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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by generation land, Feb 8, 2008.
Any one know what kind of effects Mel Schacher of GFR used back in the day to get that light fuzz?
no effects; just amp distortion. He used West amps (relatively short-lived manufacturer out of Michigan or thereabouts) and deliberately used the wrong tubes in them, hence the distortion. His roadie used to stand behind the amps with asbestos gloves on to swap out tubes as they blew up during shows.
Wow... never heard that story, but I love that tone!
He also used a Jazz Bass with a Gibson "Mudbucker" mounted in it.
I've also heard he used a Heathkit fuzz.
The way I hear the "asbestos glove legend", he used the right tubes (Genelex KT88's) in his West Fillmore, but they were biased way hot; so hot that they had a service life measured in minutes.
True or not, it's a great Rock 'n Roll story!
West Laboratories is still in business in Michigan;
Regardless, he got one monster tone out of his rig! IMO a very under rated bassist, a true rock icon...
..."IMO a very under rated bassist, a true rock icon..."
Ditto. Great player with a great sound--with a pick! Big influence on me.
Cool pictures... thanks.
Slightly OT, but he was one h*ll of a bassist! That fuzz-bass riff on the vamp on "In Need" (Grand Funk Live) was the last straw. I bought a bass guitar not long after I bought that album (14 years old).
Back from the grave?
These guys claim this is the world's smallest tube amp. I wonder if they have seen this...
When I was in High School, and going through my Nu Metal phase, my dad used to love telling me how much better, and louder Grand Funk Railroad was. I've been meaning to get into them lately, what's a good place to start?
Mel is my hero,and grossly underated.Always playing cool moving basslines without overplaying.I read the he used no effects,and it was just playing really loud,in addition to tube problems,that gave him that sound. I love that pic of the Jazz and the Mudbucker. That's a new one on me. Paranoid and People Lets Stop the War are also good examples of his distorted bass tone.
Mmm, Caught in the act. Grand funk live, and at their best. Probably one of my fravorite driving albums.
he had a bunch of Jazz basses, not just the one with the gibbo pickup...
I didn't know West was back in business.... that's a surprise...
As with pro players, he has/had a bunch of basses, not just Jazzes and not just Fender, but I think the signature tone being discussed here is probably the Jazz with the 'bucker.
I have a pic somewhere playing an early 70's black/maple Jazz, blocked and bound (maybe he inspired Geddy?).
I think he endorses Zon now.
Here's pics of some of Mel's basses, and one of his West Fillmore; the view the roadie with the asbestos glove saw....
Back in business? Did West ever go out of business? Somebody better tell him!
Output transformer, okay, but not being real because it's not in a big cabinet? That's pretty dumb.
Grand Funk RR - Wow, bringing back the high schol memories!!
A couple of things...Mel was/is the man on Bass. VERY underrated and even known.
If your looking for some GFRR tunes to see how good he really was, check out "Aimless Lady" off of Closer to Home.
Also, early Funk such as "Survival", "Epluribus Funk" and the first live album. These dudes could really bring it!
and it's also the most adjectival bass ever.....
You can have your thumpy bass...
you can have your growly bass....
and you can have your synthy bass....
But Mel has the bong-rattling bass
Grand Funk Live. Their early studio albums are good, but kinda claustrophobic compared to how they were live.
Funny thing to remember: They were made fun of incessantly, as a sort of "true rock 'n' roll wannabe." It's been a long time, but I just remember how derided they were by the true head-banger types in the early seventies.
And the thing is, they really did become a sort of parody of themselves later on, even though they had several hits, like "An American Band."
But they early few albums, esp. the live one (which IIRC was recorded in Atlanta), were truly kick-*ss.
(Oh, and I don't care what anybody says: I loved "Closer To Home." I was only 12 when that first came out, and in those "Playlist days" where you knew EXACTLY when what song was coming on when, I used to go to sleep to it every night on my clock radio. Just good memories of my awakening appreciation for music).
the first live album("Live Album") had a serious effect on me,I think I was 9 or 10 years old when I discovered it.The minute the needle touched the vinyl,from the opening song"Are You Ready" all the way through to the last note of "Into The Sun",I knew right then,I must play bass. Thank You Mel
I love this forum! Mel's been one of my main influences, and more than any one person the one responsible for "my" tone. The first time I heard "Live Album" I was hooked - it's still one of my favorite listens, and (despite all the people that harp about the recording quality) probably my favorite live albums. We usually open with either Are You Ready or Flight of the Pheonix > Footstompin' Music.