That is the life of Greg "Chopper" Lammers of Waverly.
A little hectic?Yes.
A little nuts?Yes.
have it any other way?Nope.He
has been known as Chopper now for 24 years.At the age of 49, Chopper is still striving for the big time, and is looking to make his
name nationally known.Lammers
took one more step towards his
dream by playing a show in Las Vegas recently.He
was invited to perform at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino during the American Disc Jockey Association Convention Feb. 17. He
has also performed in Orlando, Fla., on top of the IDS tower, played in the Minneapolis Aquatennial Torchlight parade, at Mystic Lake Casino, and plans to do a private party for Wells Fargo
at the Minneapolis Convention Center
in the near future.
Chopper's beginningsLammers graduated from Howard Lake High School, and took several odd jobs out of school, including working at Pure Milk in Winsted, and several truck driving jobs, among them driving a beer truck for Ogle Distribution.
"That's when I got into promoting dances at the hall in Waverly," Lammers
said."I tried to book bands, and had a sound system.When the bands went on break, I went up there and danced around and goofed off, and before I knew it, I had a full-blown show between bands."Lammers
had a nick-name when he
was a child.Because of his
last name, people would call him Lamb Chops.Soon after, Lamb Chops became just Chops, and eventually Chopper was born. He
borrowed $5,000 in 1980, and began playing for $25 a night.His
first official Chopper show was 24 years ago Holy Thursday, playing at The Wunder Bar
in New Germany, which is now Rack ‘Em Up.He
performed for nine people.
The next week, he
began playing at the Maple Lake Legion for $30 a night.
"It was a little by little process," Lammers
has three agents who get him work, but he
said that 90 percent of his
jobs come from word of mouth.He
has had a lot of shows in Illinois lately, including the cities of Peoria
, Decatur, and Chicago.He
has also been spotted several times on television, once on ESPN during a lady's bowling tournament, playing music into commercials, and another time he
did a public service announcement on Fox 29
No matter where he
is playing, or who he
is playing to, Lammers' motto is always the same: "Get ‘em laughin,' get ‘em dancin,' and drive ‘em wild."
Lammers also donates one show a year to the residents of the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center
"God's been good to me, so that's just me trying to pay Him back," Lammers
said.Another goal of his
would be to get invited to perform in Waverly again. Lammers
is also content in his
home life, having been married to his
wife Raquel for several years, and now being a father to 4-year-old Annella. During the daytime, Lammers is a bus driver for the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District.He
does the kindergarten route and the afternoon route, which allows him time to get some sleep.
"Kids are the greatest," Lammers
said."At my shows, I try to bring out the kid in everybody."
In order to do this, Lammers
always has some tricks up his
sleeve, including arriving with the classic car facade that he
performs in, and a variety of hats and other props.
"You have to make the people the show," he
said."You take it at the beginning and try to motivate people and make the audience the show."
Lammers also noted that it is important to him that he
can make it through the crowd and shake people's hands at the end of the night. He
said that the nights that he
learns the most from are the nights that he
"Now, I look for tough crowds," he