Ed Robertson is one of the two co-founders of the band Barenaked Ladies. He is a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist. Furthermore, Robertson has been known to play other instruments in other contexts as well. Very recently, it was revealed that Robertson has teamed up with Rush’s Geddy Lee for some kind of secret project, so that is something that interested individuals might want to keep a watchful eye out for. He’s part of one of the best punk bands around, and there is much to learn.
1. Born in Scarborough, ON
Robertson was born in Scarborough, which is one of the communities that make up the city of Toronto in the Canadian province of Ontario. The entire region is named for the English town of Scarborough because the local bluffs reminded the wife of Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor of its namesake’s limestone cliffs. Regardless, the Canadian Scarborough has been a popular destination for immigrants for decades, with the result that it has become one of the most multi-cultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
2. Not an Only Child But Has Claimed the Experience of Being an Only Child
Amusingly, Robertson isn’t an only child but has claimed the experience being an only child. For those who are unfamiliar, he was born the youngest of five children. Robertson has stated his belief that his conception was an accident because he was born several years after his siblings, all of whom were born approximately one year apart. Once his siblings had finished moving out of their home, he received a short taste of what it was like to be an only child, thus explaining his claim.
3. Grew Up in a Home with a Great Deal of Fondness for Country Music
The Robertson family was apparently very fond of country music, so much so that it listened to said genre of music almost exclusively. Due to this, Robertson learned to sing as well as play the guitar. Even now, he retains a great deal of fondness for country music.
4. Met Steven Page in School
In any case, Robertson entered into the gifted program when he was still in grade four. As a result, he met Steven Page, who went on to become the other co-founder of Barenaked Ladies. Having said that, their meeting wasn’t exactly a friendly one at the time. Apparently, Robertson had “stolen” Page’s best friend without knowing about it. Something that meant that they didn’t speak with each other much for several years.
5. Befriended Steven Page Because of Peter Gabriel
Eventually, Robertson winded up befriending Page because of Peter Gabriel. To be exact, both of them had gone to a Peter Gabriel concert before going to a Harvey’s restaurant afterwards. The two were surprised to learn that both of them were Peter Gabriel fans, which got them talking with one another. Something that paved the way for their friendship.
6. Considered a Music Career to Be Unrealistic
When Robertson was still in high school, he considered pursuing a music career to be unrealistic, which is why he made a conscious choice to focus on getting good grades so that he could go to university. Thanks to this, he was accepted to York University, which is the second most notable of the universities that can be found in Toronto. Amusingly, Robertson studied there for just half a year’s time before dropping out so that he could focus on his band.
7. Stumbled Into the Formation of the Barenaked Ladies
Sometimes, the stories of how bands got started can be quite entertaining. In the case of the Barenaked Ladies, one could say that Robertson kind of stumbled into it. In short, he had a cover band, with which he was supposed to perform in a battle of the bands in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. His band broke up, but when he was called to confirm the performance, he responded that the band was still around under the new name of Barenaked Ladies. As such, Robertson had to scramble to get Page involved, who in turn, had problems believing that Robertson had actually named the band Barenaked Ladies because that was a name that the two had come up with while fooling around.
8. Has an Interest in Aviation
Robertson has a personal interest in aviation. This can be seen in how he received his pilot’s license in 2005. After which, Robertson put serious effort into getting a floatplane license, which was covered on a season of his show Ed’s Up. For a time, he was even named an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian military’s 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, which is a search and rescue unit based out of CFB Trenton in Ontario.
9. Survived a Plane Crash
In 2008, Robertson was piloting his Cessna 206 when it crashed. Fortunately, he and his three passengers walked away from the incident with no injuries whatsoever. Naturally, the crash was investigated by the relevant authorities. However, it isn’t quite clear what happened. Apparently, Robertson had lost airspeed after taking off, but neither pilot misconduct nor mechanical failure was blamed for said occurrence. The investigator did speculate about the presence of undetectable air currents, though for obvious reasons, there was neither evidence for nor evidence against said speculation.
10. Big Fan of Video Games
Robertson has also mentioned being a big fan of video games. This can be seen in his claim of owning almost every video game console released since his childhood. Moreover, this can be seen in the fact that he often brings multiple video game consoles as well as numerous video game titles with him whenever he heads out on tour. As such, it seems reasonable to speculate that Robertson’s fondness for video games combined with his interest in acting to get him involved in Red vs. Blue, which is a machinima web series from Rooster Teeth based in the Halo setting. In it, he voices Butch Flowers, who has shown up in several episodos in several seasons.