Ashdin’s Birthday!

A brother is a cool thing to have.  Especially when you get to pick on him when he’s little, then compliment him when he’s older ;-)

Mine is turning 26 today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHDIN!

Here’s a few things I’ve learned from my little brother: 

I started playing the guitar in 8th grade, he started playing in 5th grade….

I took private lessons, and got my instructor to teach me songs instead of music theory (which as an 8th grader is totally lame).

Well whaddya know….APPPAARRAANNNTLY learning the foundations of music early on help you learn to play much better.

Within the next few years my musical ability was playing 10 songs on the guitar….whereas my brother could now freely play ANY style of music quickly because he had the foundations down.

This inspired me to start taking lessons and learn actual music theory and basics when I was 26.  After 10+ years of “knowing how” to play the guitar…..I finally learned chords and scales.

Till this day he remains an order of magnitude better than me at guitar, and picks up other instruments with remarkable speed.

Me & Ashdin practicing on some big-ass rented amplifiers to play at a friends wedding:

I’m always impressed by his questioning of morals.

He went vegetarian for a while in college, on the basis that if we could farm food, why eat animals.

This isn’t necessarily the view of our meat-eating family, but he stuck to his guns and rolled with it until his mind changed.

During this time my mom would cook different food for him (usually healthier food), and slowly this impact started spreading to the rest of us.

I remember him talking to a family friend about his decision, and she was giving back counter-arguments about eating animals.  He asked her this one question:

“How would you feel if we ate Trudy?” (their family dog).

She got super upset at the question and repulsed by the idea.  While I don’t think that ever changed her mind, hearing her reaction made me laugh….and I’ll never forget how much that single question rocked her mentality.

He could possibly be God.

At 25 years old on this trip to India he looked SHOCKINGLY LIKE Zarathustra!!  (he’s like the Zoroastrian version of Jesus).


I remember us having a hilarious conversation about our religion with some older family, and Ashdin said (paraphrased from memory):

“So 5,000 years ago this guy goes into the desert, says he saw God, and now we worship him.  But if I went into the desert, and came back saying I saw God, people would think I’m crazy.”

BAHAHAHA!!  It’s true.

If you look at that picture above, Ashdin could’ve easily dressed in some robes, occasionally said some wise shit, and been the guy we worship 5,000 years later.


Wish my brother a happy birthday in the comments, and I’ll select 5 people to send a NevBox!

Blog posted on: August 13, 2013

70 comments on “Ashdin’s Birthday!

    1. Esther with an "H"

      26 birthday wishes for Ashdin =
      1. Don’t suck in life
      2. Dare greatly
      3. Get unjacked
      4. Sing loudly & often
      5. Rent a Lamborghini on your bday
      6. Dye your hair color
      7. Wear a ‘crown’
      8. Hang a sign around your neck during your bday week, “it’s my bday, spank me 26 times”
      9. Get a fish pedicure!
      10. Open a can of whoopass on fear.
      11. Stand on a street corner holding a sign that reads, “it’s my bday today- donate the dollar you were going to give me to a random kid.”
      12. Draw a self portrait & post on facebook
      13. Plant something
      14. Donate ALL your bday gifts to a charity
      15. Send your mom flowers, thanking her for the gift of your life and not having you sucked into a sink!
      16. Tell Nev to go pound sand – Then kiss him on the lips!
      17. Invite a total stranger to have tea/coffee with you.
      18. Go to an mma fight
      19. Pet animals at a pet store
      20. Skateboard on your belly
      21. Draw on the walls
      22. Drunk text yourself
      23. Go to the library, pick a random book & read it a while
      24. Take a bat to an old pillow – rage away!
      26. Go bowling & bowl with your non-dominate hand (opposite) hand.

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASH ~ virtual hugs, Queen Esther!

  1. Austin

    Happy birthday, dude! Your guitar skills are awesome- I wish I could play like that ;)

    Plus, you’re related to the magnificent Neville. The guy’s a genius. I mean, have you seen his blog? And he’s good looking, to boot. You’ve got it made!

    In all seriousness, sweet post- keep ‘em coming frequently.. I love stalking, eh, following them (you). :-)

  2. Benjamin Williams

    Happy Birthday Ashdin!
    hamâzôr hamâ ashô bêt, hamâzôr hamâ nêkî bât, hamâzôr bât dadhâr hôrmezd i rae hôrmezd i h’arahe hôrmezd i ameshâspeñdãn, hamâzôr bât âdharãn âtshãn, hamâzôr bât fravash ashvãn, hamâzôr bât dîn vihi mâzdayasnãn, hamâzôr bât guhãn hafta kêshwar zamîn ki pa dât vahidîn paoiryô-tkaeshãn ki pa vêzh vâhidîn mâzdayasnãn âstvânañt avâ êmã avâ êshãn avâ êmã

    PS, sorry if that didn’t say what I thought it said, people can be a-holes on the Internet, but its suppose to be a blessing.

  3. Jerret

    Ashdin, have a Happy Birthday! If you are reflecting back on your life like Neville has done for you, please consider writing an ebook. I would love to learn more about your philosophies.

  4. mothersmurfer

    Happy Birthday, Ashdin! May a squadron of beautiful vaginas find their way to your crotch by day’s end!

  5. Az

    Hi Ashdin,

    Happy birthday and may your guitar solos always rock.

    Really dig the pentatonic lines and solid time in your solo in the video. You definitely did something right as Nev played a killin’ solid turnaround lick to end the video.

    Rock on sir! Anyone who teaches their brother guitar (to the benefit of us who watch his videos) is cool in my book.


  6. David Heasman

    By the stars and all that is glorious,

    I wish you Ashdin a happy birthday.

    I don’t know you, but I trust Neville’s Judgement. If he thinks your cool, then I think so too.

    So once again, have a damn awesome amazing birthday.

    Stay awesome.

  7. Bryan Z

    Ashdin, I hope you have a GREAT Birthday!

    Ps. LOVE THIS QUOTE: “So 5,000 years ago this guy goes into the desert, says he saw God, and now we worship him. But if I went into the desert, and came back saying I saw God, people would think I’m crazy.”

  8. James Marshall

    Happy Birthday mate,

    Have a cracking day and welcome to the 26 club :-S

    Everyone kept reminding me I’m closer to 30 than 20 now so it’s only fair I should do the same :-D


  9. Dave

    Happy Birthday Ashdin! Cool name btw; what does it mean?

    Great: Playing music with your brother
    Greatest: Playing music with your *kids*

    Something to look forward to!

  10. Alex Berman

    Happy birthday, ASHDIN! Hope your life is going awesome.

    ::: (_( …*…*…*…*…*…*…*…*…::::::::::::::
    *: (=’ :’) :: Happy Birthday! :::::::::::::::::::::
    •.. (,(”)(”)¤…*…*…*…*…*…*…*…*…:::::::::::

  11. Lucas

    Part the way through the video, I was so into the music I forgot why I came to this page…

    Happy Birthday Ashdin!
    You sound baller af~

  12. Dana

    Happiest of birthdays to you Ashdin!

    Out of curiosity, I looked up the meaning of your beautiful name. According to Kabalarian philosophy, your name of Ashdin creates individuality, independence, self-confidence, initiative, and an inclination to physical activity. Even more interesting, it says you are not inclined to merge your opinions and viewpoints with others, to accept compromise, or to work in a subservient position against your will. Sounds very much like how Neville described you! (Here’s the link if you want to know more:

  13. Dave

    Happy birthday Ashdin!

    I rather enjoyed the “walking into the desert and seeing God” conundrum. Well put. :)

    Hope your birthday is everything you want it to be and you’re surrounded by all the people who mean the most to ya!

  14. Sarah

    जन्मदिन मुबारक to you
    janmadina mubārakato to you
    Happy Birthday dear Ashdin
    Happy Birthday to YOU!



  15. Toby

    Happy birthday, brother and teacher of Neville!

    For your birthday, I hope you get something wonderfully unexpected and amazing.

    For my birthday, I would love it if you would please come and teach me some tasty licks. THANKS!

  16. Sarah A.

    Happy freakin birthday, Ashdin [late, but still happy]!

    At 35, I can tell you I would absolutely KILL to be 26 again. Not because I have regrets to go back and cmd-Z. Because I know now that I’m a badass, and I should have realized that like a decade ago and been waaaaay more confident in everything I did. Be f***ing awesome, do amazing shit, and don’t stop. xoxo

  17. Chris

    Happy Birthday Ashdin,
    Some Dr Seuss inspired poetry on your special day…

    I cannot see
    I cannot pee
    I cannot chew
    I cannot screw
    Oh my god, what can I do?

    My memory shrinks
    My hearing stinks
    No sense of smell
    I look like hell
    My mood is bad-can you tell?

    My body’s drooping
    Have trouble pooping
    The Golden Years
    have come at last
    The Golden Years
    can kiss my ass.

    Being only 26, you’ve got a while before you’ll start reciting this little number, but its good to have in the back pocket just in case… that is of course assuming that you are not actually Zarathustra, as in that case I imagine ageing is not something you particularly need to worry about, ever.

  18. Gia

    Happy Birthday, Ashdin! That’s great that you have an older brother who has learned a lot from you, hope you have learned a lot from him as well :)

    Good luck with your 3D printing class, Nev! I never gave 3D printing much thought until I saw this article/video in the nytimes, and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since:

  19. Micah Beverly

    Happy Birthday Ashdin! (Sorry it’s late, just saw the post today.)

    Nice Bluesy jam in E!
    how about some fun nuggets of music theory as a birthday gift.


    You clearly know the Patterns of the Pentatonic scale. You were rocking out in Pattern 1 quite a bit up there at the 12th fret…So since you are right there let’s add a couple fun notes to that pattern making it the E Dorian scale. Dorian is great for Blues and Jazz and Rock too. It will give you some half steps in your scale so some of your phrases will sound a bit fancier! Ok so the word “Dorian” makes it already fancy, it’s really just the D Major scale!!! So play this pattern:
    Play these frets on the following strings;

    E: 12 14 15
    B: 12 14 15
    G: 11 12 14
    D: 11 12 14
    A: 10 12 14
    E: 10 12 14

    (I would have written it in more of a TAB form but I feared the formatting would change due to Neville’s web font)

    Thats the D Major Scale A.K.A. E Dorian if you make E the tonal center.

    You will see the E minor pentatonic Pattern 1 inside!

    Maybe you knew that so here’s a another:
    When Neville plays the E chord play E major Pentatonic. When he switches to the A chord Play the E minor Pentatonic. For B7 play the E major Pent. Have fun.

    Happy Birthday and Happy Soloing!

  20. Jason

    Hey Ashdin you’re a lucky dude!! I wish I had an older brother as cool as Nev.. Or any brother.

    I’m also turning 26 in a few days so if you ever find yourself in San Francisco near your bday be sure to stop at my guitar store “Sunset Academy of Music” and I’ll hook you up with strings or something and celebrate our bdays.

    Anyways congrats and happy birthday!

  21. Ryan Even

    Hey Ashdin,

    Happy birthday!

    I have a joke for you…

    Person #1: Is your refrigerator running?

    Person #2: Yes..

    Person #1: Good, mine too, I will see you at the refrigerator race tomorrow.

    Would it be inappropriate if I ended my post with this?


  22. David

    Happy Birthday, Ashdin!Hope it’s a great one!

    Neville, don’t send me a NevBox. I just wanted to wish you both well and say thanks for all the great content and emails. Always get excited when I see the Kopywriting Kourse in my email. :)

  23. Sanjeev

    Many Many Happy Returns of the day!

    I am totally with you on “When we can farm food why the hell do we need to ear animals”

  24. Sheiler

    Bonne fete Ashdin. From what Nev tells me it seems as if you’d have a good time visiting an enclave – a minnowy hippie artisan town – in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec (about an hour north of Montreal). These big woodsmen and gardening folk, these cabinet makers, these mechanics for the local chain store, these deck builders, also seem to have the magical power of playing instruments beautifully. Women who sing like they belong on a rock in the ocean, to sing ships to safety. You should come here for a visit. We’ll put you up even.

  25. Thales

    Holy crap Ashdin! You’re so lucky! Your birthday was a long time ago and you’re still getting happy birthday wishes! I know how it is to get a few late happy birthdays, because my birthday is on December 30th, so everybody is getting ready for New Year’s Eve, so they wish me happy birthday after their hangover.

    But hey! Good for you! Happy birthday and all the best!


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