Perfect Sound Forever

Ed Ward tribute

Ward at SXSW; Photo by David C. Fox

Ina Wudtke
interviewed by Jason Gross
(June 2021)

PSF: How did you first meet Ed?

IW: Around 1997 in Berlin, I listened to a very nice weekly radio show called Blue Mondays. Some guy was moderating it with a bass voice and a very cool selection of blues, rhythm & blues and rock 'n roll and jazz. I remember in one show, he mentioned that it was his birthday and there was also a contact email for his radio show. So I decided to write him and ask if he would like to get invited for a beer and he agreed. That was the beginning of a decade of friendship with Ed were we would exchange CD's and talk about the latest releases and stuff. As I was a swing DJ at that time. I would also occasionally invite him to spin with me in bars around Berlin.

PSF: How would you describe him on a personal level?

IW: Ed was a character. He liked good food and was a cook book collector. He would also cook up hot sauces, made pesto, tacos and other wonderful stuff at his house. But he was also a bit of a nerd - it was impossible to enter his living room there were so many CD's on the walls and in a big block, using up all space of the floor :-)

PSF: Do you have a favorite piece of writing that he did?

IW: As I am not a English native speaker, I did not get to read a lot of Ed's articles. I just remember when he mentioned me in one of his New York Times articles as a Berlin artist. At that time, I wasn't aware that he was writing for major newspapers like that. I was quite impressed!

PSF: Ed had a lot of great stories about musicians he knew, interviewed and met- can you share any of those?

IW: At his radio show Blue Mondays, he would have authentic shout outs as jingles by a lot of famous musicians that he met. I always enjoyed this so much. I was shocked when I heard from him that when the German Jazz radio ended his show, this stupid Germans also deleted all these rare audio quotes he collected. That was a real bummer...

PSF: What went through your head when you heard that he passed away?

IW: I remembered how he once invited me to come to a very famous restaurant in Berlin with him. The kind of restaurant that everybody knew in the neighbourhood but could not afford to go to. I was surprised when he said he would invite me. When the invoice came, it was revealed that Ed wrote reviews for Michelin and therefore did not have to pay. Sometime later, President Clinton picked this restaurant when he came to visit Germany, I wonder if it was because of Eds' recommendations in the Michelin guide. Things like that you could only experience with Ed.

PSF: What do you think his legacy is?

IW: I think Ed knew very well how to combine things he loved with a way to make a living so that he loved the work he was doing. Life is too short to waste time with unpleasant jobs.

See Ina Wudtke's website

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