Ted Staege.......................

 

I grew up in a house full of music.  I remember my mom playing albums by

Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Carol King, Johnny Cash, etc… so that was my

earliest exposure. The first recorded music I ever bought  left me dissatisfied. 

I was a huge fan of the first Star Wars movie when it came out, so I bought the

soundtrack on a cassette tape, brought it home…

and was sorely disappointed.  Not sure what I had expected, but apparently it WASN’T classical

music.  My next attempt was far more successful, as I snagged the cassette of Foreigner –

Double Vision.  Bingo!  I remember hearing Van Halen “Running With The Devil” for the first time.

And Boston.  And Styx.  And REO Speedwagon.  And Yes.  And Kansas.  And so on and so forth.  The chase was on!!

 

I started playing drums in junior high, bass drum first, but I worked my way up to snare pretty quick.  Our band director taught us all how to read music, but when I bought my first drum set (the same red sparkle one I’m playing in my retro picture on this page) I was on my own.  I had to figure this thing out.  I grew up in a very small town in northern Wisconsin, there were no instructors, no internet, heck, only 3 channels on my TV!  But I had my cassettes and I had WIFC FM in Wausau, and I put on the headphones and tried to play along, learning little bits along the way.  In high school, I got into every band there was: stage band, marching band, jazz band, pit band.  It was coming together…

 

I joined my first real band when I was maybe 15, it was a redneck country rock band, and I was playing with guys who were much older than me, but it was a blast!  I didn’t love the music, I didn’t love the late hours and the travel, but when the lights came up and we played for an audience, I was hooked!  Most gigs, I would head outside during our breaks so I could cool off, and most times I would get stopped on the way back in by the bouncer for being under age.  I would tell him, well, pretty soon the lead singer will get on the PA and say “Will the bouncer please let our young drummer back in the bar”?  I usually was allowed back in at that point, but sometimes the band had to come find me.

 

I sold my drums while I was in college, didn’t have anywhere to keep them and a buddy offered me cash for them.  I got thru college, got married, and started having kids right away.  Still loved music, but was busy enough with my family that I didn’t really miss the drums.  When my sons were maybe 8 and 6, the drums came up one day, and they said “You had drums!?!?  Why would you ever sell drums!?!?”  And I had to agree, so I went to Ward Brodt on the Beltline and bought what is still the basis of my black Tama set that I play today (although I have Peart-ized it a bit).  I played when I had time, but nothing really came of it until I became an empty nester in 2012.  Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands, made some local connections, and wound up in two bands that had some intertwined parts.  I also started playing in the worship band at my church, and met a guitar player there named Kurt Quickel. (name sound familiar?)  The other bands fell apart, and one night I went to see Kurt’s band, and they ROCKED!  I said to him that night, “If anything ever happens with your drummer, I better be your first call!”  Well, several months later, I got the call, auditioned, and I have been the drummer for Retro Specz ever since.  Lovin every minute of it…

Ted @ 17!