Talking with NPR Theme Song Composer BJ Leiderman

Brian Smith here and welcome to the
dream path podcast where I try to get inside the heads of talented creatives
from all over the world my goal is to demystify and humanized the creative
process and make it accessible to everyone now let’s jump in born in
Norfolk Virginia in 1956 VJ Lederman is an American
composer and songwriter in college in the 1970s he wrote jingles on the side
and in 1979 he was asked to submit a demo to National Public Radio sitting in
a friend’s garage and banging on a cheap Croom our Orchestrator plugged into a
Teac 4-track reel-to-reel tape recorder he came up with the melody that public
radio listeners have been listening to for almost 40 years as NPR’s Morning
Edition theme song themes for weekend edition marketplace wait wait don’t tell
me and Car Talk soon followed Lederman
moved to New York City in the mid 80s where he built a successful jingle
career winning multiple awards including the Clio referred to as the Oscars of
marketing a Clio recognizes innovation and creative excellence in advertising
design and communication as judged by an international panel of advertising
professionals Time magazine describes the event as the world’s most
recognizable international advertising award ceremony
partnering with creative director and art director Howard Hoffmann Lederman
has worked as a copywriter for clients including Nickelodeon Tyco toys and
Cartoon Network at Basel advertising and gray advertising in New York Lederman
lives in Asheville North Carolina where he produced his debut album BJ in 2017
featuring the Randall Bramblett band and bela Fleck this wide-ranging interview
takes place in two locations we start on a hike in the woods surrounding
Asheville North Carolina where we talk about meditation and his battle with
Lyme disease which has affected his memory making it difficult to learn and
play new music we finished the interview at a grand
piano where BJ plays some of his most memorable musical compositions reflects
on his musical career and shares advice for folks who want to make a career in
the arts so please enjoy this talk with BJ Lederman this this is the beautiful
know what I call this the high school kids when they practice their running
the track they go through here this cross-country running this way the the
guy who owns all this and when I say owns all this
he owns as far as the eye could see this side of the road and the other and he
parceled out some land for his kids up there with some houses but this he likes
to keep when it comes out here with his tractor and he beautifies it and makes
all nice and smooth for the and he lets people come and bring their dogs and
it’s great the dogs run like hell that’s a nice story about them running off this
is great un and oft so is that from Forrest Gump or was its from brother
where art thou oh brother we’re out there yeah I knew that there was a
reference there somewhere so we’re here for our listeners we’re in Asheville
North Carolina with BJ Lederman and we’re walking through some lush green pasture of some kind is trees all over
there’s Hills surrounding us that are packed with beautiful green what kind of
trees are those BJ you know those are Trias foliages okay those are those
trees are called shade shade trees okay I like it anyway we’re walking with BJ
and this is a different approach to podcasting that I have never tried which
is interviewing out in nature and dealing with the sound of the wind and
the various challenges audio challenges were going to face but I think the
payoff will be that we’re actually doing something pretty unique out here and
getting something we wouldn’t normally get in a studio yeah we’re seeing some
wild flowers so glad you let the wild flowers pop back up yeah from purple and
white yellow wild flowers and butterflies it’s supposed to be about 85
degrees today it feels 95 on my balding head so we’re
almost into the shade where there will be no end and everything will be
hunky-dory how you doing hope you’re paying her well she’s an
intern so it’s volunteer at this pound do you meditate I have a meditation app
and that’s about as far as I’ve gone I’ve tried did the very process of
installing that app could you feel something cutting into place yeah well
I’ve actually tried meditating with the app and it is extremely difficult for me
to even try a minute to two minutes mm-hmm which probably is a sign that I
need to meditate more and I think there’s an easier way to approach it and
I’m saying that because I found it and if I found it anybody can find it
yeah so I find it’s see up there tippy-top on the other side of that
mountain is Billy Graham’s home and and it’s called the coves where he is uh
well university of sources and supposedly up there at the top there’s
the platform where he used to come and you can see Asheville the downtown
Nashville from there Wow he used to come and practice his sermons
that’s how it goes that’s how the story goes okay folks get ready for some lush
life coolness and beauty and solitude oh yeah this is gorgeous so we’re walking
into a shaded area on a trail and the Sun is peeking through the trees here
and there but the temperature is probably a good 10 degrees cooler in
this shaded area so you walk very slowly very deliberately being aware when you
pull your foot off of the earth when you set that foot down again no special type
of breathing just your normal breath in and out as is comfortable for you and
every now and then you find a shady place to stop and just stare off in the
distance breathing through your nose you’re not thinking about a thing you’re
not really worried about anything because you know if you let go for these
few minutes it’s not gonna be a deal breaker of any kind there may be a distracting sound now and
then but you acknowledge it hey there hot rod and then you can let it go and
the sounds of the forest come back that’s how I do it anyway wait yeah
that’s that is a something that I don’t think many people take the time to do
which is just to be still and a lot of people have access to a place where they
can be where there is sufficient quiet where they can be quiet and still and
people even in cities have access to little nooks and crannies of gardens of
forest you know growth yeah that automatically sets the scene for for a
real you know for solitude and a real meditative experience unless of course
you meet mister bear up here which I did yesterday there’s bear up you’re at the
at the house oh yeah yeah you live on one of these mountain sides and you know
they were here first so uh-huh they mostly come out when people are skitzy
with their garbage and the Bears come early in the morning to drag your
garbage into the woods but Maisie chased this bear the hell off the property
yesterday well then I followed I made sure that bear wasn’t gonna come back so
right now walking here yeah yeah walking here gone now cause and that basically
gives them an idea of where to trouble this yeah
and we’re not to be yeah I’m not taking you on a long thing
do not worry I’m just gonna find a coolest part in here and we will just
maybe sit down can never get too far away from an internal combustion engine
though yeah it’s difficult to we’re near the airport yeah don’t do the we’re near
the approach for the airport so is that bear spray in your pocket you didn’t
tell me you were carrying you don’t need a permit for it you know is that bear
scat nope maybe deer so you know I have Lyme disease
oh I didn’t know that we start there okay when you’re talking if you want to
drift into my cognate neurocognitive situation oh really oh my goodness yeah
I was in Shelter Island and also Lyme Connecticut before I went boarded a
plane at Kennedy Airport to go to Israel and this was in the 80s or 90s and I did
not know I had been bit because most people do not see this dear ticket
smaller than the period you know pencil makes a period at the end of a sentence
and two days into Israel about 500 of us and we were eating dinner at a Bedouin
camp and I fell out I just fell down and it was like the worst flu I’d ever had
all of a sudden and the last thing you know they would think of in Israel is
Lyme disease they don’t know anything about anything about that I don’t think
and I’d eaten the same thing everybody else had eaten no one else was getting
sick so we ruled that out when was this in the 90s okay and I got better put me
in hotels well everybody else continued to have fun and I came home kissed the
ground and not much went on for a few years and then I started noticing that
it was harder and harder for me to figure out things like how to put my
recording studio together how to patch the MIDI cables or keep up with the
latest change in the software which was happening at a more rapid clip all the
time and and one day lo and behold thanks to the internet I was surfing
around I saw a picture of a guy with both eye rash on the side of his body
and I said you know I had that I looked in the mirror it’s if you don’t see it
you may not get it because it’s not raised it doesn’t itch it’s just like a
wine stain type of rash so I got treated intravenous IV and but it was too many
years after the bite yeah so this critter took its toll and so you’ve been
you’ve been suffering from symptoms ever since yes that’s where it started it’s a
bit too hot it’s getting more part of the day it’s getting warm yeah yeah that
was the start and so what we’re up to now is moderate cognitive impairment
moderate cognitive impairment and for me the stuffs all located in in the frontal
lobe working memory executive function guess what that’s how we communicate
talking to each other and the tests show that I am really
suckee on my auditory learning hmm so things go in and my brain does not know
where to store the info so it basically purges so you’ve had neuro
neuropsychological testing then yes I have and truth be told the fact that I’m
still you know on the outside there’s a testament to the strength and the the
health of my mental health yeah he said with a snicker and a smile so it’s a
couple years ago I said you know what oh I put an album out there you go
BJ yes okay full of hippy pop songs and a few serious songs and shortly after
that I realized you know it is so hard to learn new songs and it’s hard to
sometimes I find myself in the middle of a song I don’t know where I am
even if there’s a lyric sheet in front of me so I pull myself out of the biz
two years ago and basically have been concentrating on healing my my body and
my heart and my soul and lately though I’ve been on my own trying to figure out
a new way to learn songs and the trick is learn them in very small increments
short bits yeah and stringing the bits together it kind of comes naturally you
know when you had an album one song would end you sort of could hear in your
mind’s eye with the next phone at the beginning of the next song that happens
the same thing this way yeah so you’re breaking it you’re just breaking it yeah
shuffles itself back together rather easily once I start playing it the other
part which horrified me is that my processor my brain
was not telling me if I’m singing on pitch correctly huh I couldn’t quite
tell anymore so there are a couple workarounds for that too you know in-ear
monitors and God helped me if I have to buy one of these but I will if I need to
automatic real-time pitch corrector because I don’t want to scare the kids so there may be some future you know
live performances in the offing for obj here yeah well your your voice sounded
great on the album Thank You British producer was Eric Seraphin known
as mixer man fabulous producer worked me to death got the best possible
performances out of me and the band backup band was great – they’re the the
Randall Bramblett band out of Watkinsville area Georgia and there was
a joy but hard work and scary for me I mean this is my first album my only
album mmm-hmm I gonna do I have a certain public radio amage to keep up
huh so the album was put out in 2017 did you record it all in 2017 I think we
record it in 2016 okay I don’t know here’s the thing you
must know to other people for dates and times okay I did not have that shuffled
in the deck well so how did it how did it come together I mean you played with
some bela Fleck I mean actually Bela was interesting my good friend and she was
assisting me at the time Barbie angel yes Barbie angel she told me to come to
the leaf festival the lake Eden Art Festival which is a twice yearly
wonderful huge gathering in the Black Mountain area and she said come
backstage after bail is set I want to introduce you so she did
and he sort of knew who I was so I asked him there I said I have these pre-made
very short snippets of instrumentals that I would love for you to consider
playing on and he chose three and he invited me to his Nashville studio let
me produce him and those are three of my favorite cuts on the whole album oh
they’re great they’re great it’s kind of joyous yeah I mean Bella’s is just such
a great presence on an on an album like that because you know it’s him I mean
it’s just singular unique and you have a style like that it’s hard to hide yeah
and but he you know he really plays the banjo like no one else and and actually
turns it into almost like an electric guitar in some ways but yeah that’s
that’s awesome so I was fortunate to be able to do
things like that fortunate to have Randall Bramblett and his band you know
just such a solid rhythm section deal going on there
yeah and so I was happy with it you know it’s done
can we talk more about that yeah we went from there hi there good to be indoors
CJ Lederman thank you for for being on the podcast you’re welcome thank you and
thank you for the hike earlier and I’m still cooling off from yeah I think we
lost part of our you know Archie yeah over there in the woods but we’re
listening to you you’re sitting at a grand piano or a baby grand it’s
actually a hybrid notes I wrote of strings oh okay it’s got the digital
yeah it’s a Yamaha keyboard a real Yamaha grand piano keyboard with hammers
under there and they’re hitting triggers right and this is a multi sampled on how
to explain it to you but they’re 16 channels of discrete sound in here so
when I play this note up here the microphone that recorded that high G in
the studio was also there were four other mics and excuse me three other
mics and three other places pointed the piano yeah those mics are getting
the sound from that g2 and playing it back through the specific speakers that
they’ve recorded on oh you know the same spot so they’re getting harmonics and
delay and so it’s the closest thing to tricking the mind into thinking you’re
listening to a real piano yeah that I’ve heard it sounds wonderful we’ve heard
you play a couple of songs just kind of riffing but you know I was wondering if
you could give us now that we’re officially fully miked maybe a sampling
you not to go through all of the songs individually but just a sampling of your
theme music for NPR that probably most of our listeners haven’t blazoned into
their musical psyches from over the last forty years I will make a good-faith
attempt okay to do that no I guess I can’t take do do this glasses that’s better
they fall and it came off the rails there because
that right there is an example of what’s happening to my memory huh I couldn’t
figure out what was next so I had to jump off in that horrible ah yeah
I’m sorry BJ Thanks now I can pick up but I won’t well we’ll just end the
career there how’s that yeah no that’s I think you that’s a great sampling of
some of the music that has just become you know iconic in news radio and you
know all the people all the fans of NPR we’re listening to that it’s just gonna
bring back a flood of memories over the over the decades of listening to Car
Talk and Morning Edition and weekend edition marketplace so can you tell us
the the origin story of the NPR theme is it can how how you got into that sphere
of course I can thinking about making something up
instead it was right place right time yeah it was 1977 NPR was cooking up a
new morning news show they were kind of in trouble with a pilot that they sent
out to the affiliates the member stations
I think the member station didn’t like it so much and so they had to you know
restructure everything very quickly and they brought people from inside NPR over
to be producer and I had given my cassette tape of jingles my jingle demo
cassette to my good friend walk friends skip and Jerry peasy skip worked in the
engineering department in NPR Jerry was the PA and did other things other
stories with them and a skip tells me one day he went to
his mailbox down there and there was a little piece of papers from the desk of
Jim Russell who was the new producer of morning edition say skip had chip in my
jingle demo – Jim because they needed to retool this show they had a deadline had
an airdate and the piece of paper said get me BJ Lederman underlined
exclamation point so I had a meeting with Jim they told me what they wanted
to do they told me what the morning was gonna be like and yes we do have dogs if
he the pantene in the Paris not me not BJ it’s the dog – to North Carolina dogs
who just came in from from outside in the heat and so on so I went away during
spring break and did this little four-track demo on a cheesy keyboard
called the Kumar Orchestrator French horn bass string sound you know this is
before real synthesizer so this thing sounded like hell and and he loved it
and a little while how many months whatever before the show was set to go
on the air he left to start his own consulting actually he started up
marketplace he produced marketplace at first and he handed the tape over to the
new producer Jake earnest and with the instructions that when you go into your
first you know production meeting or creative meeting and they say what are
we gonna do about a theme you raise your hand and give them this so you got to
think about that moment for a second if Jim Russell didn’t believe in in that
demo you know it’s it’s Heather that melody was right there with it and did
not hand it off to Jeff Jade you know introduced it to the board or whatever
and they didn’t like a number of lucky happenstance has happened you know one
after another and they gave the green light at the project
to go into studio and do a number of you know different versions and timings and
called Jake Arnaz calls them buttons and labels ibly bells the thing that goes
round and round and round it just keeps going forever so the
engineer can fade it out nice and that was a beginning and shortly after that I
believe this weekend edition marketplace happened truly after that stump the
chump theme which I ruined but it was it was a little cartoony thing I love Sarah
for Car Talk that’s where clicking clack called somebody that they’d previously
given advice to to see how it went yeah great show and a lot of others
along with and shall never hear to four remain nameless Jim pew P ugh he is a
trombonist he is an arranger and NPR put us together for the second arrangement
package every few years they would bring us back into the studio to freshen up
the thing make it you know it sound more modern or whatever and and and fill it
in with different different cuts different packages different timings and
Jim pew and I started working together and this man let me just cut to the
chase you wouldn’t be sitting here interviewing me I don’t think if not for
Jim because what he does to my you know I present him with a simple computer
recorded demo a lot of different cuts and he he writes arranging his writing
and he turned my simple you know I had a good strong melody and all that but he
found the layers in there he’s the J he’s playing had been playing
for Steely Dan for the past decade or so he’s been with a Woody Herman band he’s
been I mean just look up his BIOS tremendous and so it’s another stroke of
luck that I got put together with Jim pew because my sound would would still
be you know a very innocent straightforward pop rock type of deal
and Jim just the music evolved like from you know fifty shades of gray to full
color swirls under Jim would you refer I mean how would you refer to him in terms
of a title would it be produced sir God okay he’s producer he’s a ranger
he’s conductor I mean the first time literally so green it was in New York
City in the famous RCA Edison recording studio and I was in the control room
eating sushi with with the execs and stuff and he was setting up the players
and I say who’s that over there he said that’s a Richard T on piano
O’Jays hello James yeah I said was that with the horn
that’s a Randy Brecker moron who’s this over here it stuck globe he plays with
Steely Dan I mean it’s just one after the other
these are people who plays with in and out day today on jingles and movie
soundtracks and schoolers and stuff like that so I had all that nice and the
Steely Dan folks talk about musicianship I mean the these are not just pop
musicians there are people that understand you know music probably more
intricately and intimately than than most musicians we had your living that’s okay
can’t do it so 77 the the demo tape makes its way to the right people in 78
78 inch by 78 now because the show aired November 79 and so good good timing good
music talent a lot of combination of a lot of
things and all of a sudden your theme music is being heard across the nation
at that time how old were you in the late 70s one twenty two twenty three
something like that so I would imagine that you didn’t have a very good grasp
of the business aspects of Hell now like any 22 year old this is what happened
they you know they sold it to him cheap and then J and Jim but Jim Russell Jake
earnest if I said we’re not giving too much money this thing could go on
forever why not give him a credit on-air credit every week it was a lot
more than that the day they stopped doing it anyway you know my name is none
because it’s a silly name if it was you know George Bannon no one would but it’s
BJ Lederman and this kind of weird innit and you hear that every day from a
number of shows you know so you see you sell the the music to them to the the
station and they it’s a one-time deal they didn’t you’re just like here you go
you can buy it for your message okay and then they can play it as much as they
want correct forever in association with that show they can for promotion
whatever okay and then at the time I imagine the sound of like a pretty
pretty good deal but did it did your perspective on a change over the years
I consider that first go-round you know I learned from it but I considered it a
necessary go to situation because it opened the door and didn’t have any idea
at that time how powerful and on-air audio credit is as time went on from the
70s you notice credits on TV shows and movies started flying by faster and
faster or smaller type and all this stuff hearing a name on the radio sticks
in people’s minds and that kind of did the trick
yeah so there I would have done that for free to get you know the the stipulation
of having an on-air credit at the time what kind of opportunities did that open
up for you as an artist having your name in the credits every
week and people he sort of become a household name mainly what happened was
especially when the internet evolved and I started getting emails from listeners
telling me and they use this pretty much this exact phrase it’s kind of corny but
I’ve come to love it because it warms me up your music is is the soundtrack of my
life or of my morning or whatever yeah and other opportunities you know the
strangest thing is about BJ Lederman you know you most other quote unquote
well composers or artists of Fame or of merit or whatever they’ve done a whole
lot of stuff there their lists you know their demo reel is deep with hundreds
and hundreds of things and thousands of awards and this that and the other although I’ve done my fair share of
jingle work which sort of you know the in the trenches training for all this I
think that because I have not I don’t have such an extensive body of work it
is mainly the NPR in public other public radio show some that have come and gone
I think it’s because I have stayed centered in that area of the universe
that I’ve taken a place of sort of a heavier you know place of more gravitas
if you will first of all because it’s NPR yeah you know there’s a lot of luck
involved that I landed with NPR and not some other you know shit-for-brains
organization that which shall remain nameless yeah I’m proud of my background
is broadcast journalism I studied under head bliss who is the father of
broadcast journalism at American University in DC
and I’m all about journalism which is why right now I’m pulling my hair out
when I see you know a lot of stuff that I see and reading here yeah that
purports to be professional journalism Evie do not throw up down here under my
piano I will dropkick your kitty cat ass go over there
good girl okay I’m only kidding she loves when I talk
to her like that so how did you get to the point where you were writing jingles
you know you’re you’re in your 20s writing jingles and that that’s a I mean
that is a job that I don’t know how you make your way into that space so tell us
you have a creek you have a crazy mother who’s in the arts he’s got a crazy
friend who wants to sing and mom finds a business friend of hers had a nautilus
health spas I had the Nautilus weight machine you know that had the round it
looked like a Nautilus she said BJ can you write a jingle for this health spa
thing and then I’ll pay for you to go into a recording studio and let my
friends sing on it and that’s what happened went into alpha candy-apple
which is in Richmond Virginia it was run by partners Robin Thompson of blessed
memory co-author of sweet Virginia breeze the now official
pop theme song of Virginia Beach and it was eight tracks back then and had a
drum set set up had a synthesizer had a piano I just went back and forth like a
kid in a candy store and then barbara heidelberg came up and sang of blessed
memory and I good good be good to your body take care of your body mmm your body and
Nautilus will be good to you you can tell the day Fitness is for everyone the
time is now it would be I mean it’s just some awful awful hideous tringle and I
had that on cassette and I was able to walk that into some local ad agencies in
Norfolk and Virginia Beach and we went from there so did that it sounds like
you you sort of fell into jingle writing in a way you weren’t seeking it out it
kind of something I don’t remember whether I was seeking it or fell into it
but that certainly opened a door yeah and I kind of liked it there because
it’s a hell of a demanding art form because you got a squeeze never mind all
the the copy or the the lyrics that the client wants to fit in to a 30 second or
60 second space you can’t shut me up about the horror show that that was but
to come up with a concept you know I later went on to work at ad agencies as
a copywriter in concept with a Howard Hoffmann art director they would pair up
a copywriter in an artery so the creative challenge of coming up with a
clear concise meaningful powerful moving and not for nothing effective concept
most people are going with a concept they still do that now because yeah you
can make a piece of music sound beautiful you can correct pitch for
singing and for instruments you can make everything snap and but if it’s based on
a concept that’s weak or out of focus it’s not going to work so I loved being
able to just start with the you know blank sheet of paper and just be told
this is your audience this is the store this is the product this is what we want
to accomplish and I could do pretty much anything I wanted from that I would
imagine and as as means in myself sometimes the the the most
daunting part of writing for me is when there are no rules or constraints it’s
like you don’t even know where to start but if you start with the concept of
this has to be 15 seconds or 30 seconds so you automatically have the parameter
the time parameter and then you know you have the customer the client who has a
message a very clear message that you want to get across I’d imagine that
that’s a nice luxury to have as an artist to you know to give you the sort
of the playbook that you have to follow I’d like you both ways because
invariably I found myself as has a lot of creatives excuse me a lot of
creatives in the ad industry inevitably find themselves doing from time to time
we find ourselves telling the client or trying to gently insinuating to the
client what they need as opposed to what they’re telling us they want but this is
what I’ve this idea I have is a much more interesting it’s gonna keep people
listening to your stupid ad for 30 you know for the whole 30 seconds and it’s
they’re gonna remember it more they’re gonna act on it because the first thing
we’re asking people to sit there through 30 seconds or a minute
whether it’s TV or radio or internet or whatever we’re asking that much of their
time you had better damn entertain me you know he had best come up with
something that makes it worth my while to sit here and most of them don’t so so
when you were growing up in Virginia what were your your musical influences I
and I’m saying this as you’re wearing a shirt Beatles Beatles so you’ve got an
abbey is that an Abbey Road shirt yeah this is the Abbey Road version you know
and yeah you’re George gave it to me if I didn’t say that I’d be wrong and
there’s a you know as a I’ve got a couple others I’ve got you
know Rubber Soul and I’ve got anyway it doesn’t matter everybody’s got George
Harrison Kiba 13 I’m kidding okay The Beatles uh I had a dear friend in
elementary school by the name of David lively and he had he was a drummer and a
keyboard pianist we both had pianos my parents were sending us to basically the
same piano teacher in the neighborhood and we started up a little rock band in
sixth grade it was called the lively sound dimension his name being David
lively lively sound dimension very trippy colors for the kick drum logo
nasty and yes you know once we would learn these songs when they came out
note for note and when you when you do that you take the time to really listen
deeply with the Beatles as they especially as they evolved you get a
great education in harmony melody songwriting everything keeping things
interesting so I read somewhere that you dropped out
of piano lessons pretty early within a year and that you don’t read music to
this day that is correct I I can follow a score I can play a
piano piece looking at sheet music based on the guitar tablature over the top of
the staff because it gives you the chord yeah you know and I don’t play flowery
anyway I’m just you know Ringo of the piano I just grew
I just drum you know it’s a percussion instrument after all piano yeah
the way you play it for sure is it percussionist surprised no as I
destroyed my it’s powerful but you you clearly no chord structure and
progression and just a few of them I don’t know I don’t know all that you
know demolish diminished whatever yeah I don’t know maybe I play them but I don’t
know that that’s what they are yeah so I play by ear and it served me well you
know I perhaps could have done some other things filled in some other niches
if I played uh if I read music but so the the music that I gravitated toward
after the Beatles tended to be good songwriting and because the Beatles
turned me on to what could be done in the studio I also became interested in
in work where the studio was actually an active you know instrument so to speak
in that creation of the music so I come away now so who do you like now well
that’s a whole other podcast and I don’t know if I’m going to be saying those
things okay but groups like crowded house and xdc XTC they’re not going
anymore because they one of them whose has such stage
fright that he can’t play live anymore but I remember ecstasy they came out
with a hit early on called making plans for Nigel Dyke two different bands to me
you know the the two different band syndrome the before and after you’ve got
say before the before and after Dark Side of the Moon mm-hmm when you’re
talking about Pink Floyd right it’s like a demarcation like something happens
uh-huh suddenly they’re writing terrific songs before it was you know a bunch of
groovy animals gathered in the cave a drooling with a pig all these noises
your head trip stuff and so XTC had their pre you know which was a lot of
punky stuff bordering on atonal I couldn’t really listen to much of it and
then Todd Rundgren stepped into the picture with them as producer on the
album skylarking and it’s a wonderful songwriters album but what came after
and what and I mean every album after skylarking was an amazingly solid
groundbreaking award-winning piece of work to me
yeah so your influences as a kid kind of matured into those so you like the pop
sound of Beatles and obviously they’re great songwriters no there’s not just
Beatles when I said you know we were also doing the Monkees we were doing
some stones help John I don’t know if you’re doing out in John back then it’s
a little early Elton came on in 70 yeah well you know lately I don’t think you have much
amazement you know that stuff that death came rolling down the pike so you in did
you end up going to university mm-hmm-hmm which one I went to start it
off at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg I majored in yellow aren’t just the
orange sunshine and and yellow microdot I think is what my major minor were okay
in that order so I miss the sixties rightness of 73 73 beautiful color you
know sandcastle can’t sandcastle buildings at night with colored
floodlights thrown on there and I have to take LSD what’s wrong with me
hey so I felt guilty about wasting my parents money because soon the computer
was spitting out report cards for me that set had a note on the bottom
warning danger C course advisor or immediately GPA under 2.0 2.0 is pretty
good didn’t it that’s so so college wasn’t working out because of
extracurricular activities and the college wasn’t working out because I was
a dumbass that thought I could go to a liberal arts school and major in
political science Beavis because they did not have any media stuff yet the
year I left they broke ground on a huge multimedia complex so I went to back to
Virginia Beach and I went to hold Dominion University you’re making me
remember this stuff where I majored in biology you just saw I wouldn’t be a
dropout I said yeah mom and dad I’ll come back and go to school here and I
found myself staring into a pan of you know a frog pinned to wax
like I had done in high school dissecting a frog five our lab a week I
thought I’d lost my mind and my father hooked me up through a friend with a
summer job at the CBS television affiliate WT AR as the cameraman and
that’s when things got fun kind of lights went on on broadcast journalism
at that point it was fun yeah and then I got accepted to American University when
they were you know riding in the streets and protesting the war and burning our
OTC buildings down I thought this looks like fun
so I went there and that’s where I hooked up with all the MPR stuff and so
with the the NP the recognition that you were getting through the NPR broadcasts
and the music that that you wrote did you stay in the ad industry at that
point yes I did in fact I wrangled Jim pew into doing some jingles with me
actually somewhere in there ASCAP music theater workshop accepted an application
for me I’d written a rock opera called rock Carol Dickens rock and roll in the
recording studio setting Charles Dickinson’s rock opera yeah and so they
had this workshop where you would come to the ASCAP building two days two days
a week no one one day a week and you could play two of your songs on two
different nights for a varied panel of Broadway luminaires from Peter stone to
Patti LuPone to you know actors producers um one night my night was um
Oh Lord Stephen Sondheim oh my goodness because I just sit there on this little
rickety piano and play two of my shit-for-brains songs for statements
something and then of course at the end they would pick you up pick your stuff
apart and but I met my lyricist there Jim Morgan of blessed memory who said
you know I like this is great let’s start from scratch let’s do
musical theater piece instead of rock out for a family musical by the way I
have a friend who’s wants to sublet his apartment in Soho and I said you know
doors open and I flew through them I moved up to New York for a few years
we’re in New York where you live in well if he the first one was in Soho that was
corner of prince and 6th Avenue really nice juicy area to be anytime so that
was the 80s yeah I don’t know do you know search me I would have you know I
was born in 56 yeah this is what is this night 2019 yeah figured out somewheres
between there yeah and then I moved to UM 21st between 7th and 8th in Chelsea
so growing up in Virginia and then moving to New York was that a bit of a
culture shock or did you feel actually kind of more at home in that environment
a little culture shock um never drink a carbonated beverage when you’re having
an interview kids by the way good pointer end up belching through the
entire thing um I quickly it quickly started to jazz me it was neat because
the energy was so cool and she was so high but it’s that same energy that made
me want to leave you know everybody there is good yeah every everybody seems
to be carrying a film can under their arm or guitar or something you know that
a whole lot of them are really good better than you are good what are you
doing there yeah as as a musician and a composer and did you find that you were
able to tap into more creativity by being in a creative town like New York
as opposed to Virginia or somewhere else or did it matter I think the short
answer is yes but there’s an asterisk above it yes because I immediately got
connected with a click as it were of people who were in and out of the studio
the first thing I did when I moved to Chelsea was find a recording studio near
me and I just walked around and saw okay this is the secret sound at
28th Street took the elevator went up there and when the doors the elevator
opened into the lobby of this place I looked on the wall and there was a gold
record a forty five gold record of this song that I had adored in Virginia Beach
it was a song by a band called everything as everything Native
Americans and the song was a a genuine I think it was a Sioux peyote chant is
called Wichita and it had become a regional hit when I was a kid and so I
went to the owner I said was this recorded here he took me back to the
tape room the storage room and showed me the the I think it was like back then
three track tape they didn’t show me the box and I said I gotta I got a record so
I’m here what’s you know let’s talk about rates and then I found out that
this was Todd Rundgren studio before he went upstate New York to start
Bearsville how’s that for a little connection so so it sounds like the the
environment of in being in New York was inspiring in some way yeah are you yeah
I mean there were people in and out whether they were famous or not and
sometimes they were famous I remember sitting on the couch in that Lobby of
secret sound waiting for my time to go in and I couldn’t go in because Lou Reed
was in there running late and he bursts out the door screaming and yelling and
what he said was god dammit I wish I’d never heard the word simp T in my life
empty for those who are wondering SMPTE it’s the it’s the way that we used to
sync up to tape machines it was a tone a simpie tone really whatever sort of
sound like a modem tone and by playing that from one tape machine the other
tape machine would listen and the two would roll simultaneously and not drift
from each other so you could gang up to eight track of sixteen track machines
and but invariably there would always be dropouts when there was a dropout the
sink would be lost so what was it about that energy that
made you want to leave New York the quality of life okay no matter who you
are in New York no matter how much money you have why don’t you get out of your
penthouse Deeley you’re downstairs having to deal with the same traffic
potholes noise smells sounds that any other Schmo has to deal with just the
very going about your daily business you know buying groceries or bringing
laundry to a place I was tired of being a you know fire ant with a bunch of
stuff on my back yeah I didn’t really have the money to cab everyone if you
did there was no guarantee you’re gonna get to your place on time because
traffic is horrendous so it’s a light went off about my head I
said look you know goals are fine it hadn’t really occurred to me that I sort
of made a little made my mark sort of and public radio music history or
whatever that wasn’t happening to my head my head did not become big then it
was only later that my head got being and I said yeah I’m leaving going back
to Virginia Beach they thought I was crazy
my friends thought I was crazy and was it the right move do you think oh I
don’t know wait a minute yes of course it was I met Melissa on February 9th
without that I probably would not admit Melissa huh that’s your girlfriend yeah
well so you go back to Virginia Beach and what kind of what kind of work were
you doing there to stay busy and live jingles still I think also when the
Macintosh came out I remember in New York I saw an ad for it
you know poster in a store a cute little square thing with an with the word hello
written in cursive on a screen you know Alice I don’t know what that thing is
I’m gonna get one and sure enough there were only two programs
a word processing program and a graphic program comic paint black and white mind
you 128 K of memory mind you yeah disks floppy disks that you had to
interchange to copy from a file from one thing to another you constantly
switching disc a disc B disc eight this me was crazy but it was fun we started
the New York Mac users group we got some of the luminaires from Apple to come and
speak to us Andy Hertzfeld I believe who created HyperCard I mean I am carbon
dating my ass here alright when did you win the the award that an
international award for advertising Cleo Cleo yeah I don’t know so that I did a
little bit of research on the Cleo and it sounds like it’s it’s like basically
you know like a Peabody Award a frog it’s they call the Oscars for the Oscars
were advertising yeah so how did how did that happen how did you get in the
running for a Clio the ad agencies invariably every year take what they
think is their best work and enter it yeah I mean it’s all a you know pad
everybody on the back type of thing is I realize now but back then it felt good
to win one of these things there’s a local version you know the local and
regional versions called a DS and we were winning those all the time you know
that’s nice to be it’s nice to be recognized by your peers because they
know what it takes to do this stuff you know yeah if I’m into club you know at
the end of a night somebody who’s been drinking heavily comes up to me and said
man I really like good with a bad company you know and I know I didn’t
play one bad company song the whole night or if somebody comes up and you
know he tells me he plays guitar with disbander he’s an engineer and he
complements me in some specific way you know men that they’re so low on
you know Jessica and all my brothers middlee that was great and that was the
right tempo – okay he noticed two things they don’t sit down and drink beer with
this guy tonight so that there was we were talking about in honor hike earlier
you mentioned that you got bit by a tick a deer tick in the 90s and contracted
Lyme disease can you tell us how that has and I know you probably can’t
pinpoint particular symptoms relating to Lyme versus you know something else but
how you think that has changed your ability to play music to write music to
perform music it’s a slow motion hammer to the head that’s the way I describe
what happened to me there you know slow like you know what is that saying we
have some animal in a pot that’s set to boil frog you know it doesn’t know that
can’t jump out because the water’s getting hotter so slowly it doesn’t
realize it in before before it realizes what’s going on it’s boiling and so
that’s what this is flying I didn’t realize what was happening to me until
too late too late to get proper treatment soon enough to do much
difference so while it appears to my friends and to other people that not a
great deal of degradation has been going on in my head and my emotionality inside
me I can tell you it has it feels like you know part of my brain has been
scooped out ability to learn new things new songs even you know the old songs
are pretty much there for as a general rule but learning this has to do with
what they call working memory I’ve done my share of research on it and so
information comes in especially auditory learning I’m very severely hit an
auditory learning and that you know that involves
listening to people that’s how we communicate it’s talking so people talk
to me and if they’re talking to me too long too much you fit to verbal I have
to put up a stop sign there use my hands say stop or the information is going if
it goes in my head and just gets ejected and after that it just pummels me it’s
sort of abusive so I have a real I’ve got a really watch out about surrounding
myself with people who really like to talk it’s not their fault you know but I
have to protect myself from that and that has changed my life so it sounds
like then that you’re you still have the songs that you knew before they come
easier they come back easier put it that way but the newer music is just there’s
a great book about this which I think it’s about this and about how the
Internet is changing the way our brains work physiologically and otherwise and
it’s called the shallows and I’ll get you more information on this written
eight years ago so it contains some funky stuff like you know as mentioning
Amazon or Google he mentions Google and he says you know I’m not so sure this is
gonna last but then I had to shake my head and look then go back to the front
of the book and look see when this was published it was published in 2011
so in 2017 you put out an album called BJ which I have I ordered on Amazon are
you sure it was 17 and not 16 um I think it’s I think it’s at 2017 because that’s
only two years ago yeah Wow what do you know yeah and I didn’t put it on
streaming though you have some why didn’t you put it on streaming I don’t
know I was an idiot I figured you know the people buying this thing would
mostly be NPR listeners because that’s where we were concentrating our
promotion and I was on you know weekend edition with Scott Simon I was on a
bunch of other NPR and public radio shows I figure these guys still have CD
players they own the buy one so I’m still looking at the possibility of
doing an exclusive streaming debut with a Spotify or Apple
music so the album you play you play with bela Fleck on three of the songs on
that album actually let me get it straight he just plays to the tracks
that I’d already recorded years ago this album has songs that span from I wrote
20 years ago and some of them just a few years ago okay yeah so so bela Fleck how
did that happen how did that connection get made I don’t know how the bela came
into my mind – um there would be I didn’t know at what point I said hey
Bela would be good match for some of these instrumentals I have but he was
coming to Asheville to play at a festival called the leaf festival like
Eden Heart Festival and my assistant and good friend Barbie angel said that she
knew him I so can you introduce me while he’s here so she took me backstage after
Bella and Abigail finished their set and he greeted me warmly he seemed to know
who I was and I had this CD I prepared of the backing tracks for these little
ditties I said would you mind listening to these and seeing if there’s one that
you would like to play on if you would be heard do me that honor and so he took
him he said y’all listen to him and I don’t know when it was that got word he
said yeah I’ll pick these three can I do these three I said yeah great where do
we you said come to my studio in Nashville and I went there and he let me
produce him which was daunting at first and I the first 20 minutes half hour I’m
going what am i doing producing bela Fleck he was acting just like a book you
know a player but he it obviously it was obvious to me he had spent some time
with these tracks and you know did a little shedding and wrote some parts
because it was you know one take or to take stuff oh that’s great yeah yeah
what a contribution to the album – yep you know and also I’m very lucky and
proud to have fallen in with the roundel Bramlett band
they’re friends of mine now michael steele the bass player was played bass
in one of my bands and bands i was in in atlanta called the joe band and so they
came up to Asheville we recorded this at HECO mountain with Julian Dreyer on the
boards and mixer man Eric Seraphin producing and we got it done I don’t
know how I don’t remember hardly a bit of it so the album comes
out in 2017 and it’s not on streaming yet but it sounds like that might be a
possibility in the future for you nothing philosophically you are you’re
not against it philosophic oh hell yes all right no I’m not against streaming
as you know the new and the next and the necessary means of publication and
dissemination of digital information I’m really not what I’m miffed about a
number of things including the fact that they did not have and still don’t have a
royalty payment system that honors the writer correctly they don’t have that in
place yet the for the most part you know we’re talking about sound here and yes
I’m an audiophile I’m a producer I’m a writer I know what good sound sounds
like coming out of decent speakers and I’m decent headset and on the other end
of the spectrum I know what poorly compressed mp3s and Apple music files I
know what they sound like and what really tears me up is that I
know that most people don’t know the difference and don’t care because they
have not had the chance the the beautiful experience of putting on a
headset or sitting between two wonderful speakers and no I don’t mean those
speakers on the size of your computer folks or whatever and having an engineer
or whatever push play on a 24-bit basically the same sample rate the same
stuff that we hear when we mix it in studio he’d be blown away you
would cry he’d absolutely cry if you’ve been
listening on let’s say crappy earbuds or even halfway decent earbuds and you’re
listening to a streaming version from Spotify let’s say it’s been compressed
so greatly so the file size is so small so it can be delivered you know over 4G
or whatever so quickly that there is some severe damage done to the sound and
it’s you know I compared it to you’ll say you won’t you’re going to the the
Louvre or something you know and you want to see da Vinci or whatever and you
look and they’ve taken all the big paintings and they’ve squeezed them down
to you know maybe the size of a postcard and though they’re but at the same time
they took out the purples and some of the reds and the lines are kind of
blurry and you have to stand you know if you feed a way to see it why are they
doing this to music it just boggles my mind so I understand the the economics
of it I understand the necessity of some sort of compression scheme to make file
sizes small the good news is that there are a couple of services for audio files
I mean you pay more but you get the same file that we heard in the studio the one
I was talking about it didn’t kneel youngster Neil Young started it it
didn’t go anywhere I think was called pony or pump started with a P I know
that bonus something like that and he had the right idea but Neil I don’t know
yeah it’s tough because you’re you’re dealing with a culture that appreciates
just the convenience of having everything on a phone you know ten
thousand songs on a phone and there’s a another entire podcast a book or
something that I feel I feel like I’d like to conquer one day about the deal
we made with the devil when we accepted that iPhone and the
technology that came along with it because the first thing that happened it
was obvious to me was you know guys you don’t have the phone call down yet and
what I mean by that is the quality of the little did I know that the main user
today basically has killed the phone call you know well the young people who
use it would rarely use it for phone texting is the the mode now true and but
I said back then this phone call sounds like shit and that people go what do you
mean well do I am I pointed out to you it’s granular it sound you know packet
switching or whatever your your audio is your voice is digitized and cut up into
little bite-sized pieces and sent willy-nilly across the internet well
that’s VoIP I’m talking about but even cellular it is a crappy signal
there’s delay there’s latency you notice how you’re always going oh you know you
go first there you go on you go first do you
that’s a fillet we never had that with that phone on the kitchen mall because
that was what was called full duplex every home had a set of copper wires a
pair two copper wires leading from their house to the switching station when you
wanted to call your friend Phil Jones around the corner when you dialed your
number the computers switching station would physically take the end of your
two wires and route it electronically to Phil Jones the wires that went to Phil
Jones’s house so it was like you had your own wired walkie-talkie
and you could talk to each other at the same time you could I remember singing
to people with people on the other end and you could hear them all the time
that’s called full duplex it’s not this cutting in and out of you either hear
the person or you’re talking anyway it’s too much to explain I just explained it
didn’t I you did very well by the way the lesson here is that I think we have
allowed ourselves to let quality achieves less quality right
for the convenience of these devices yeah we’ve actually reduced the quality
of our our physical connection you know that the the actual connection that you
were just describing there hardly is one anymore because people are more
concerned with seeing where they can be where they can what they can do where
they can be and I’m holding you know my hand up as if I have a device in it
right now rather than being with the person in the
room that you are in right now they have reconstructed the priority of
what’s more important and to me I’m sorry but it’s always gonna be where I
am now physically and who I’m with now physically if a phone call comes in you
know I’m sorry but unless it’s a certain ringtone that tells me it’s someone with
an emergency I’m gonna let go I don’t look at the thing when every time it
beeps I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb and I go to it when I have the the
minutes little period of time where I want to check up on what’s going on if
you text me and do not expect to text back immediately because I’m training
you people well I appreciate it I need the help I think you’re doing much a lot
of people do and society does yeah and you know it’s one thing and it’s
certainly true that younger generations who are born with this technology we
can’t compare our trip to their trip but we can look at what’s happening to them
and suspect that there’s a probability that somewhere down the line as they
grow up they’re going to suffer from an inability to communicate deeply and with
any and to focus on any effing thing for any length of time yeah that they’ll
become aware of that and they’ll fix it because they’re gonna say I’ll be damned
if my kids we’re gonna have this happen to them yeah
so you have been working in a creative space for a long time since your your
teens and well since certainly since your 20s but was there a point where you
you had basically had to get a day job because the arts and music and jingle
writing just weren’t you just weren’t able to survive yeah I did have to
actually yeah work from time to time but I was lucky in that I I had a I became
good friends with Frank beech who was working for the you love this the C&P
telephone company kids that was the name for one of the telephone companies known
as the baby bells before the antitrust legislation broke up AT&T or whatever
and I was doing them audio-visual AV it was called multi projector slideshows oh
if you guys could see the you know the it’s like is if Fred Flintstone is
putting together you know some show that’s what we were doing the slides and
tape and physical slides yeah physical slides and it you know in a carousel
projector you may know your grandparents have one of these carousel projectors
little slides in them and we had you know 20 21 projectors all aimed at a
large screen three different screens that would meld into each other and then
invariably somewhere along the way the client would change something we had to
change the order of the slides you do know what that means
if you have to insert one slide you have to physically move all the slides back
into their slots so you did that it was it was trauma you did that for never
mind a bad LSD trips this was trauma but it but it sounds like then I mean if
that’s what you’re doing to get by so that you can continue making music but
it sounds like you’re still kind of in a creative and an audio-visual space yes
that’s what I’m saying I was lucky I was able to stay in the in that world you
know was there ever a point when you doubted
your trajectory in life and the decisions that you’d made and said this
is just too too difficult yes you know I’m not one of these people who come up
here and tell you that I knew exactly what I was doing every step of the way
and I had everything planned out because I am Superman no I didn’t have a clue
for most of it I let the forces of nature you know I
went with the flow when to door when a door open no matter how strange it
seemed or how different than what I was doing now if it seemed like it might
interest me I went through it and started doing this thing moved to that
city whatever yeah I adopted the philosophy that life
is ludicrous pretty early on I adopted a what is that called hmm the form of
drama anyway so why your bumper sticker kind of reflects that there’s everything
will be fine and then small letters there’s not really I’m just kidding
you’re just kidding yeah that’s what I’m talking about yeah you know we are a
bunch of you know we’re all the same poor schmuck just waking up every
morning trying to get through a day everybody even the CEOs of the most
gnarly beelzebub worshipping companies to the man on the street sleeping in the
box musicians movie stars whatever that’s
who we are and we’re not treating each other that
way so I’m surprised that I’ve been here this long I’m surprised that the country
has been here as it is this long I’m surprised the world has been here this
long what what advice would you have for a young person say they’re just about
ready to graduate from high school and they’re looking at the traditional
career path of college get the highest paying job you can get at
College or doing something more creative whether it’s um you know visual arts or
music or something like that what advice do you have for that young person
whether it’s a young person who actually knows what they want to do air quotes or
thinks they know excuse me or somebody who is floundering
and really doesn’t know and is scared because you know at the end of your
junior senior in high school that’s when you know everybody starts asking you
what are you gonna do when you grow up but do you want to go you know school is
it you know and you’re made to think you’re supposed to have the answer to
that right then and there you’re not so first of all slow down you don’t have to
have it all put together you don’t have to know what you’re going to do even all
through college so if you’re gonna go to college make use of it and what what I
would do is learn how to learn learn how to think in college because probably you
are not taught that in your public school system or your church or your
synagogue you were taught something totally different but you weren’t taught
how to use your own brain the brain your Creator gave you to make rational to
have rational thought and make rational decisions regarding your life or visa
vie strangers friends or other so get that done go to college and read read
your ass off find great novels that interest you find an author that
interests you you can go online and see if you like this guy you’ll love these
book you know if you start reading everything will change in your life
first of all everything will get better and then it’s very simple look around
you see all of the poor Schmucks who are going to jobs every day maybe more than
one to make ends meet that they absolutely hate they’re in an office or
cubicle or behind a counter of a fast-food but whatever it is
and they’re doing that for a third if not more of their lives for a little bit
of money maybe you on the other hand figure out what what if that thing is
that you love that you would do for free what’s your hobby what’s the thing that
really does it for you and once you answer that go out there and find a job
in it make them pay you for it you’ll find the job in most anything that
floats your boat it may not be in your hometown
I’d urge you to get out of your hometown – why is that well because there’s been
people who stay close to their home you know for their whole lives
don’t tend to um they don’t tend to gain much knowledge of the world out there
they think that their hometown is the shit is their world yeah
and so it depends your hometown could be a you know a cool fine upstanding loving
inclusive hometown in which case Mazel Tov to you or your hometown could be you
want to say it but you know what I mean could be the place where you learn how
to hate so get the hell out and what advice would you have for someone who
has already hopped on that career path of the job that they hate and there
they’ve been doing that for say 20 years and they want to do something different
and maybe maybe they want to continue with their job but they want to do
something creative in addition or maybe they want to quit and try something
creative you know as a career what advice would you have for them I would
say and it sounds corny in it I hated it when people used it with me but believe
in yourself dad used to tell me all the time
son you don’t believe in yourself enough he was right he was right and I didn’t
believe in myself until I realized hey dude your stuff is on NPR you know five
times a day all over the Armed Forces all over the world pretty much that did
a little to convince me you know that I was our eyes there’s I see something
yeah but believe in yourself and did the same
thing I tell to the kid fine what is that you have a novel your half-baked
novel in the drawer get it out dust it off find some time or apply for some
grants so you can quit work and work on it it’s not over till it’s over
and if you need to work wouldn’t be cooler doing working something you you
like you love that you want to wake up every morning you can’t wait to get to
that’s what I’m talking about so where can listeners find you with your website
and social media tell us where they can find you I’m about to dump my ass off of
social media because it’s it’s giving me cancer it’s get stressing me out so much
I think it’s stressing a lot of people oh yeah yeah when I see you know a New
York Times post you know not that article but the little blurb about their
post that they post describing the article and I see a typo in that I just
want to pull my hair okay and most people you know excuse me but the
internet generation they don’t care it’s not big deal punctuation went out the
door and that’s fine too I don’t want it you know I was never one to want to
bring keep the King’s English the you know the rules and stuff it down
youngsters throats they’ve got their own way of speaking and I guess this is
their way of writing please keep the period because we need to know where the
end of the sentence is so your website website is BJ Lederman calm which will
be handy because that’s where you’ll find my phone number probably or at
least an email address okay and that’s BJ Lederman at Mac as in McIntosh calm
I will not have Facebook or Twitter presents anymore I don’t think I’m gonna
try that out alright leave my neurons and synapses grow back well let me know
how that goes oh hi thank you check out that book the
shallows and in musically you know you live in Asheville is there a place that
you like to hang out where people might be able to run into you yeah they’re a
couple places someone is Whitehorse in Black Mountain a couple of towns over
okay and they were the people who gave me my first they welcomed me with open
arms when I first moved here the v-j there’s a staging just do anything you
want anytime that was nice also uh there’s a place called um block off
Biltmore which is the first vegan bar in Asheville I didn’t know there was a
vegan bar yes there’s ways to that liquor is filtered you know that uses
animal membranes or whatever will they don’t buy that liquor oh and it’s the
hotbed of all things interesting and progressive going on in town and then
there’s the Isis in West Asheville is is and it’s a great – used to be a movie
theater sounds wonderful in there sound man is killer and and Scotty
excuse me woody brings some great great bands in there so he’s just go in any of
those places and yell my name they’ll know where to find me anyway nice when I
come back to Asheville and I’m definitely coming back it’s a more time
next time have some fun there we’ll go hiking or something I absolutely will
have been fun BJ Lederman thank you so much for
talking with us thank you bye hey thank you for listening and I hope
you enjoyed today’s episode of the dream path podcast if so I have a favor to ask
can you go to your favorite podcast service and give me a rating and review
your feedback is what keeps this podcast going I appreciate your time and as
always go find your dream path