Welcome to my Web site!
Hello, my name is Roger Berg and I am a Buddy Rich fan...
A page about Roger...
I was born July 11, 1961 in Jönköping, Sweden. We lived in Vaggeryd ca 35 kilometers south of Jönköping. My father's name was Bertil Berg. He passed away in February 1993 and I miss him a lot. My mother's name is Evy Berg and she is doing fine today. My brother, Kennet Berg, is 18 years older than I am and is a police officer in Norrköping ca 160 kilometers south of Stockholm, which for the time being is the capital of Sweden.
I started playing the drums when I was three years old. Got my first own real drums at the age of 8-9. Learned how to play by listening to Glenn Miller (Anchors Aweigh, drummer Maurice Purtill, American Patrol, the version with a march drum intro and a 16 bar drum solo in the middle instead of the usual 4, St Louis Blues March with drummer Ray McKinley, Bugle Call Rag from the film Orchestra Wives with Miller-Purtill), Benny Goodman with Gene Krupa, Krupa's own records and... who's this Rich guy?? Bought a CBS record called "Kings of Drums" with Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson, Art Blakey and Kenny Clarke. The record takes off with Sing Sing Sing with Goodman's band and Krupa at the famous concert in 1938 at Carnegie Hall (I could play the whole drum part! When I think of my parents... ) and continues with Bellson playing Skin Deep 1952 with Ellington's band. Check out that for double bass drum technique!
During this period I played other instruments such as the trombone for five years until I was sixteen. That's how I learned to read music. I got my first drum teacher 1974 at age 13: Lars E. Hoffner. He taught me how to read drum parts and a lot of other things written for drums and he straightened out my technique and how to hold the sticks, which I got from looking at pictures of Krupa and other drummers!
In 1977 I finished elementary school and was supposed to go to high school. I wanted to go to a music high school and at that time it was only available in five towns in Sweden, so I had to leave home and move to Malmo at the age of sixteen. My teacher through these 3 years at high school was Thorvald Lidner to whom I owe a lot for helping me out and also leading me in to the world of percussion, which was necessary for me in order to be accepted at the The Malmö Academy of Music where I started studying in 1980. The teachers there was (still is) great drummer/percussionist Lennart Gruvstedt on percussion and the great Ed Thigpen on drums who lives in Copenhagen. He stopped teaching there around 1984. In 1983 I took a brake and did my military service in the Swedish Army Music Squad, as a drummer, of course! Graduation day from the Academy was May 18, 1985.
I'll complete this biography eventually...
What am I doing now?
I, this is I, play drums six nights a week at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen with the Tivoli Big Band mid-April through mid-September among other things. In 2007 Tivoli opened on April 13, closes on September 23. We recorded a CD in 1998 (March 10-11) with the band that was released in time for the opening 1998. We recorded a new one at the end of the 2005 season. It was released the summer of 2006. I'll make a couple of samples available here soon.
Here's a couple of clips/tunes from our previous CD from 1993.
On February 1, 2007 my own big band, Roger Berg Big Band, started playing open rehearsals in Malmoe, every Thursday night. We play the music from the swingin' years - Dorsey, Shaw, Goodman, Miller, Basie, Ellington, Rich, Heath and others. The arrangements are as-close-as-we-can-get-them transcriptions OR originals, when available. The response, so far, goes beyond my wildest expectations!! You can see some information about it on my own site: www.rogerberg.com. There will be more pictures and sound clips soon... During the fall of 2007 we'll do the open rehearsals almost every Thursday night at "Gyllene Tuppen" (Coq d'Or) and "Tangopalatset" in Malmo. Check out my own website for details.
...and a little something from the past...
I've played tours with Tommy Steele in Denmark in the fall of 1999 and in Sweden, the fall of 2000. We backed him up with a 13 piece orchestra. Tommy did a great job. The show involved everything from theater show stoppers to his hits from the '50s. (Here's a pic from Tommy to a friend of mine. The pic is not from the show.) Here's a pic of everybody.
Maybe this should be the place for some kind of CV with a lot of well-known names? Just like everybody else...?!
More to come...
When did I see Buddy live?
On March 10, 1977 I experienced my first Buddy Rich concert in Borås at a hotel where the band also played a couple of dance sets after the concert. Somehow I've lost the pictures I took there... that's a bummer... on March 28, on the same tour of course, I traveled to Växjö and Katedralsskolans auditorium to see Buddy again.
In July, 1978 the band returned to Sweden, now to play at the jazz festival in Kristianstad. This was a great concert, the band was in fine shape. The Swedish Radio made a fine recording which sounds great! Pictures from that concert will soon show up.
Here I leave out a couple of things, concerts and years for the moment, because I found my notes for the following:
Buddy played a small town in Sweden, Ödeshög, October 4, 1984. If you translate "Ödeshög" to English, it'll be "Destiny Heights". Everybody in Sweden think that's very funny :-)) The day after they played a little bigger town called Västerås. That evening the Swedish Radio once again made a nice recording of the band. After the concert I followed the tour bus with my own car. The band and Buddy spent the night in Motala. The guys in the band and myself stayed on Park Hotel. Buddy stayed at another hotel of which I can't remember the name right now. The way everything was planned was not too good as far as eating was concerned. In small towns in Sweden you can't eat out after 9.00 PM. There's not even a McDonald's that's open. Everybody was hungry, I think the time was about 11-12 PM or so. I climbed out a window on the second floor of the hotel, walked on the roof to the kitchen window, was lucky enough to find I could just open the window without smashing anything, opened the door to the hallway, let the guys in... then we robbed the fridge!
This is only the beginning...I will complete the listing when time allows...!!
This site was last updated 12/23/07