Who is Bill "Moose" Rieger?
Bill "Moose" Rieger was the fifth official drummer for ApologetiX. He retired in January 2006 after playing 396 concerts and five albums in five years -- both all-time records for ApologetiX drummers.
Bill took a leave of absence in late October 2005 to spend more time with his wife and three kids and attend to some family medical matters. The good news is that the medical matters got better and the extra family time was extremely rewarding; the bad news is things went so well that Bill decided to retire from ApologetiX and full-time drumming in January 2006.
When something happens like this in a band or in a ministry, there are always questions from people on the outside. We cannot stress enough that Bill and ApologetiX parted on the best of terms, and Bill conducted himself with absolute integrity and professionalism. We miss him greatly, but we understand his decision, and we know it was a hard one for him to make.
Neither Bill nor the rest of ApologetiX wanted his last concert to be ones we'd already played last October. Consequently, we gave him a big send-off in January 27-29, 2006, with concerts in Reynoldsburg OH, Dayton OH, and Dover OH. Jimmy Tanner, who had already been filling in for Bill for almost three months by January 2006, became Bill's official sucessor after those concerts.
Like Jimmy, Bill played his first concerts with ApologetiX as a fill-in drummer, with five concerts way back in the winter of 1998-99. At the time, his schedule didn't allow him to pursue things further, and Fred Behanna became our drummer from February 1999 through January 2001, with occasional fill-in help from Keith Harrold.
When Fred retired, Bill auditioned for the part of full-time drummer with concerts in Lancaster OH (February 24, 2001) and Monaca PA (March 3, 2001) before playing his first concert as our official drummer in Collegeville PA on March 24, 2001.
We prefer to think of our former members as ApologetiX alumni, and you'll occasionally see them at concerts, where they are always welcome. In fact, one of Bill's best friends is another former ApologetiX drummer, Bob Flaherty, whom he met through the band. Before Bill joined us, Bob held the record for the longest tenure as ApologetiX drummer (from May 1995-September 1998). Bill broke that record by playing over four and a half years as our full-time drummer (without needing a fill-in) and set another record by playing on five of our CDs, "Keep the Change," "Grace Period," "Adam Up," "New & Used Hits," and our newest, "ApologetiX Hits: The Road."
Speaking of CDs, we feel that Bill's finest performances as an ApologetiX drummer can be heard on his final projects with us, "Hits: The Road" and seen on the new DVD, "Samson Comes Alive: An Evening With ApologetiX." You also get to see interviews with him and hear his legendary "knack for chat" during the DVD's closing sequence.