Classmate Biography

Rio Linda Senior High School - Rio Linda, CA - Class of 1971

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Roger Linder

Originally written November 6, 1999
Last updated October 1, 2013















Attended Sac State majoring in chemistry. That lasted for a year, then I changed my major to math. Graduated January 1976. Worked mostly at Nu-Way during this time, and was unsuccessful finding employment as a mathematician. Decided to return to school and pursue a Master's in Computer Science. After the first semester, landed a student assistant job at DWR and continued taking classes for 5 semesters. In the meantime, got hired on full time. Worked on Master's Project for 5 1/2 years, but mostly just spinning wheels and wrapped it up in 1985 after a one year extension.

Love Life

Met a friend of my brother named Dona in Fall 1971 and we dated for about 6 months, but broke it off, and I was unattached until I asked Cece Bennett, a Rio Linda 1974 graduate who I had known for several years, to a Uriah Heep concert in February 1974. We dated for exactly two years, got engaged, then married 8 months after that. We celebrate our 37th anniversary this year. We now have two sons, Matt, age 33, and Brad, age 30.


At the time of graduation, I was working at Nu-Way Market on Front and M in Rio Linda. Left Nu-Way after graduating to do some traveling before concentrating on college, but returned in February 1972 (I was out of money, and Merv, the owner, needed help). Left again in 1974 and went to work for Stop and Go convenience store chain. Six months and three robberies later, I decided to quit, and was unemployed for 3 months. Went to work for Washington Inventory Service for 18 months, and quit to return to Nu-Way for a final time in 1976. Worked as manager until 1978, then took a job with the California Department of Water Resources where I am today employed as a Systems Software Specialist. Got my 25 year award, and plan to try for 40. Had a couple of part time positions as a student assistant while at Sac State, and also as a part time instructor teaching COBOL.


Got together with some college buddies in 1971 and formed a rock band called Ambush. We were together about 6 months and then the drummer moved to Utah. I was the bass player, and sang on one song (a cover of the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes"). We played three paying gigs - a girl scout dance, a junior high dance and a dance at Roseville High. After disbanding, I became interested in song writing (too late for the band) and went on to pen about 50 songs, including a rock opera and play, between 1972 and 1976. Also during that time, became a fan of a musician named Todd Rundgren ("Hello, It's Me", "I Saw The Light", "Bang The Drum All Day"). More later.

As my interest in a career at Nu-Way was waning, I became interested in programming and audited a BASIC class at Sac State (I had taken FORTRAN in my Freshman year). This of course led to my enrollment, etc., etc.

Never quite got into the hard core PC hobbyist scene, but did programming, etc. all the time as my new job. Finally got a home computer, a Mac, about 7 years ago. Then the web happened, and I jumped on the bandwagon. I was developing pages at work, and began to develop as a hobby as well. Opened up the world's first fan site for Todd Rundgren in June 1994, and it is now recognized as the top of several fan run sites, with thousands of visits daily. It also led to me meeting Todd and several of Todd's sidemen and I have also developed web pages for them. Plus, I run sites for our church and a collection of Lutheran churches in the Sacto area. And now, I'm using the web to try to locate Class of 1971 graduates (it's been phenomenally successful.)

I returned to performing music in 1999 by joining our contemporary worship music team "How Majestic" at church, playing bass and 12 string guitar and singing. My son Matt was also a member and played bass, but has since moved on. I also served on our church council for 18 years, retiring in 2004, where one of my responsibilities was to prepare the annual church budget. I also taught Sunday School to 5th and 6th grade confirmation students.

I enjoy collecting records and CDs and listening to music. My record collection, which I began in 1964, now stands at about 800, and now I have an even greater number of CDs. My musical interests are mainly in rock (even as it has evolved over the years,) and I enjoy New Age music as well. I still read a lot, especially during my daily commute to work, when I ride the bus and light rail downtown.

In 2003, I added the title "Co-Executive Producer" and "Music Director" to my resumé with the premier of the weekly cable TV program Lutherans ALIVE!. On the first few episodes I appeared on camera, but also worked behind the scenes as floor manager. The show was seen each Saturday night at 8 PM on Sacramento Comcast Cable channel 19. It ended in 2006 after 83 episodes.

In October 2007 I started attending the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre Playwrights in hopes to get my play "Only Golden Fingers Could Play So Heavy" critiqued an potentially staged. Over the last few years I've been an active participant, had two short pieces performed in 2009 and performed in two pieces in 2011. Still working on getting that play produced, though. Managed to write a novelization of it, and am working on the novel's sequel.


We made the Bee's family page a few years ago and described our current goal at the time, which was to visit all of California's 58 counties in a single 12-month period. We began in September 1988 and completed our task just before Labor Day in 1989. We commemorated our accomplishment by getting a license plate that read "58IN1YR".

In 1997 I got to meet my musical idol, Todd Rundgren. I hung out after a show at the Fillmore in San Francisco until he appeared, and when he came out, we were introduced. He said it was an honor to meet me, as he was already familiar with me through my efforts on the Todd Rundgren Connection web page. In 1998 I got another chance to chat with him in Sausalito, and asked him to drop a note of encouragment to my son, who was about to enter college as a music major (he did). Later that same year, I was picked to be on stage operating his laptop, describing the action of the concert to online fans. In 2000, along with the rest of my family, we attended Todd's concert at Maritime Hall in San Francisco. The concert was filmed and released on DVD, and I can be spotted several times in the audience. We also got to go backstage and visit with Todd and the band. Most recently, we were backstage in November 2003 chatting with Todd and his wife Michele. I've also had the opportunity to meet and work with several of his sidemen: Kasim Sulton, Roger Powell and Ralph Schuckett (Utopia); occasional band members John Ferenzik and Jesse Gress; Larry Tagg, Brent Bourgeois, Lyle Workman, Scott Moon and Michael Urbano (formerly of Sacramento-based Uncle Rainbow and Bourgeois Tagg); Tubes members Fee Waybill, Roger Steen, and drummers Prairie Prince and Trey Sabatelli; Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton (The Cars/The New Cars). I've also met Alan Parsons and Peter Frampton. I am also co-organizer of ToddFest/West, an annual gathering of Rundgren fans which attracts attendees from all over the country, as well as the occasional international visitor.


I currently reside in Antelope, California, which is about 10 minutes northeast of Rio Linda, and have lived there since 1994. Our home has a large lot, and we installed a pool in 1997 and have been spending time every spring and summer trying to complete the landscaping. We completed a major landscaping task in 2009.

From 1977 until 1994 we lived in the Arcade area, near Howe and Marconi, a total of 17 years. For 8 months after our marriage we lived in the Hillsdale area. My parents still live in the same house in Rio Linda where I grew up.

Family Life

My son Matt was born in 1980, and has completed his Master's Degree in Music History at Sac State. He was in a Christian Rock band called Silent Horizon and played the bass guitar for a few years in the praise band at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church.

Matt's daughter Diana was born in 2010.

My son Brad was born in 1983, and is a 2001 graduate from Center High School. His interests also include music, he plays trumpet and was in the jazz and concert bands. He also joined the choir for his senior year. He attended American River College. He worked as a cook at the Dry Creek Station restaurant on Front Street in Rio Linda, then McCormick and Schmicks in Roseville. He now works at Meridians in Lincoln, CA.

Growing up, they participated in the normal kid activities, including baseball, soccer and scouting. I was one of their baseball coaches and also their cubmaster and scoutmaster.

My wife Cecelia worked as an a instructional specialist at Wilson C. Riles Middle School (formerly known as Center Junior High School) working in the special education unit from 1997-2011. She worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at Dudley and Spinelli Elementary Schools before returning to Riles in 2012. Cece is a wonderful person that everyone instantly likes, and is my constant companion in nearly everything I do.


Throughout all of the last 30+ years, and certainly during several of the years that preceded that, music has been a very important part of my life. In my early 20s my greatest goal was to be a Rock Star. Needless to say, it didn't happen, but the desire never left me. Performance music was put on the shelf for many years until I joined our church's music team, and rediscovered my love for it.

As I mentioned under the "Activities" category, I was a composer during the early 70s and wrote a number of songs, including a rock opera. As a project, it never really went anywhere, as I never found myself in a performing unit. Then, late in 2000, I started using a music transcription program belonging to my son called "Finale." It has the capability to create musical passages in a format called MIDI, fully arranged with a bevy of instruments available. I decided that I could finally do some justice to the songs I wrote in 1974 that made up my rock opera "Only Golden Fingers Could Play So Heavy." I began arranging the 20-some songs, re-typed the play, and have posted it on the web. Someday I hope to have it produced at The Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre.

In 2001, I played some of the songs for the folks on our music team, and indicated that I was interested in working some of the material into a Christmas program. Upon listening, they felt that the material lent itself better to Easter, so I started making plans to create a new rock opera, based on the post-Easter story. Several of the songs were adapted. We produced the show on May 6, 2001. If you'd like to check it out, visit the "40 Days" web site.

Social Networking

I'm registered on several online social networks, but primarily am only active on Facebook.

Check out all my social links under the heading "Roger's Social Sites" on my home page.

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