Ron Weiss
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Ron Weiss

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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"A Passion Reignited"


Music was one of several things that Ron Weiss explored after dropping out of high school. He took it seriously for a couple of years, playing guitar and piano for hours each day. The instruments were put aside when he decided to go to university as a mature student.

A couple of decades later, he's now Dr. Weiss, Ottawa's renowned vasectomy doctor, proprietor of a thriving practice. But he's also rekindled his dream of bringing his own songs to life, in the studio and on stage. Recording is under way and a band has been assembled. They play Irene's tonight.

"It just kinda happened gradually and I decided this is a priority now," Weiss said during an interview in a consultation room in his clinic. "I have security and I have a day job and so I can devote a little more time for it."

And let's not dismiss this flurry of creative activity as a mid-life crisis. The 53-year-old doc admits there was a mid-life crisis, but it happened more than a decade ago.

"I would say about 13 or 14 years ago, I really felt I had to get back into music," Weiss says. "I felt there was something missing. I still had young kids so I bought an electric piano so I could put on headphones and I wouldn't wake anybody."

His first songwriting efforts resulted in Cuban-inspired instrumental pieces. More recently, he's also been working on lyrics, matching them up to breezy pop-rock melodies.

Weiss says his musical influences range from Motown to Tchaikovsky, along with ample exposure to boogie-woogie, courtesy of his grandfather's collection of 78s.

Many of Weiss's songs are inspired by his wife, Debbie, who also works in the office as a receptionist. The couple has three grown children. "I'm very in love with my wife," Weiss says. "We've been married for 30 years this year and a lot of my songs are love songs."

Last fall, Weiss performed two of his love songs at their daughter's wedding. Inspired by a dream he had one night, he sang with a gospel ensemble and a harpist. The ensemble, made up of eight members of the Big Soul Project, and the harpist, 15-year-old Natasha Chander, are also expected to join Weiss and his band at Irene's tonight.

The gig is a warm-up for a big year for the Doc Weiss Band. The album will come out in the spring and a CD-

release party is booked for May. While distribution and/or publishing deals would be nice, one of Weiss's immediate goals is to land a gig at Bluesfest.

Further down the road, he'd love to sell songs to other artists. "I don't think of myself as a rock star or a touring musician," he says. "If by some miracle, it happened that I would gain a wider audience, that would be wonderful but, more realistically, I would love to sell my music. I would love to have others play my songs."

As for the wisdom of trying to launch a career in the music business when one is well past their youth, Weiss had a revelation when he saw folk-rock legend James Taylor perform at Bluesfest a couple of years back.

"I just see a guy on stage who's playing and it's just this pure beautiful stuff," Weiss says.

It made him realize that his music would probably appeal to the same baby-boomer demographic. "My audience is not the 17-year-olds," he added. - The Ottawa Citizen - Lynn Saxberg

"Different Point of View - docweissband"

Dire que les compositions de l'Ottavien Ronald Weiss sont teintées du soft rock de James Taylor s'avère un bel euphémisme. Different Point of View rappelle tant l'ami Taylor et ses confrères troubadours qu'à la première écoute, on voudrait crier à l'imposture. Toutefois, un deuxième et un troisième coups d'oreille s'imposent, ne serait-ce que pour révéler les jolis arrangements de cuivres qui ponctuent l'album, notamment sur la rythmée Brighten Up My Day (gracieuseté de Mark Ferguson). Par leur simplicité désarmante, certaines pièces ressortent du lot (Brighten Up My Day, Wait), mais la banalité des textes et la réalisation sans éclat mettent rapidement un frein au plaisir. Au fil d'arrivée, Different Point of View n'offre pas grand-chose de différent, mais exhale suffisamment de charme pour survivre aux comparaisons. -

"Local Doc Plays Local Club"

By Claire Biddiscombe

The first thing that leaps out at you
when you walk into Ron Weiss’s
living room is the grand piano. The
gleaming black Yamaha takes up one
whole corner of the room, smacking
you upside the head with the musicality
of the house’s occupants.
Weiss plays, as do his wife and son.
But if you see him making music in
public, he’s much more likely to have
a guitar in his hands. Weiss, 52, is
the founder and driving force of the
docweissband, a group of four Ottawa
professionals who got together
last year to play original music written
by Weiss himself. The band had
their first show at Humphrey’s on
Bank in December, and their next appearance
is scheduled for the beginning
of April.
Weiss taught himself how to play
guitar at age 16. At the age of 19, he
practiced classical guitar and piano
seriously for a year, but realized that,
ultimately, music was not a career
that would fit well with other things
he aspired to in life. “On reflection,
and after meeting the woman who
is now my wife, Debbie, I didn’t
think of music as a stable career path
for somebody who really wanted a
family, and my priority was having
a family. So that came first,” Weiss
Music went on the backburner for a
while, while he focused on his family
and his medical practice. He moved
to the Glebe from the Alta Vista area
in 1997, and set up an office in the
basement of his home at the corner
of Bank and Clemow. Recently, he
performed his 25,000th vasectomy
in that office. He has pioneered a
method of performing the procedure
that requires neither a needle nor a
scalpel. “Men are chickens,” he said.
“So the less scary stuff around, the
The Ottawa Citizen recently
dubbed him the “vasectomy king”
and he says he has performed the
procedure more often than anyone
else in the Western world. “It became
very popular very quickly,” he
said. “I began as a family doctor, but
it kind of overwhelmed that practice
and eventually that became most of
what I do.”
A few years ago, though, his wife
gave him an unexpected present: an
envelope containing enough money
to buy a guitar. Weiss worked by
himself for a while, and also attended
a weekend workshop at the Cannington,
ON home of Canadian guitarist
Don Ross. Slowly, he got up the
nerve to play in front of other people,
by appearing at Rasputin’s on Bronson.
“You can’t imagine a friendlier
place than Rasputin’s,” he said. “You
go into the place, people who have
no clue who you are say ‘Hi, how
are you?’ You know, engage you in
conversation. And then you get up
on this little stage in front of the 25
people who can fit in the place…and
you play a couple of songs.”
“And it terrified me. I would shake
and sweat before I did it, each time.
And it just took doing it over and
over and over again before I could
get comfortable.”
Several years back, he made a New
Year’s resolution to form a band.
After some searching, the doctor
found three engineers to join him
in his musical endeavour: electric
guitarist Jim Mattson, bassist Mike
Leipe and drummer Gleb Sturov.
The quartet has been practicing intensively
for the past year, committing
to getting together at least once
a week. They don’t perform covers,
only original music written by Weiss.
“We don’t play other people’s music
and never wanted to,” Weiss said.
He says that it can be a challenge
to introduce new material and attract
attention once you’re beyond a certain
age, but the Internet has changed
the way music is distributed and allows
artists to attract audiences from
around the world. But Ottawa might
be good enough for now. Docweissband
will play their next show Apr.
4 at 8 p.m. at Humphrey’s on Bank.
You can find them online at http:// - THE GLEBE REPORT 13/03/09

"Greenfield's Pub Rocks"

...docweissband bring their blend of R & B and...rock to give Barrhaven a great show. ...Ron Weiss brought his James Taylor-influenced style to the Greenfield's stage... - Jeffrey Morris

"Greenfield's Pub Rocks"

...docweissband bring their blend of R & B and...rock to give Barrhaven a great show. ...Ron Weiss brought his James Taylor-influenced style to the Greenfield's stage... - Jeffrey Morris


Different Point Of View (LP) - 2010
Never Want To Go (EP) - 2011



Ron Weiss (originally from Montreal) is the singer/songwriter behind docweissband and brings his classical guitar training to create a unique fingerstyle of acoustic guitar playing, the underpinning of most of the songs on the new full CD release, Different Point Of View. Two of the songs (I Just Wanted You To Know and Brighten Up My Day) received honourable mentions in Mike Pinder’s Songwars and Bandwars, respectively in 2009. docweissband have played Irene’s, Black Sheep, Avant-Garde, Elmdale House, Greenfield’s and the N.A.C. Fourth Stage in addition to other venues.

He began playing drums at age 13 (one grandfather was a professional drummer...the other played violin). He taught himself guitar at 16 and started doing the open mics at Egerton’s and Fiddler’s Green in Toronto. His first demo was recorded at the RCA studios in Montreal at age 18. At 19 he studied classical guitar under the great Robert Jordan in addition to classical piano in Vancouver. He scored a short film for a UBC student that won the film competition run by the NFB that year. He began to get back into music slowly about 10 years ago studying jazz piano with the legendary Dave Hildinger and then moved back to acoustic guitar. In 2006 he traveled to Havana to record several instrumentals with a group of Cuban session players. He was front man for an Ottawa-based band from 2008 - 2011.

Band Members