Grand Funk. Highly Underated!

moneydog59

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Being from Michigan, this story is one I have heard often. Don never comes out looking good, he comes out as a weasel who screwed over Mark pretty badly. It's really quite sad as a GFR reunion would be on my list of concerts I would love to see.
It kinda pains me, I mean Don Brewer WAS the reason why 11 yr old me started drumming in 1970.
 

drummer1234

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The first time I saw Grand Funk they were a new band with one album out opening for Led Zeppelin in Cleveland. When it came time for Don Brewer to solo he played/copied Bonhams drum solo note for note ! This was amazing to me as I kept saying “he’s playing Moby Dick note for note!”
As it turns out when the show was over Led Zeppelin’s manager,Peter Grant, was furious with them and fired them immediately for doing this.
Grand Funk didn’t care. Their manager Terry Knight bought a C-130 cargo plane and a small gas company. He did this to save Grand Funk freight and fuel charges. As such, overnight Grand Funk became the highest grossing American band overnight due to the savings of funds. I believe the figure they grossed was $27 million that year. By being fired they had become headliners instead of an opening act. Grand Funk Railroad, later became Grand Funk dropping the Railroad from their name, was an incredible band. I tried to meet Don Brewer several times. Made it to their dressing room door when I was a teen but had no business card and their manager left me in the hallway alone. Years later I was in the comp room after a Bob Seger show specifically to meet Don but I noticed he was turning around all during the show and appeared to be coughing violently all during the show. When I got backstage Don sent a special message to me that he was sick and very sorry he couldn’t meet with me. Craig Frost spent time with me, we talked about our cats and having to leave them when on tour.
 

drumaniac

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Never saw them live, but they were a favorite band of mine.

This makes me think back to riding in the car with my older brother, with Grand Funk blasting on his 8-track player!

We used to play Footstompin' Music in the bars back in the 70's.

I always liked this one too:

Love this one! its my all time favourite GFR tune
 

Trommeslager

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The first time I saw Grand Funk they were a new band with one album out opening for Led Zeppelin in Cleveland. When it came time for Don Brewer to solo he played/copied Bonhams drum solo note for note ! This was amazing to me as I kept saying “he’s playing Moby Dick note for note!”
As it turns out when the show was over Led Zeppelin’s manager,Peter Grant, was furious with them and fired them immediately for doing this.
Grand Funk didn’t care. Their manager Terry Knight bought a C-130 cargo plane and a small gas company. He did this to save Grand Funk freight and fuel charges. As such, overnight Grand Funk became the highest grossing American band overnight due to the savings of funds. I believe the figure they grossed was $27 million that year. By being fired they had become headliners instead of an opening act. Grand Funk Railroad, later became Grand Funk dropping the Railroad from their name, was an incredible band. I tried to meet Don Brewer several times. Made it to their dressing room door when I was a teen but had no business card and their manager left me in the hallway alone. Years later I was in the comp room after a Bob Seger show specifically to meet Don but I noticed he was turning around all during the show and appeared to be coughing violently all during the show. When I got backstage Don sent a special message to me that he was sick and very sorry he couldn’t meet with me. Craig Frost spent time with me, we talked about our cats and having to leave them when on tour.
Members of Grand Funk tell that story about the Cleveland 1969 show, but there’s abundant evidence GFR was never scheduled to play any other gig on LZ’s tour.
 

Old Drummer

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When I was still in junior high and in my first gigging rock band, we covered several Grand Funk songs. At the time, I didn't think anything of it. I just assumed that this was what being a rock drummer was all about and that the songs were cool. However, had I been more alert, I would have noticed that I never bought a Grand Funk record, while I did buy Elvis records, Chuck Berry records, and so on. That was a pretty good sign that I didn't like Grand Funk. And I didn't. I just didn't realize it at the time.

After a couple years, there was a falling out among our band members, and while I still regret the personal animosities, I confess that I wasn't disappointed "professionally." I immediately hooked up with some guys playing the then emergent folk-rock stuff, which I liked much better. Meanwhile, I was all along playing pop and the like with some much older folks. I was kind of relieved not to have to play whatever mainstream rock as epitomized by Grand Funk was morphing into, because I didn't like it. And I still don't.

If you like Grand Funk Railroad, fine. To each their own. I actually never liked them.
 

studrum

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That is one of my all-time favorite Simpsons clips....:icon_lol:
The Simpsons bit is truer than most of the fans here will admit. There are, let's call them "aesthetic and cultural critiques," of GFR that are valid and reasonable. And I'm from their neighborhood, original manager from my hometown, studied with the same drum teacher Donnie did (though I'm no great shakes). Opinions on art are many and varied.

My 2 centavos: they definitely had their own sound and talent, and created four or five albums that are prime, quality rock specimens - and coming up with that many is hard to do. Credit should be given! However, it's "hard rockin'," but not as melodically, lyrically, or rhythmically rich, varied, and inventive as I like, but...I never was a hard rocker. Of that era I much preferred bands like Traffic (slinky Jim Capaldi), Allman Bros. through Brothers and Sisters, The Beatles, Family, Roxy Music, Cream, Modern Lovers, and so on.
I just can't stand what I call stooge rock pounding on the drums. The guy pounds those quarter notes louder, and harder, and louder yet, and that seems to be the point.
I do give them credit for coming up with some good songs and albums. Again, that ain't easy, and all three of the guys were right for the job. Flint grit, totally.
 
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studrum

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It kinda pains me, I mean Don Brewer WAS the reason why 11 yr old me started drumming in 1970.
Quiet word around Flint is that Mark is a "tax rebel" and won't pay taxes, so if they ever do an actual Grand Funk show, the IRS will be in attendance. I heard this as street gossip, so FWIW.
 

BennyK

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The iconic red album was on everybody's shelf, including mine . It was in my first collection , mostly from Miracle Mart for $3.99 . We wore out the double live record too . After that , my interest went elsewhere .
 

mydadisjr

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The iconic red album was on everybody's shelf, including mine . It was in my first collection , mostly from Miracle Mart for $3.99 . We wore out the double live record too . After that , my interest went elsewhere .
Yeah, I hear you... I saw the RED ALBUM at K-Mart right when it came out and had to have it. That one and CLOSER TO HOME were totally cool for about one year of our early partying days. I played in a really crappy HS garage band and we played INSIDE LOOKING OUT.

But GFR quickly became yesterdays news and we we were moving on to Prog (Yes, Crimson), heavier stuff (Purple, Cactus), softer things (Neil Young and Carole King). Poor GFR seemed dated VERY quickly, and IMHO they have not aged well (although I still turn up AMERICAN BAND when it comes on the car radio).

For moment tho, they were pretty cool.

And Don had a great fro!!
 

old_K_ride

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I had a chance to meet Don Brewer at an after party event a few years back when he was playing drums for Bob Seger. A friend of mine hooked me up and I got to sit down and chat with Don for about an hour.
Very down to earth - when my friend told him the band I was in was doing a few GFR songs including "Rock and Roll Soul" Don asked me if I played it like the studio version or the "live" version and actually seemed interested in our conversation.
I saw Don with Seger too...I had no idea it was him on drums until Seger introduced the band...
 

JDA

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Let's leave here drive out three blocks hang a right go towards the row of pine trees hang a left then a right...park the car and go into the cabin...where we hear


 

DanRH

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Man, Those really were the days! Two B3's on stage. So much energy! Loved GFR!
 


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