Ed would never ask for help in this way, so I’m starting this GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my best friend and his family. Just over a year ago Ed was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He is tough as nails and he has fought back with everything he’s got, but this is a deadly disease with a low survival rate. Ed, his wife Ashley and their beautiful 4-year-old daughter Annika all need your help to keep fighting for now and for the future.
Ed isn’t just a central figure in the Minneapolis music scene, he’s an internationally known producer and recording artist with a thirty-year career producing great records for others as well as his own projects, like his bands The Dig, The 27 Various, Polara, BNLX, and two brilliant solo LPs. Polara’s self-titled 1995 debut and its single “Counting Down” are still hailed as alternative rock classics. Even as a bandmate of Ed’s for a good chunk of time, I can say without exaggeration that his songwriting and work as a producer have heavily influenced a generation of musicians in this town, and it has not diminished. For over 20 years, Ed has owned and operated Flowers Studio, by far one of the coolest and most prestigious recording studios in Minnesota, and has produced and engineered countless projects for artists and labels from all over the globe. Ed is one of the finest musicians to ever come from Minnesota: one listen to his 2007 self-titled solo album, which he played, sang and produced all by himself - using real instruments no less – proves it in 38 minutes flat.
Living a life through music is no easy feat, and fighting pancreatic cancer is astonishingly expensive - it takes away money, time and energy. Health Insurance has helped a lot, but it only goes so far. The illness and treatment schedule have forced Ed to dramatically scale down his paying projects at Flowers, and as a result, his income is down by more than 75% this year. He’s a self-employed, small business owner in an extremely competitive and (wrongly) devalued profession. As with many self-employed creatives, Ed does not have his own life insurance policy, a 401K plan, or other retirement funds that he could pass on to his family to support them financially in the future. Ed now has to fight for his life with no sense of security for Annika’s short or long-term future.
The money you give will help in three ways: 1) you will help Ed and his family get through this very challenging time; 2) you can provide a safety net for young Annika Ackerson and her mother; 3) you will undoubtedly bring great karma back to Ed, who has dedicated his life to bringing art into the world, and helping countless other bands achieve their dreams.
Ed and I have been close friends for over 25 years. I have seen him grow from an upstart mod punk to an accomplished singer/songwriter and an absolute grandmaster of music production, studio wizardry and live performance. But I know for a fact that the most important thing in Ed’s life is his family and their future, which he will never stop working for. Instead of flowers and food, please utilize this campaign to offer your support. Thank you for your generous contribution, and thank you for sharing this campaign.
From Ed (Sept. 11, 2019):
We’d been keeping this quiet, but since Pete Townshend hinted at it at The Who show last week, it seems like a good time to talk.
One year ago, I got some very unexpected news: I have stage four pancreatic cancer. Working with a team of top people from Mayo Clinic, I’ve been fighting it super hard. This news has been kept to an extremely small group of people so far, but my condition has recently become more challenging, and it seems like a good time to tell everyone. One of the reasons I’ve kept it quiet is because I want to keep my focus on the positive energy of rock and roll, and my family and friends, rather than dwelling on the illness and attempting to answer unanswerable questions. Despite it all, I’ve been in an amazingly creative period musically, with a couple of brand new sonic collaborations in the works. I can’t wait to share some of these new sounds soon.
In the meanwhile, my family and I would appreciate your support as we make the best of a very serious situation. We will keep you posted on my progress, future events and things we may need assistance with. Also, please understand that I will not be able to reply to messages and other communications in order to stay focused on my family, health and music. Peace love and happiness – Ed