. It’s like, it’s a gambit of stuff. So I never know even in that regard, emotionally, how that idea is going to approach me, you know, so it has to be exciting. It has to be electric in that in that moment. And for me, it also is what then keeps it fresh people like Well, how do you keep playing the song opposite? It’s 10 years the same way and it happened to be that would be I love it. I fell in love with the idea.
David Ralph [29:03]
I tell you what your next albums got to be called the gospel according to the bush whacker. I’ve never I’ve never thought of myself as a bush whacker. But as he was talking, I thought to myself, yeah, that’s what I am. If I’m driving along, and the sadness, the GPS is telling me to go some way. My wife, it drives her mental when I go, oh, let’s go down there. And she says, but I didn’t want it. That’s that’s not what the GPS is. And I can’t Yeah, but we can’t get lost with the GPS. We just find our way back. But there might be something amazing down there. Now, let’s just keep on this road. Keep on these going. Now, I’m going to say I am a bush whacker, then good bushwhack this way with me, and we will bushwhack our way across the country. That’s what I’m going to do the gospel of the bush whacker.
Ed Roman [29:48]
But isn’t it? It makes it more interesting. It’s like, yeah, I mean, look, you could say, you know, Paulo Coelho, the Spanish writer, he wrote that book, The Alchemist. And the book is like, it’s wonderful book. It’s small, it’s easy read. But the whole premise of the book is like, you know, your gold is at the pyramids, and he’s got across Spain and go down through all through Europe, and, you know, cross the Mediterranean and get to all these adventures that he has, and the people that he meets, and the things that he sees and everything. You know, it’s it’s extraordinary, it takes incredible amount of time he, he ages over the process, and he he finally gets to the pyramids, and there’s nothing but sand and pyramids. The whole premise is, is that the gold is the journey. And if you’re given it immediately, like you so eloquently put before, you don’t understand its true purpose. It’s like Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance. It’s the has the same thing if you just buy the beautiful BMW bike, and you know nothing about it, but you want to ride it. But that’s beautiful. And you want to do something with your son. That’s one aspect of it. But the two that are building the bike and fixing it know everything intimately about but it is pulling them closer together. And they’re seeing other things about their experience that the other two don’t. That’s what it is, I guess for me and why I hate schedule, because it’s always telling you, this is how you
David Ralph [31:12]
have to do it, I agree with is totally you know, and it’s like therapy. I’m sitting here, like, well, I’m lying here on a couch listening to you talk. Because Yeah, even this show, a lot of people say to me, not so much now. But I used to when they they would ask to come on the show. And I said, Oh, could you send me a list of the questions. And I say, Well, I don’t ask questions. And they say, Well, what, what’s the what’s the flow? And I said, Well, you turn up, I turn up, we have a chat and see what comes out the other end. It’s bushwhacking at its best. Now, if I was doing a show 600 episodes and some podcast is dubious. And I don’t know why they do this, but its own style. It’s up to them. And they asked the same questions every time. How boring Sir, how boring that every single episode I record is different. And every single episode, I can go back to multiple times and listen to because it wasn’t what I expected. I think there has to be a level of just doing stuff for the sake of doing it to find out what happens. You gotta break enough eggs to make an omelet, don’t you?
Ed Roman [32:15]
That’s it. Even Picasso said sometimes art itself is not meant to be understood. It’s just meant to be looked at and felt. It’s you know, I’ve had people come to the studio here at the farm. And they’re like, yeah, the GPS took us a mile and a quarter down the road. And I’m like, Well, I told you the dress, there’s a big sign. And I told you even when there’s a road when you turn off, like the simple basic, communicative instructions seem to be somehow lost on people because the machine said this are you then you’re saying to the girl up until I’m short on the change. And she says no, the machine said this, but I’m like, I gave you a 20. And you only the you know, all of that, for me is like another part of this weird aspect of the 24 seven entry as an artisan. And as you know, living in the art world, I look around and I go, there’s this such This is detachment from what the tactical, technical, conversational aspect of what we are as people is being separated by and it scares me sometimes. I mean, that’s why I love what you just said, I don’t want to sit in somebody’s a scripted group of questions that I’m going to ask over and over again. Because in in, in that light, the art of conversation, it is an art form, to be able to figure out all these aspects to what people are communicating is a big part of the learning experience. It’s not just even the information exchange. That’s one thing, it’s how and and and how willing are the participants and where is the the counterpoint to it, all of that is is what makes it rich, and really healthy. It’s just like a good impromptu, somebody writes out a number, well, here’s the chord changes, here’s the head off the top and the back. But what happens in the middle becomes this organic living. Beautiful, again, bushwhacking experience of what just happened there, I can’t believe I’ve had experiences on with trio gigs. And on jazz gigs, where it’s like, what I couldn’t have orchestrated that, like the listening and the, and the, the textural feeling that’s going on between musicians is like, unbelievable, we always go last to the trade winds, you know, somebody pushed off, you know, where we recording that, you know, and of course, you know, you might be like a wallpaper gig at some event at a wedding or something like that, what you’re having just so much fun in that exchange, it’s like, Who cares? If you’re playing a cocktail reception, we’re swinging man,
David Ralph [34:46]
you can’t get lost, if you don’t know where you’re going to Kenya that I think that’s the key thing. My wife always says to me, ah, you’ve lost your keys again, like I haven’t lost him. I just don’t know where they are. And she says, Well, that’s lost. And like, I know it’s not there. So where there’s somewhere waiting for me to find my just don’t know where they are. And I find that in life as well. I can never be lost, because I’m happy with not knowing where I’m going to. And, you know, a lot of people say, you gotta focus, you’ve got to focus. And I do believe that I do believe that. If you just do one thing, and you constantly do it, and you get better and better and better at it, then, you know, you stand a chance of success. You can’t just be pivoting over time. But you can’t really have to know where you’re ending up. You know, I would hate to know, in three years time, what I am heading for Really? Yeah, cool. It would be nice. I’m a, you know, I’ve taken over from David Letterman or something that would be very nice. He’s retired, there’s a, there’s a spice. But away from the show, I don’t really want to know because the magic’s taken away. Somehow the effort is about the discovery as we keep coming back to is the surprise, isn’t it? The creative task, amplifies because of the surprise.
Ed Roman [36:01]
What if totally, and I think for some people to it’s fear, the fear of not knowing Krishnamurti and his one of his books, he was saying literally, if you came to the edge of the jungle, and and you know, you could tell somebody, there’s a lion lying in wait, what would you want to know? And invariably, most people will say yes, because they want to be able to protect themselves. Yeah, these little mechanisms of what those things are sometimes stop people from doing the most basic things. And and I don’t want to feel that way. Jamaica gave me that experience in that regard. So many people said, Don’t leave the resort. Don’t do this without anybody done it. I don’t know. Don’t go to Kingston don’t. I did it all. I in a very short period of time, my wife and I, we weren’t even on the resort. We were hanging out with people from gardening musician, people, all farmers, all the people that were connected to the resort working their butt lived on the outskirts, we never went back to a resort again. every other time we’ve gone back to every time excuse me, we’ve stayed in a little cabin out towards Oracle Bessemer. But it’s given me that sense of like, Look, I’m not Yes, that may be a statistic. I don’t want to be a statistic. I don’t want anybody else to be a statistic. But the reality of it is, I can’t be living my life and fear. Fortunately for me, I have the security blanket of an acoustic guitar, some good to make some friends that understand the situations and locations. But I started to realize that Wait a minute, look, all it comes down to is respect, treating people the way you would want to be treated, understanding your location, and everything will be fine. And pay attention. That’s the other thing. I guess, in a weird way. Like I said, with the farming experience, I have a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to certain things that are occurring. I’ve stopped people from falling down staircases because they weren’t paying attention and push people out of the way when they’ve almost been hit by cars and all those kinds of things. And in a way, you know, for me, I know they’re there in me, but they’re also the same mechanisms that make me afraid. And when I let those things go, I become a new person. And other people are attracted to what that is, and what I mean by a new person. It’s like still Ed, but I’m not going to be like looking around like going with standing there with my hands over my pockets guarding my wallet. I mean, that’s just like, you may as well go shake a beehive. If you’re just attracting that negative side of what any potential in those situation has. If you carry yourself and walk around, talk to people look at them in the eye. I mean, I’m at coronation market, the biggest market in all of Jamaica, people selling their wares everywhere sleeping on tables pushing around carts. After we buy a bunch of vegetables and fruit. I’m walking outside and the edge of the street, what do I see a Humvee with a 50 caliber machine gun and six gentleman over in Flak Jacket. It’s in helmets, all pointed and building, waiting for something to happen. I mean, anything could happen at any given moment in time. But I felt more alive and more connected to my live experience as a person there. And then even more. So when I come back to North America, I feel differently about when I go somewhere and how I feel and what I’m not worried about as much and what I am paying attention to. So and then I had realized that first couple of times, we went back to the resort, we’d be standing around this little night bar at the at the beach and telling our stories, and there be the 1620 different couples sitting around quietly listening to us tell our stories. And they’re like, wait a minute, what did we do, we were like here, and we didn’t go anywhere. And we were on a boat. But these guys sound like they had like the James Bond experience and the island, you know, we took that it to heart in a way that it changed me in a way that you know, like I said, not changed me but reinvigorated my my my feeling for like anything has potential.
David Ralph [40:07]
Now what we’re saying here, listeners, obviously, it’s talking about going to Jamaica and foreign countries, but you don’t have to you can, you can have these adventures in your own life, you can literally have many adventures in your own town, there are places that you will never been, there are streets, you’ve never walked down. There are people that you’ve never had conversations with. It’s just making yourself aware that it’s a change of your routine. It’s making yourself aware, but you have to start doing things differently. me my wife, we we both had a few health problems this year. And so one of the things we had to do is get a bit fit. And we’re not unfit, we look fit, but we’re just not fit. And so we started walking, and we’ve been walking the streets of our town, and just normal streets, but you see stuff you’ve never seen before. And it’s it’s like a mini adventure. And I come back invigorated because I’m actually kind of living a life. I’m not letting it pass by I’m walking the streets. One of the best things I ever did. I lived in New York for about seven weeks. And I had to go over there for work. And it’s if you ever go to anywhere for work, and you’re on your own, it’s all like during the week, because you’ve got work colleagues, but at the weekend, they all go off to their families. And you’re just left on your own until Monday starts You’re so desperate to sort have connections with people. And so the first weekend I thought to myself, What do I do? Okay, I do the tourist attractions. And after a while you get fed up with tourists. So I started just walking, just walking. And then I started sitting and watching. And I used to look forward to my weekends being on my own. Because it was a way of me engaging with people. I remember talking to this dis dis tramp basically on a bench. And when he sat next to me, oh my god, I’m going to get mugged. And then we had this really deep conversation about Afghanistan, Pakistan, he was more knowledgeable when I was I saw him made it up. But you couldn’t get that you could not get that unless I was willing to go with the flow become a tweak on the meat mighty stream of life and flow yourself to where it sort of pushes you into a little little account Cove where the currents not dragging you off, savor that little bit and then push yourself off into the stream again, big rant yet, what’s your thing?
Ed Roman [42:25]
No, I completely agree because it’s all of those little things out of the mainstream. And and for you. I mean, I can understand that too. It’s decompression time to if you’ve had a busy week, and you are away from your family, sometimes it’s nice to be in those spaces. Like I love my time away from social media when I’m out in my garden, and I’m working. Because again, it releases me from the umbilical cord. I can feel human again. And even the times I’ve been traveling in New York and Philly and all tons of places across the United States. Like you just said, that little alleyway conversation or out in front with somebody that you know, you just would never have normally have met had you not been walking around. And trust me at the end of the gig. New York City is still alive and everything but there’s not a lot open. I’m wandering around the streets saying the people you know, and just having conversations I do the same thing. When I’m in the islands. It’s the same thing. I have this new, Hey, wait a minute, I if
Steve Jobs [43:27]
I if I hadn’t taken that time
Ed Roman [43:30]
to go and put myself in order to ask the question six people sitting on a log Hi. Pretty girl from Jamaica. You know, would you like to hear a song? What kind of song would you like to hear happy? You’re sad, you know, all of a sudden, she’s listening. But I’ve got five other listeners. And then they’re all giggling and laughing when I’m done and we’re having a good time and I’m pushing myself because, you know, I’m like, Well, I don’t know how she’s gonna read, active. All of that stuff is the heightened moment of life that pushes me again, I mean, I could say the same thing about camping in Cancun Park and you know, being confronted by a black bear you know, I’m I’m, I’m part of the food chain again, I’d feel more alive than ever. I’m running with a bayonet and my and blowing a canoe whistle because I might die. All of those things. I now look back at some of the most fondest moments in my life.
David Ralph [44:26]
And it’s funny whenever you say something that like that Ed, that basically has put you to the edge I want to break out laughing It’s it’s lunacy that these are kind of experiences that we’re not all having now i’d never come in contact with a bear. God forbid we don’t have those in the United Kingdom. But the fact that you have put yourself in that position, it seems lunacy is like Why the hell is he having to confront a bear? But I can imagine that that the pulses are going of the Bloods pumping through the adrenaline’s going, that’s gonna be a rush and a half in there.
Ed Roman [44:59]
Well, it is. And I mean, the reality of it is it’s two in the morning, our dog starts to go crazy. She’s barking, I realized my wife has left some cosmetics in the tent, the bears smelted I unzip the little fly, I see this immense head the size of the Goodyear Tire, that’s tongue lapping the air because it can sense some kind of food. I’m like, okay, there’s only a thin bit of nylon between us and this multi pound creature and anything could go my wife’s trying to keep the dog calm. What do you do I get out of the tent start blowing this canoe was he supposed to make yourself as large as you possibly can make as much noise as you can. I’ve got my grandfather’s first world war band that they gave me. I’m running in the dark on the Canadian shield and all of this multi granite, cedar like esque environment, chasing a bear away. And the next morning, I realized as I get to the edge of this cliff line, that I was so close to falling down this immense crevasse that, that probably would have done more damage to me than the bear. And and, and that, you know, the whole experience looking back is like something from a film people would write about this. It would be something that you would pay, you know, your $9 for and get your popcorn and away you go. I mean, it’s like something like the great outdoors with john candy. Yeah. And hilarious, but at the same time, on the edge. I’ve been there a number of times with certain even as kids I mean, you know, when you’re teenagers, and young and reckless, and you think like you’re invincible. We did some crazy things.
David Ralph [46:40]
I love the fact that this bear was a cross dressing bear that was only after makeup. That seems bizarre to me that
Ed Roman [46:50]
cosmetics because she has the Burt’s Bees product. It’s got it’s full of like honey and beeswax. And she had it in a little late ladies thing cosmetic things so that she could go down to the edge of the lake and do whatever she needs to do in the morning. It’s like we don’t do this, we’d spent time hanging food in a big bag between two trees on a rope. So it was next to impossible for anything to get at it. But lo and behold, they found it
David Ralph [47:21]
out for sexy time. That’s all it was. It was starting itself up it was going to go off into the woods, find a little bit of bear love, and you ruined it. You ruined it by blowing your bloody whistle me,
Ed Roman [47:33]
honey, honey, honey, come on, please, Honey, please stop honey.
David Ralph [47:39]
Right? Well, what we’re going to do now we’re going to play the words of Steve Jobs we’d love to play bees around about this time every day. Here is again Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [47:46]
course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them look backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [48:22]
When you look back over your life, Ed Roman, as I asked majority of my guests, do you have a big dot but you look back on and go Yeah, I think that really was a good indicator of where I’m heading now.
Ed Roman [48:36]
The the recognition of people much older than me, not just in my family. But you know, the older peer groups, as well as teachers that saw something in me in a way that it wasn’t like it’s doing something wrong, right and spelling mistakes at those crucial moments and putting in positions of authority, if you will add come up and sing this for the class add you’re the lead in the play. You got the role. Those kinds of things for me made me realize that’s a dot definitely a big big dot point. And that in even before that, to tell you the truth David those five to seven year old experiences standing on a small child’s chair, seeing into a broken lamp into an old farmhouse in Markham, Ontario, where everybody would stop talking. And just listen, they would just hear what I was singing. And that attention, not just because I was the youngest, but I realized the potential of of what this was that that was a was the dot boom big.so. Sir,
David Ralph [49:56]
this is the partner we’ve been building up to this is the true journey in the creative process. We call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger Ed Roman, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fade, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the Mic.
Unknown Speaker [50:23]
Here we go with
Unknown Speaker [50:27]
Ed Roman [50:42]
Hey, how’s it going? Well, you know, here I am standing looking back. And I have to say a couple of things that are extremely important. One, you’re a wonderful young gentleman, no matter what anybody tells you, you maybe having a tough time hearing, you’re overweight, you’re stupid, you don’t know how to spell. None of that is irrelevant. You have a gift inside of you and you need to keep following it and following it heart. You are an excited young gentleman you are full of vigour and energy. And you have this almost like light bulb quality that can pull the right and the wrong people towards you. Choose your friends wisely. Believe in yourself in a way that is past the potential of what you actually think you have. In other words, the electricity that you have that that same positive outlook will get more like a big stick, but walk softly you’ll you’ll find you’ll you’ll you’ll get through things in a completely different way without having to push yourself or charge yourself or or over show yourself in some kind of a way. It’s it’s less is more boy less is more. you’re you’re you’re you’re on the right path, just keep believing in yourself.
David Ralph [52:21]
Hey, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you Sir
Ed Roman [52:27]
email@example.com on the World Wide Web social networking buttons are there Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, check me out on special ed Roman on YouTube, SoundCloud. My music is on Soundcloud vivo, and find my videos on vivo as well. The new album is out it can be ordered on iTunes. The physical copies can also be ordered through CD Baby. It’s also available on Amazon. And more recently, there’ll be some licensing and distribution through orchard and upcountry records, UK. So look for the new album, ready Omen because it’s out today.
David Ralph [53:02]
And look out for gospels of the bush whacker in another five years. Hey, go.
Ed Roman [53:07]
I love it. Look it Don’t say anything to add, you don’t want to end up in a song.
David Ralph [53:11]
I’ll take all my words and just throw them out there you can have a lot. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Ed Roman. Thank you so much David
Ed Roman [53:30]
pleasure. And thank you so kindly for having me.
David Ralph [53:35]
The beauty of not having your destination nailed down is a course you can never not get there. Now. What I mean by that is yes, you do need to be focused, you need to be looking at where you’re going. But if you don’t achieve that fine or go, then it’s okay. You’ve achieved something greater than you could possibly imagine. And that that last goal was constant be moving forward anyway, because your dreams just get bigger, your challenges get bigger and the things that you believe are possible will get bigger too. So don’t aim too far ahead. Just aim for something close by achieve it and then go to the next bit and just keep on moving on that journey. And that is how success is made. Thank you so much for listening to this show. Thank you so much for being there. Behind the scenes with you is we’ll see you again soon. Cheers. Bye bye.
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