This Thursday is Moose's Birthday
Tue., May. 10. 2005 10:18am EDT
This Thursday, May 12, is the birthday of our drummer, Bill "Moose" Rieger. A veteran of numerous groups as stylistically diverse as their names suggest (Ryerson Station, The Dog House Swing, 3 Tough Guys, 5 Tough Guys, and countless others, including the SEO Symphony Orchestra), Bill officially joined ApologetiX in March 2001.
But Bill's roots with ApologetiX go deeper than that. He actually played his first concerts with us in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia and Ohio in late 1998 and early 1999. We would have gladly welcomed him into the fold back then, but his work schedule didn't permit it. In the meantime, God graciously brought Fred Behanna into our lives to fill the void.
In God's perfect timing, when Fred decided to retire two years later, Bill was available, and he became our SIXTH official drummer, following Jeff Pakula, Rick Servocky, Bob Flaherty, Keith Harrold and Fred ... and that doesn't even count two drummers who played on CDs, David "The Legend" McKee and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, and other drummers who've filled in for us, such as Allen Muckle and Ron Zanksi.
Bill, however, has outlasted them all, with a record-setting four years of uninterrupted service already under his belt. In addition to being an excellent drummer, Bill is also the band's designated late-night van driver, resident jazz enthusiast, and most-accomplished storyteller. A fan of movies, motorcyles, fishing and football, Bill is the only drummer we've ever had who is a lover of classic poetry. He also does a mean impression of Yoda. But more importantly, he's brave, bold, outspoken, hard-working and compassionate, with a strong desire to use his gifts for the Lord.
When keyboardist Bill Hubauer began touring with us last year, we needed a way to distinguish between the two Bills, and our roadie Bob Flaherty began referring to Bill Rieger as "Old Bill," even though Bill Hubauer is actually older. To add insult to injury, Bob didn't call Bill Hubauer "New Bill"; he called him "Cool Bill." We've also heard the pair recently referred to as "Bill 1 and Bill 2."
May is a manic month for the man called Moose, as he is moving into a new house along with his wife, Chris, and kids, Jacob, who will be 10 next month, Rebecca, 8, and Rachel, 5. Although Bill's birthday is May the 12th, he probably considers May the 19th more cause to celebrate, because that's the day his long-awaited Star Wars movie, "Revenge of the Sith," comes out. And don't forget May the 4th. As Obi-Wan Kenobi says, "May the 4th be with you!"
FYI, The final three band birthdays this year are all in July and all take place on days when we'll be on tour playing summer festivals: J.'s is July 2 (Cornerstone '05 in IL), Keith's is July 16 and Bill Hubauer's is July 18, the weekend when we'll be playing Sonshine '05 (Willmar MN ), Eyota Days Festival '05 (Eyota MN), and Paperfest '05 (Kimberly WI).