Ben Kweller was born in San Francisco, CA in 1981. In 1982, his family relocated to Emory, Texas, where his father, Howard Kweller, became the town’s first doctor. In 1986, the Kwellers moved to a much larger city, Greenville, TX. Kweller was exposed to music at a very early age. Howard taught Ben how to play the drums when he was seven years old. For the next year, they would play together almost every night after Howard got home from work. Howard sang and played guitar while Ben played the drums. The duo played songs by The Beatles, The Hollies, Jimi Hendrix, and other artists of the 1960s. Howard is also a longtime friend of Nils Lofgren, a neighbor with whom he went to high school. Kweller has mentioned in interviews that meeting Lofgren greatly helped his exposure to music. When Kweller turned eight, someone showed him how to play “Heart and Soul” on the piano and the youngster immediately began to create his own songs using the same chords. He still uses the same technique to write his songs today. By the time he was nine he had a dozen original compositions under his belt and entered a songwriting contest sponsored by Billboard magazine. Kweller won an honorable mention.
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Kweller married his girlfriend Liz (the subject of the song “Lizzy”) and they have two sons, named Dorian Zev Kweller, born in May 2006, and Judah Evan Kweller, born April 3 2010. At the time of Dorian’s birth they lived in New York City, but they later moved back to Kweller’s home state of Texas and currently reside in Austin. Ben’s middle name, Lev, means “Heart” in Hebrew and his son’s middle name, Zev, means “Wolf”. Ben has said in interviews, “Together we’re Heart of the Wolf…”
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