Tom Keeley: From Rockstar To Dad

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Episode 43 of the podcast is the first half of my conversation with Tom Keeley. If I was a fancier type guy who maybe also lived in England, I would probably describe Tom as a rather lovely fellow. He really was a fantastic bloke (look at me being even more British-y!) and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

A lot of you may already know that Tom is the guitarist in the band Thursday. Tom was led to me by previous guest, RJ, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Although my immediate thought when I looked up Tom and his band was, honestly: “This is not really my type of music these days…” I was reminded fairly quickly that this podcast is not at all just about me and what I like. That was a quite welcome reminder. What can I say? I’m human.

Tom got extremely honest in this episode and didn’t seem to really hold back or pull punches about his childhood. As much as some of the positive stories started to pile up about his experiences with living with his Dad and with his Mom, the fact remains: it isn’t always the simplest thing to grow up in a broken home. So, I was all the more impressed by some of the life choices Tom has made along the way.

As Tom so eloquently put toward the very end of this episode, all of this helped lead to him “finding and marrying the woman of his dreams”. As someone who has traveled a great many roads in his own life: that statement resonated with me and made me wish that type of contentment and happiness for all of mankind! Or… at least for over 25% of it.

 

Thursday the band can be found at Thursday.net

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Why Do I Do This Podcast?

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Episode 42 of the podcast is another of my smaller episodes that doesn’t involve a guest. This episode was born from my desire to further explain the whole point of this podcast. Why does it exist? Why do I keep putting all of this time and energy into it? There is more than this text in the actual podcast episode that accompanies this. But, here is the gist of it for you:

We’ve become fantastic documenters, haven’t we? Armed with our smartphones. Within the last decade, we’ve become well-equipped to document events, big and small and all of the little moments in between.
You see it so often now, when someone is telling a story to someone else: whether it’s a wedding or a vacation or even just the night before. We pull out our phone and show someone all of the photos we took or just direct them to our Instagram or Facebook.
But, we’re always moving forward with the documentation. We’re recording all of these things, taking all of these photos. Piling it all up. Adding onto our camera roll… daily or weekly. At some point, we’re forced to upload everything to our computer or the cloud. Or even worse, being notified that your storage is full. Because of how quickly and ravenously we’re moving forward. Continuing the ongoing documenting of life.
What I am doing is moving backward. Going back in time and back in relationships and even back in generations. Going to a time when we didn’t and couldn’t document things the way that we do now. I’m helping rebuild the documentation of personal history… of relationships.
I’m facilitating that documentation of my guests’ histories. Of their parents and sometimes their grandparents and beyond. And, yes, a lot of it is in the scope of parenting. But, it’s these stories that maybe spouses or children or grandchildren maybe haven’t heard and otherwise may not have the chance to. So much of that is just fading away because of how much time we spend on this moment. And then the next moment. And then all of the moments after that.
All of that has its place. All of that is important. I do that as much as the next person. But, because of the loss I have experienced in my life, the importance of the past is very real to me, as well.
That’s my goal. Not only finding entertaining, inspirational and fascinating lives and stories. But, to also document these people and these pasts. For the people who know and love these people. But, also for the rest of us to learn some things from.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to us via email to daddyunscripted@gmail.com

Jonathan Hart: Raised on the Grateful Dead & Phish

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Episode 41 of the podcast is the second half of my conversation with fellow podcaster Jonathan Hart. I don’t normally dedicate episodes, but I have to dedicate this one to my other favorite 41 that is out there right now: Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale.

Don’t get in a huff about that dedication; we don’t talk about sports or the Red Sox in this episode at all. This is more of a discussion on the journey of life for Jonathan that parallels our previous episode. At times, it even intertwines with that conversation. We start out with the music that was the soundtrack of Jonathan’s adolescent years. As many music lovers know: music can play a large part in shaping who you are. That was very true for young Jonathan, and hasn’t stopped impacting him in that way.

Jonathan admits that his love for the Grateful Dead and other bands from the 70’s fueled the divide in ideology that had been previously embedded in his family’s paternal code. He went on to break the streak of men joining the military as he embraced a more loving and pacifist mindset.

Jonathan and I have a lot of similarities from our late teen years. We both spent time working at a record store, using a great deal of our paychecks to make our way to Grateful Dead shows near us.

Over time, Jonathan, like many others, embraced Phish as another band with a giant community. Jonathan talks about how this has also become a unique part of his life with the world of podcasts. He spent a great deal of time having his own influence on the blog universe that surrounded both the Grateful Dead and Phish in the internet’s toddler years. Eventually, he was asked to be a guest on the Helping Friendly Podcast. That ended up parlaying into him becoming one of the regular hosts of that show and his eventual creation of the Brokedown Podcast, a podcast centered around the Grateful Dead.

With the wonderful response online from the first half of our conversation, I’m sure a lot of you will also enjoy this parallel history and behind the scenes look at Jonathan.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to us via email to daddyunscripted@gmail.com

Jonathan Hart Went From Surprised Single Dad To Much More

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This is Episode 40 of the podcast. My wife is a huge U2 fan, so she would enjoy me saying that as: “This is 40”.  However, this episode does not feature Bono as its guest, or any other musician from Ireland. Don’t be dismayed; Jonathan Hart has a pretty darn interesting story to tell.

It starts with what happened before Jonathan was even born. We do a deep dive into his paternal roots and talk about his lineage. That lineage is steeped in a very proud service to our country by his Father and his Father’s Father. Jonathan, however, did not feel suited for that same lot in life and his life went down a much different road.

Jonathan became a first-time Dad at a very young age with his girlfriend of a couple of years. Things went downhill before their little girl was even 2 years old; starting with the couple splitting up to the Mom deciding she couldn’t or didn’t want the role of Mother anymore, leaving Jonathan to figure it out on his own. With the help of family, that’s exactly what Jonathan did.

It’s the kind of story we are honestly very used to hearing on the other side of the coin: with the Dad leaving the Mom to take all of the responsibility. It makes me sad and embarrassed that this is a cliche within my gender. Alas, it is… and has been for decades upon decades. I have always been a huge proponent of single Moms and all of the work they do. So, it was quite interesting to me to have a single Dad like Jonathan tell his story of a similar plight.

Jonathan has worked hard, now with a wife and a bigger family that the two have created together. It’s also of interest that Jonathan has done all this while still finding time for his passion: live music. He and his wife not only find time to follow some of their favorite bands, but Jonathan has a podcast of his own: Brokedown Podcast, a podcast centered around the Grateful Dead.

We will talk a lot more about podcasts, the Dead and Phish in our next episode. This episode is dedicated to all things Dad and gets into some really interesting topics and stories. The story of Jonathan ending up alone with his wife to take care of the birth of their child is quite a doozy.

I’m sure you will all enjoy hearing Jonathan’s stories and learning a lot more about this man; not only the man behind the Brokedown Podcast, but also one of the co-hosts of Helping Friendly Podcast, as well.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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Twitter: @DaddyUnscripted
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All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com or via email to daddyunscripted@gmail.com

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi & The Fit Father Project

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Episode 39 of the podcast is extremely special because it features my first ever guest that is not actually a Dad.

Have you picked yourself up off the floor now? Close your lower jaw… I know this is mind-blowing news. But, you’ll come to see why I made this decision once you’ve listened to this episode.

The reason I’ve bent one of the founding basis’ of this podcast is because Dr. Anthony Balduzzi brings a lot to the podcast and to you: the listener. Not only is the story of his very brief time on earth with his own father a solid enough reason, pretty much, for him to have his story told, it’s what Dr. Anthony chose to do with his life after that.

You saw it in the title of the episode: The Fit Father Project.

There is no coincidence with the timing of the release of this episode. In the USA, Thanksgiving Day was just last week. So, not only are December’s holidays right around the corner, but you may have just put on a couple of new pounds. What better way to get a jump on all of that?

This conversation is as much for me as it is for so many of you. And, again, you do not at all need to be a Dad to get something out of this episode. You don’t need to be over 40 either! Big bonus if you happen to be both or either of those. But, the story Dr. Anthony tells about his Father’s passing when he was young should affect all of us!

I’m tempted to say, also, that the story Dr. Anthony tells about his accidental costume malfunction during what would have otherwise been a friendly game of Twister when he was a teenager is also a story that begs to be heard. That’s an exclusive, by the way. So, don’t tell me that the Daddy Unscripted podcast has never done anything special for you.

There is so much good information in this episode. That’s the truth. I got a lot out of it while we were recording and it had that same oomph for me when I was editing it. Dr. Anthony was so inspiring. And, I was completely straight-forward with some of my own health scares and told him from the get-go how important this conversation was to me. For my own health’s sake, and for all of my listeners’ as well.

So, put down that fork, everyone… and feast on this instead!

Here are the links we talked about at the end of the episode for the Fit Father Project:

Free Meal Plan For Men Over 40: Click Here
Free 24 Minute Fat Burning Workout: Click Here
Weight Loss For Men Over 40, The Official Guide: Click Here

The Fit Father Project Social Media Links:

 

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Twitter: @DaddyUnscripted
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www.daddyunscripted.com

All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com or via email to daddyunscripted@gmail.com

Terry Ogburn Lives Beyond Loss

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In this, the 38th episode of the podcast, I found myself talking with Terry Ogburn.

In a few of my experiences at conferences, for marketing or podcasting, I’ve run into Jessica Rhodes a few times now. Jessica is the CEO & Founder of Interview Connections. I honestly didn’t know if anything would ever come from any of our conversations at these conferences until one day I received an email with a suggested guest. The email, from one of Jessica’s staff, basically said that Terry would be an excellent guest for the podcast because of his life experiences.

Terry has had significant success when it comes to the world of business. He has also helped a great many corporations and entrepreneurs find their way into success, whether as a start-up or helping a struggling business find their way. But, Terry’s road in life has gone through its own levels of struggle… even to the extreme of tragically losing the life of one of his children years ago. We discussed all of this in our conversation here. Terry even detailed his family history, living in a military home.

Our conversation touched a little on grief, but it even went a bit into the metaphysical world. We talked about some of Terry’s connections with his son, after his son had passed away. It was really a fascinating discussion.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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Twitter: @DaddyUnscripted
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www.daddyunscripted.com

All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com

RJ Bee Talks Phish & Podcasts

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This is episode 37 of the podcast, and number 2 of 2 with fellow podcaster and music lover, RJ Bee. Although this episode is heavily steeped in our discussion about music and the band Phish, this may be the most that one of my “Fork in the Road” episodes focuses on fatherhood. Usually, these secondary episodes with guests are complete offshoots onto other topics. However, you’ll still find some fatherly gems between RJ and myself in this one.

RJ and I share some strong similarities within our musical teenage years. We both spent a lot of our teen years following bands that toured heavily, had tremendous communities and people who taped each of their shows enabled us (and hundreds of thousands of other fans) to collect and listen to shows like the true fanatics we were.

So, let us just thank tapers. Oh, what’s that, you ask? I’m glad you asked, because tapers deserve a lot of praise and gratitude. A taper, simply put, is someone who goes to a concert and tapes it. But, there’s a lot more that goes into it. These people put a lot of their own money into very expensive equipment and then help coordinate the distribution of those recordings to other fans. My devout love for the Grateful Dead — and the eventual multitude of other musicians and bands that ended up leading me into loving — would never have become even close to what it was and is without the existence of tapers.

RJ and I were on two different collecting paths way back when. He was heavily following and collecting tapes of Phish, while I was doing the same on the west coast with the Grateful Dead. During this episode, we bounce our experiences off of each other with those two bands, but our efforts were pretty much identical.

Today, we find ourselves on another identical path: as podcasters. RJ is one of the founders and hosts of the Helping Friendly Podcast aka HFPod. The podcast focuses on the Phish universe and the people that are affected by the music and everything that goes along with being part of that vast community.

One thing that makes this episode unique – and, possibly, somewhat confusing near the end: we ended up adding a segment of recording on a day much later from our original recording. So, the bulk of the episode was recorded before the summer. Yet, we recorded again following the summer. So, there is a small section that discusses an event that took place much later than the original recording. Don’t let that throw you for too much of a loop. We are not soothsayers or time travelers… as far as we know, at least.

I’ve said this before of previous episodes…you don’t have to be a fan of Phish or the Dead to enjoy this episode. It won’t hurt… that’s for sure. We end up reverting back to our previous episode in this conversation and reflecting on fatherhood here, as well.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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www.daddyunscripted.com

All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com

RJ Bee: Podcaster, Father, Son & More

I came to know of RJ once I decided to poke around the internet to see what existed in the way of podcasts by or about one of my all-time favorite bands: Phish. The Helping Friendly Podcast aka HFPod was right at the top of the list and seemed like a format I would really enjoy: big fans of the band talking about specific shows with other fans, occasionally playing songs from recent shows or even discussing older shows in their entirety. I subscribed immediately and quickly started digesting older episodes.

If you listened to our 1st Episode together, you heard the unique intricacies of what the word “Dad” means to RJ; whether as a Son or as a Dad, himself. The relationship between he and his own Dad definitely had its ups and downs. You also heard the fascinating turn of events with a serendipitous phone call RJ placed to his Dad when he did one of those things that we so often try to remind ourselves… and others. But, as very good fortune would have it, RJ took action when the thought came to him. Yet another fine reminder for all of us to never miss an opportunity to tell the people we love how we feel.

Because for many of us, pictures help fill in a lot of holes in stories, I asked RJ to supply me with some photos to give you all a peek into some of his life, past and present:

RJ’s dad Randy with RJ’s son Miles, during the Ohio State/Michigan football game in Fall 2013. The annual Ohio State/Michigan game was one of RJ and his dad’s most anticipated moments of the year. Although they fall on different sides of the rivalry, they enjoyed watching the game together, giving each other shit, and having a celebratory drink regardless of who won.
RJ and his son Miles in the New York City subway, December 2013. This was RJ and Rachel’s first trip to New York with their son, and they were even able to fit in a Phish show (or two).
RJ and Miles exploring Red Rocks Amphitheater in September 2014.
RJ, RJ’s dad Randy, and son Miles, outside of the Detroit airport, September 2014. This is the last photo of RJ and his dad together, as he passed away 3 months later.
RJ and his family May 2017. His wife Rachel, son Miles (in the back), son Franklin (not crying), and daughter Cassidy (really crying).
RJ recording the Helping Friendly Podcast with his co-host, Matt, while holding his son Franklin, May 2017. Despite the best efforts, you can hear Franklin a few times during that episode.
RJ and his co-host Jonathan (left) interviewing guests at the Helping Friendly Podcast’s first live podcast event, recorded during the Baker’s Dozen Phish run in 2017.

RJ Bee is a Dad

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This is episode 36 of the podcast, 1 of 2 with fellow podcaster RJ Bee. RJ is quite an intelligent man. I don’t just say that because we share a very common interest in music, but because he has been working for years in the world of politics and communications.

When RJ and I first connected, we both asked each other if we thought we would be good guests on each other’s podcasts or not. It was almost like a lightning round on a game show as we took turns interrogating one another. I guess you could say that I won, since I got to have RJ on my podcast first. Which I am quite pleased about.

RJ is another in what is becoming a fantastically long line of guests who have very unique upbringings. He tells a lot about his youth throughout those times all the way through to the somewhat recent sudden loss of his own Dad. We discussed that at some length and there is a phone call between RJ and his Dad that we discussed in this episode that I’m at a loss for the proper adjective for. Serendipitous? Miraculous? Take a listen and you can decide for yourself.

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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Twitter: @DaddyUnscripted
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www.daddyunscripted.com

All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com

Sam Jennings & His Time With Prince

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Episode 035, for those keeping count. This is the 2nd of 2 episodes with web designer and artist Sam Jennings. Sam is my second guest that has a large connection to a man I adore: Prince. A lot of this episode is us talking about the period of 9 years that Sam worked very closely with and for Prince. He gives a deeper view into the man that at times was so private. We talk in depth about the positive influence that Prince had on our lives, from the time we were both teenagers.

After working with Prince, Sam went on to work with Pearl Jam with the same goals in mind as he had accomplished with Prince. His tenure did not last as long with the Seattle-based band, and we discuss the not-so obvious differences between these two employers of his.

If you are a fan of Prince, these conversations with Sam are so meaningful and informative. I am still ecstatic that he was able to come and sit with me for so long to record these episodes. I will add that if you happened to skip the previous episode with Sam and I because you think you don’t want to listen to us talk about Dad stuff: think again! There is quite a bit of other material in that episode. Sam talks a bit about how important family was to Prince, as well, in ways that are unique to those who knew him well. So, if you enjoyed this episode or are a fan of Prince, check out our previous episode next!

Daddy Unscripted can also be found at:

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Twitter: @DaddyUnscripted
Facebook: Daddy Unscripted
www.daddyunscripted.com

All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

You can send questions and suggestions for future guests to our podcast/blog website at www.daddyunscripted.com