Inventor? Psychology Teacher? Rock Star?


Berglund, pictured above, jams out during a drum session with one of his bands in the 1970’s. Photo credit: Doug Berglund

Sera Mugeta, Staff Writer

Doug Berglund, social studies teacher at South, is famous for his wacky ties, weekly jigsaws, and cheesy 90s programs. Unbeknownst to some, however, he is also the drummer of a band that was popular in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Midway through college, Berglund decided to pursue his love for drumming. He and his band, The Newz, who later changed their name to Sagebrush due to copyright conflicts, started playing local gigs all across the Midwest.
His band’s first record Spicy Stories written in 1983, has a rock vibe along with some country melodies. He did all the drumming on the album and also participated in various ‘harmonic yells’ during some songs.
“It’s automatically an oldies band,” Berglund laughed. “No matter how much you talk about it, people now will always think it’s an oldie band.” One song off their album ‘Tell Me’, is available to listen to on YouTube.
But that oldies band soon got a lot of local gigs and opened for well-known artists like the Tubes and Jerry Jeff Walker. They even played at the Orpheum theater. The Newz got into North Dakota’s Rock-Country Hall of Fame in 2012.
“It was surreal getting inducted into the Hall of Fame…because my old drum teacher got inducted at the exact same time as me. He didn’t remember me, but it was pretty cool to be in the same place as him.” Berglund says.
Band life was great for Sagebrush, but Berglund knew he wouldn’t be a full time drummer forever.
“At that time I was like ‘If I’m rich and famous at thirty, I’ll stay on the road. If I don’t I’ll go back to school.’” Fast forward thirty years later and we have Berglund teaching psychology and CIS Economics, but in no way does he consider teaching a step down from being a drummer.
“I love teaching. I might not be a cool teacher, but I dedicate a lot time doing what I do,” Berglund said.
Berglund is charismatic and enthusastic in class. He has millions of CD’S stacked all over his classroom ranging from Jane Goodall to the Simpsons. It’s easy to tell that Berglund finds his subjects interesting and that his students enjoy the class.
Senior Rilet Weston describes Berglund’s teaching, “He’s a great teacher, serious in his work, and he wants students to really understand and engage in what he’s connecting too.”
If being a drummer isn’t cool enough, Berglund also invented a tool that allows drummers to tighten the nuts on their drumset in an area that isn’t very accessible with the average wrench.
“I needed this tool on the road and spent some time trying to create something like it but didn’t find myself very successful,” Berglund explained. In 2013, Berglund finally produced a ‘Drummer’s Wing Nut Wrench’.
Berglund stays very humble about his interesting past. “I’m not trying to impress anyone,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that anyone stay out of school because it’s of course important, but going on the road definitely gave me experience.”
“I was just a young, idealistic drummer,” Berglund concluded, reflecting on his adventures from the past. “I’m just humble enough to have had the experience.”