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RANDY WAGERS

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TEAM PROFILE:

1. Ludwig Team Position and Time Served:
Customer Service/Assists in Artist Relations; 5 1/2 yrs.
2. Things you love about your job:
Working with drummers & percussionists, constantly learning, meeting Artists when the opportunity arises, genuinely believing in the product.
3. Challenging aspects:
I am stealing my favorite Gary Devore quote: "Always remember, there isn't a question you won't be asked."
4. Drumming experience, and how it all started:
Wanted to play guitar when I was a young lad, then heard John Bonham on Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti' and that changed everything for me. I got my first drumset when I was 12 for Christmas. It was a mix of Ludwig & Slingerland drums...the set was very used and in near complete shambles, I loved it.
5. Were there any experiences before you came to Ludwig that you feel prepared you for what you do now?
Playing drum set gigs in a full band for many years definitely helped, and having played marching drums throughout high school and college. I don't think I could have prepared enough though, it was a bit intimidating at first coming into Ludwig with all the Pros that have worked here over the years.
6. Most memorable experiences while "on duty" with Ludwig:
I had been here for only two months and ended up being Ed Shaughnessy and Butch Miles' drum tech for our company picnic. After the picnic ended and I was tearing down, Ed and Butch were the only people left in the parking lot with me. They were sharing personal and candid stories about Buddy Rich. I was a mere mortal in the presence of Drum Gods! Another one would be when I got invited to hang out during Primus' soundcheck at a show in Chicago. After they were done checking, I got to meet the band who I've been a fan of since I was a teen, and then got to slap some beats on Jay Lane's kit. That was a lot of fun. Being in the studio watching Jim Riley record solos for an upcoming Ludwig DVD was a good hang for me, he's a true pro. I have many more I could share, but those stand out for me.
7. Current Drumming Gig outside Ludwig:
Hired gun for anyone in the area. Playing w/ a band called 'Jassy Grazz' every now and then when the opportunity arises.
8. Favorite "Ludwig Era" of drum making:
That's a tough one. I would have to say the 70s, and then present day b/c I've been able to witness product as its developing. We've done some cool things w/ hybrid shells and released a lot of unique snares over the past few yrs. Love the Atlas hardware, the Classic line specifically. From the 70s, I really like the Vistalites where you had the option to choose a mix of colors and a pattern designation.
9. Strangest thing that has happened on the job:
After working here for a few years, nothing is strange to me anymore.
10. Do you collect Ludwig Drums? Favorite Piece:
I would not consider myself a collector b/c I don't purchase drums w/ the intent to put them up for display. I like to play everything I own. My favorite toy right now is a maple/walnut/poplar striped setup w/ birch reinforcement rings.
11. Your current playing set-up, and what you dig about it:
An Epic X-Over striped set. It's a jazzette setup, but it rumbles!! The bass drum is a 14x18 which is fitted with a very hip bass drum lifter. I bought Atlas Classic flat base hardware to compliment the setup, it just looks slick. I use Zildjian cymbals: 14" hats/15" crash w/ an 11" splash stacked on top/20" ride/another 20" ride w/ a 14" china stacked on top
12. Favorite concerts/gigs featuring a Ludwig Artists:
Seeing 'Cake' in Chicago and talking shop w/ Paulo Baldi backstage post-show in Chicago was a great experience....watching Patrick Carney @ the United Center perform w/ 'The Black Keys'....Clayton Cameron giving a clinic w/ brushes at the Chicago Vintage Drum Show....and of course seeing Jay Lane w/ 'Primus.'
13. What drew you to Ludwig?
I'm partial to Ludwig b/c it's what I started out playing...it was my first kit. Then in middle school and high school that's all the Band Director would buy, who is also a gifted drummer. Also, most of my favorite records I grew up listening to from my parent's collection were recorded using Ludwig drums, the sound is unmistakable.
14. What, to you, makes Ludwig unique?
To draw from the previous response, the sound for one thing. Also, the history and longevity of the company....Ludwig is the innovator of so many things in the drumming world and has set the standard for which many companies have followed over the past 100+ yrs.
15. Any upcoming projects that you are particularly excited about?
Personally, finding musicians to play with & starting up a new band.
16. Who are you major drumming influences?
Gary Chaffee (books), Tim 'Herb' Alexander, Eddie Knight, Robb Thiel, Stewart Copeland, John Bonham, Jean Paul Gaster, Clyde Stubblefield, David Garibaldi
17. What are your five favorite albums (drumming or otherwise)?
In no order: Medeski, Martin & Wood/Friday Afternoon in the Universe, Santana/Abraxas, Clutch/Blast Tyrant, The Police/Ghost in the Machine, Miles Davis/Bitches Brew. Honorary mention: Beastie Boys/Check Your Head







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