Ed Pettersen was born in Glen Cove, New York on January 29, 1962. Raised in the neighboring town of Syosset, New York, Pettersen came from a family that believed in hard work. Influenced by a grandfather who was a concert clarinetist, Pettersen believes the music was in his blood. But, because his grandfather had a family he gave up his music and always encouraged his grandson to find a real job.
Interested in sports as well as music, Pettersen at one time considered a career as a hockey player before he was injured and unable to play. He played in high school bands and found his influences from various genres of music. His father listened to country music on the radio while the young Pettersen was growing up. Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Merle stayed with him as well as Hank, Sr. and Bill Monroe's bluegrass and the high lonesome sound of the Stanley Brothers. He also found inspiration in the Beatles, R&B and the Motown sound of Marvin Gaye. He admits to being taken with the style of both Pete Townsend and Paul Westerberg as well as Springsteen, Oasis and Steve Earle.
With the strong work ethic of his family tattooed upon him, Pettersen set out to find a job when a career in sports didn't pan out. He traveled to Japan and earned a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido. Later on he worked as a bodyguard, in sales and eventually landed a corporate job in advertising. Unhappy, he found his way to the music scene in New York and began fulfilling a dream he had thought would never come true.
Considering himself to be primarily a songwriter, he released a debut project on DIM Records in 1995. Desperate Times gained him some press and recognition. His song, "This Hard Land" was included on a compilation put out by New Country Magazine. His second project, Somewhere South of Here picked up where Desperate Times left off and showed Pettersen to be a writer of some interest who had the ability to incorporate the many aspects of American music into a single song. As much a rocker as a folkie, he began touring with his band, the High Line Riders. After being diagnosed with a rare genetic illness that caused blackouts and severe pain, he took a break from the rigors of touring and returned with Spare Bedroom, featuring his newly formed power-pop band The Strangelys. A friendship with early rock 'n' roll icon Dion DiMucci resulted in Dion recording Ed's song, "Built to Last." Sometimes he is compared to another East Coast rocker, Bruce Springsteen, because of his firepower with songs that appeal to the average Joe or Jane. The recently completed New Punk Blues Of Ed Pettersen hits stores in 2004. ~ Jana Pendragon