8. Ed Nehring

“We approached it like we were never going to be invited back.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with friend Ed Nehring. Ed has ben a fixture of the Iowa City music scene since the early 1980’s. Some of his bands have included Red Throb, The Day Glow Bomber Boys, Los Marauders, The Rough Housers, and Hott.

Ed is one of my absolute favorite people to talk with and learn from. I’m honored that he joined me on the podcast. Our conversation talks about Ed’s journey as a musician and performer. Ed describes how his first encounter with a Devo record made him physically ill and yet remains one of his favorite records. Ed’s approach to his life and his craft is a continued examination  and application of his principles. Ed demonstrates a relentless approach to being true to himself.

Our conversation spans Ed’s early love of rock and roll, punk rock mayhem, to what he learned from studying Zen Buddhism, and how he made music his meditation. Ed is careful to separate a dedication to craft from the pursuit of being famous.

We discussed Ed’s approach to practice and rehearsal and why exploring details and communicating is imperative when collaborating. Ed talks about his philosophy to craft as an approach to “sort yourself out” and the importance of separating your on-stage persona from who you are in real life. As Ed says in our interview, “it’s hard to be that honest with yourself.’

Thanks for checking out The Iowa Idea Podcast. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Ed

Ed Nehring has been a fixture of the Iowa City music scene since the early 1980’s. Some of the bands that Ed has been involved in were Red Throb, The Day Glow Bomber Boys, Los Marauders, The Rough Housers, and Hott. His journey from punk rocker to dedicated improviser is one of self-discovery and a commitment to expressing himself freely. Ed’s passion led him to transform his basement into the Sacred Garden, a performance space dedicated to the exploration of improvised music.

From IMDB’s description of “Music of the Moment”:

Since “Music of the Moment” was filmed over a period of five years, there are marked changes among the characters’ ideas and commitments toward improvised music. Nehring’s dedication to the music as a practice of self-awareness and true expression deepens as the film progresses. In fact, it deepens to the point it becomes religious in nature and Nehring no longer feels compelled or comfortable performing publicly. Ironically, after five years of filming, it is Nehring’s deepening awareness that turns out to be the natural and obvious ending of the film. The film culminates with a spectacular night of performances at the Sacred Garden that encapsulates the spirit and theories of improvised music. The Sacred Garden has since long been gone and the spirit has moved on, but for those lucky enough to experience this unique anthropological study of a movement, it will remain.


Thank you to Ed Nehring for taking the time to join the podcast.

Additional music from:

  • “I’m a Marauder” by Los Maunders (Teen Beat Records)
  • “Read Your Mind” by Hott

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.