Eddie and the Heartbeats is Ed Varga, a multi-instrumentalist based in San Francisco, California. He grew up playing drums and has contributed to several punk and indie rock bands over the last 30 years. Most recently he was a founding member and the drummer in The Homobiles from 2013-2019. Eddie and the Heartbeats is his first solo project and Good Enough is his first album.
Varga's first experience with music was listening to pop music of the 60's and 70's and singing along to songs using the couch as a stage. He started playing drums when he was 11 and learned a little piano as a kid. Over the years he's puttered around casually with other instruments and with songwriting. He's spent the last couple of years studying guitar and music theory more seriously, and learning to sing. Having come from punk and queer communities that believe strongly in DIY ethics and that provide supportive creative environments, gave him the strength to push through a lot of self doubt and do more writing.
"Why write songs? I ask myself this question all the time. I don't care about monetizing my music or the music industry. I don't even know if anyone will listen much less like any of my songs. Ultimately songwriting pushes my limits as a musician and challenges me intellectually and emotionally. I feel like I have stories that are worth telling and that I can tell them in an interesting way through songs. Songwriting has always felt like magic to me. I like writing songs that are deeply personal and honest. I push myself to be open and vulnerable and to really put who I am, my experiences and life out there. I bring a lot of tenderness along with some goofiness and dark humor to my song writing. Those are all things that are often missing in my work-a-day life. My hope is that other people can connect with some of my stories and that my songs are catchy enough to get stuck in your head. There's a lot about my music and my performances that could be better but it's good enough, and it's true to who I am and my life and that is what's important to me. I know much of what I write may seem a little sad. It's true I find a lot of beauty in melancholy songs. Give me a choice of listening to Beyoncé once verses Elliott Smith on a week long loop, I'll choose Elliott every single time. But to me there's a lot of hidden humor and silliness in my songs too, along with making fun of myself for being melodramatic. I hope all of these things come through."
Varga identifies as a queer trans man. He is also the founder of Homo A Go Go, a queer music, film, art and activism festival. Homo A Go Go was presented in Olympia in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and in San Francisco in 2009. He also founded Homocore Minneapolis and fostered a queer music scene in Minneapolis between 1994-2000.
As a sound engineer, he's worked on dozens of studio projects and done live sound for thousands of bands and events. He's worked at venues such as First Avenue/7th Street Entry and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Capitol Theater (Olympia), The Showbox (Seattle), The Echoplex and Spaceland (Los Angeles), SOMArts Cultural Center (San Francisco), to name a few of the many. He was a staff engineer a YoYo Studios (Olympia) and has engineered many notable events including The Transfused (2000 original rock opera by Nomy Lamm and The Need), Ladyfest (2000 Olympia), Yo Yo A Go Go (2002) and Homo A Go Go (2002-2004).
Since 2013 he no longer works full-time as an engineer. He enjoys having a pretty regular schedule as the owner of a small iPhone repair business. It's the gayest iPhone repair shop in the world!
Ed grew up in Wisconsin in the 70's and 80's, spent the 1990's in Minneapolis and since 2000 has lived in Olympia, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. He currently lives in San Francisco on a dead end street with his partner, Corrie and their dog, Georgia.