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Closer to Home


The Bear Jew

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Speaking of great bassists with amazing hair and mustaches...

 

http://www.photofeatures.com/grandfunk/images/thumbs/g06003a.jpg

 

Grand Funk Railroad's Mel Schacher. Can we talk about this dude's playing for a minute, too?

 

The weapons:

Modified Fender Jazz with a Gibson "Mudbucker."

Pick

West "Fillmore" amp with KT-88 tubes biased very warmly.

The man himself.

 

Yeah, I know people used to make fun of GFR back in the band's heyday, but seriously... the dude could play, and the band had songs. And they kind of tore sh*t up live.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Schacher was born in Flint, Michigan.
Yep. Closer to home.

 

I don't recall GFR being made fun of in their home state. (Do you guys dis The Boss?)

 

Mel also played briefly with Question Mark and the Mysterians, another Michigan band.

 

I know Jeremy said he met the MC5 when he was here. How about these other bands?

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...I know Jeremy said he met the MC5 when he was here. How about these other bands?

 

Yes, and I occasionally hung out at their house in Ann Arbor and jammed with them once on stage at the Grande Ballroom.

 

I certainly saw a lot of Michigan bands (and I have Bob Seger's first single on the A square label.) Iggy and the Stooges was a band I saw very often, but I never actually talked to any of them, unless you count Steve Mackay. I was in a band with him for a short time and later he joined the Stooges and I think he is still in that band.

 

I knew most of the people in Commander Cody and the Lost Airmen and it helped that they moved to California at the same time as I did because some of us stayed in contact. My wife actually played folk music with Billy C when they were in high school in Detroit.

 

Enough name dropping. Unless anyone want to name drop about meeting me. ;)

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Grand Funk Railroad's Mel Schacher. Can we talk about this dude's playing for a minute, too?

 

Now we're getting somewhere! Mel was a pretty underrated player in my opinion. Some pretty memorable bass lines came from this guy. Aaand a Michigan boy too! :thu:

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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Since I wasn't around when GFR was a big deal band that sold tons of records, I have to go by the word of folks who were... and, according to some people I've questioned, apparently GFR was considered kinda poseur-ish among the more gritty set. From what I gather, the band was somewhat vilified for being successful (which is dumb) and for being one dimensional (which is kind of the essence of rock in that era, anyway, so calling any rock band one-dimensional was redundant.)

 

Whatever. All I can go by is what I hear, and, when listening to GFR, I hear rocking goodness. And when I look, I see dope-ass afros, big beards and sweet gear. So GFR is all good to me.

 

And, BTW, Mel Schacher can f-ing PLAY. I still dig on "We're an American Band" every time I hear it. Sweet bass line, no? "Sin Is a Good Man's Brother" is a template for riff rocking joy. Just good stuff. And a trio, no less.

 

EVB... Ross Brown put it succinctly... I'm from PA--I just work in NJ. Do I dis The Boss? Sometimes. I'm not a fan, really, but I can appreciate the work ethic and whatnot. Ask me if I dis The Hooters (they're from Philly)... the answer is yes. Boring. Do I dis Hall and Oates (also from Philly)? No. They're great.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I found their later stuff a bit too pop for my tastes, but their earlier stuff was some pretty decent hard rock -- think the E Pluribus Funk record.

 

When I was 12 I got two records for Christmas -- that one and Jimi Hendrix Smash Hits -- I wore them both out.

 

And yes, Mel can play -- I consider him an early influence.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Press hated them mainly because their manager believed an adversarial relationship with the press was a good thing (generated more coverage). Most regular folk had no problem with them.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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Mel Schacter, on GFR's middle period stuff(Grand Funk, Closer To Home, Survival) made one of the most singular bass tones ever recorded. The combination of distortion and compression combine to make a low-end sludge that absolutely compliments & carries the GFR sound. I wouldn't like it on anything but their stuff, but with them, it works perfectly.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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GFR is a cool band. I was surfing YouTube a while ago and came across some of Mark Farner's Gospel Blues stuff. He has a few pretty good gospel songs out there
"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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My dad was born in Philly and grew up there. (went to Overbrook H.S.) He was great, too.

 

I bet he was. And that was back when Overbrook High was a pretty nice school. I'm guessing he lived west of 63rd St?

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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The Boss is from NJ not PA ..... BIG difference...

 

New Jersey is good. It keeps the Atlantic Ocean out of Pennsylvania.

 

 

I go way back with GFR. Mel's bass plays in my head to this day. Paranoid. Inside Looking Out. Hearbreaker. Saw them twice before they played Shay (where they were the first band to break the Beatles record there)

 

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I liked GFR in their early days. People thought "American Band" was "light" for them, but I don't see why.

 

I recently bought the Grand Funk Railroad album (red cover) with Paranoid and Mr. Limousine Driver. Mel was a driving, "active" player (read: no shortage of notes) which fit the trio concept and the music they were doing. Never knew about his bass equipment, but the early songs are what I think of as classic tube sound.

 

My only issue was "I'm Your Captain" - never liked that one.

 

BP had Mel on the back cover a few years ago.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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