Turn It Up Tuesday!


September 21, 2010 by esarsea

This week’s “Turn It Up Tuesday” is not a series of music videos or performances, but rather a historic look at one of my all-time favorite bands, Grand Funk Railroad. I was fortunate enough to catch them on their reunion tour several years back. The material is a little dated now, but I still found it interesting.

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”  — Hunter S. Thompson

19 thoughts on “Turn It Up Tuesday!

  1. torqdog says:

    Grand Funk was my favorite band growing up and my drumming style has allot of Don Brewer syncopated driving force in it. I haven’t yet watched the videos but have read things pertaining to how Terry Knight screwed them over.

    I saw GFR numerous times back in the 70s and followed them up to about the Phoenix album. They sure could bring down a house back then. How was the reunion show you saw?

  2. Stu says:

    It was great. Played a lot if their early material which was my favorite stuff of theirs (pre American Band).

  3. torqdog says:

    Great find Stu! Just watched all the vids and all I can say is, what an unbelievable ride those boys took. Also, Terry Knight is a bigger POS than I suspected. It sure was a drive down memory lane seeing all those old clips…….. thems were the days my friend!

  4. Stu says:

    Yes those were the days! Mel Schacher was THE reason I picked up the bass. Amazing player. Terry Knight did show his colors there, didn’t he?

  5. torqdog says:

    I wonder if we were ever to get together and jam whether we could bang out some old GFR tunes. Seems as though that band was both of our biggest influence. Back in the day, we used to have allot of fun with “In Need”.

  6. Stu says:

    Absolutely. I used to play along with the self-titled “Red” album all the time. Got this thing on the move, Mr. Limousine driver, In need, Paranoid, etc…what a classic!!!

    Always wanted to create a Mel bass. He used an old J-bass but replaced the fender pickups with a Gibson humbucking p/u out of a EB bass, and played through a wall of 15″ speakers powered by West “Fillmore” amps.

    I read that Mel’s bass tech would wear heavy flame-resistant gloves and stand on a stool behind his rack of 15″ JBL D140 speakers and wait for the tubes in his amps to “flame out” during gigs – and then instantly plug in new ones. (Insert Tim Allen’s “argh argh argh” here). Wow…

  7. Bill says:

    I read a Rolling Stone interviw with Farner back in their hey-day and he was going on about how hard it was to play many of their gigs because they smoked dope and every once in a while, it would be so strong, they could hardly function on stage. I saw one gig in the 70’s and they rocked, of course.

    • Stu says:

      Mark Farner must have been a stoner before he became religious (he recorded a lot of Christian music after GFR split). GFR changed up the lyrics in their cover of the Animal’s Inside Looking Out to make it a song about a guy in prison doing time for a $5 bag of pot, and it was one of their early live show-stoppers. I’ve got a previously unreleased 16 minute live version of Inside Looking Out on CD (that’s different than the one on GFR Live) that STILL knocks my socks off. It appears on a great and highly recommendable 3-CD box set called 30 Years of Funk.

  8. torqdog says:

    Stu, have you heard the “Live The 1971 Tour” CD? It was released in 2002 and I’m thinkin the quality must be improved over the original Live Album. I think I wore out 2 or 3 copies of that LP due to overuse, not abuse. That Live Album was one of my favs back in the 70s.

    • torqdog says:

      Never mind. I just went out and looked and low and behold, I have it. I must have gone on a GFR buying frenzy sometime around the time I moved up here and completely forgot about it. I seem to have all the older CDs remastered in 2002 and spent the evening listening to On Time and the Red Album. Sure brings back memories and is inspiring me to get up on my set and bang out a few rythyms, GFR style.

  9. Bill says:

    Interesting. With a few exceptions, when I go dig out something from the 70’s music archives, it rarely lives up to my memory of it, particulalry guitar-heavy stuff.

    Wishbone Ash, Captain Beyond, even some of Ritchie Blackmore’s stuff with Deep Purple sounds kind of tame these days, even a bit corny.

    I anxiously grabbed Rubber Soul over the week-end and plugged it into my Jeep and was immediately let down, punching at the track button hunting for something to scratch my itch. Tastes change over time, but looking back hasn’t been all that rewarding for a lot of what I remembered.

    • Stu says:

      A lot of the older stuff (for me) is more about the feel and mood. Going back and listening to Jimmy Page one discovers that his playing was not exactly articulate or flashy, but it was very effective and emotive. I think a lot of the older stuff is that way. It was more about the song as a whole back then. I think we tend to remember the emotions and feelings attached to a certain artist or music than we do the actual instrumentation?

      But then again it sure felt flashy back then.

      I dunno. I have on occasion been disappointed when I have gone back and listened to some stuff I remembered as being good. There have also been times that I have gone back and it was even better than I remembered. I’m starting to talk in circles. Enough from me…

    • torqdog says:

      I kind of agree with you with a few exceptions. This GFR revival I’ve been going through this week still sounds hot hot hot and is burning with raw energy. Spun the Live album and Closer to Home last night and am still amazed at how ahead of their time those boys were. They definitely carved their own niche in the music world. I also have been getting into some early Jeff Beck (Blow by Blow, Wired and There and Back) and those three CDs are still red hot smokers IMHO. In fact, they kind of make his more recent stuff (last 15 to 20 years) seem tame in comparison to tunes like Led Boots etc.

      But on the other hand, I put on Electric Ladyland about a month ago and it just didn’t move me like it once did. Maybe I needed to drop some Acid and smoke a joint?

  10. Da Goddess says:

    I know people who hate GFR with a passion. I don’t get it. I like ’em.

  11. torqdog says:

    Sign the petition to induct Grand Funk into the hall of fame;


  12. torqdog says:

    I was lookin for some old videos reminding me of what all the hub-bub was about and found this one. In it you can see the wall of West speaker cabs Stu mentioned that Mel was playin through. Check out the energy coming from that spartan drumset of Don’s. One thing I remember from their shows was they were VERY awesomely loud.

    • Stu says:

      Great clip. I was going to use it as one of the videos for this edition of TIUT before I found the other ones. I wonder what kind of guitar Mark is playing there? Love the tone!

      Raw, stripped down visceral old school 3 piece Rock. It doesn’t get much better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


September 2010

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 21 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 149,184 BS BLOG visits to date
%d bloggers like this: