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Mel Schacher

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by acesclone, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. acesclone


    Feb 27, 2003
    Who here has appreciation for Mel? One of my biggest influences. GETS ZERO PROPS and he was the REAL driving force in Grand Funk.
  2. Agreed.

    And add Greg Ridley (Humble Pie) and Carl Radle (Derek & The Dominos) to the list.
  3. I can't stand anything Mark Farner has ever written, but Schacher was an excellent rock bassist. Every GFR tune I've ever heard has had some seriously rockin' basswork underneath the bare-chested guitar and competent drumming.
  4. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Mel is the man! I get to play Footstompin music and Closer to home in one of my bands,,, Great stuff.
  5. The Red Album man, The Red Album!

    That was the best thing they ever did and Mel's best playing - talk about groove!

    Believe it or not, they played at the first rock concert I ever went to - when all they had to play were tunes from "On Time" and the red album" - before "Closer To Home".

    Bloodrock was the backup group.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    GFR - About the worst recorded sound I ever had the misfortune to hear. Maybe they sounded better live.....(I would hope).

    Fart-bass and Farner's tinny, anemic, beer-can, guitar tone. I doubt a Jazz bass could actually sound as bad as it did on the albums. I never played through a West amp.

    But Scacher and the guy with the `Fro on drums definitely made that band listenable to me.
  7. rickbass,

    Farmer had e-major figured cold and that was the extent of his real talent.

    There was a story back then, I don't know how true it was and it went something like this:

    After one of Famer's all speed and no feel or technique e-major solos a few boos came from the audience. Mark is reprted to have said "If anyone out there can play the guitar better than I can, come up here and show everyone." He then had to walk off stage when someone took him up on the threat - Slowhand himself.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That's a beauty, Machaut!

    If I went to an audition where the guitarist was no better than Farner, I'd start winding up my cables and say, "Whoops! Scewz me.....wrong band."
  9. acesclone


    Feb 27, 2003
    Funny so much dis for Mark. The dude sold millions of albums! If he could do that and only play in Em more power to 'em. Some of my favorite musicians get no respect. Gene simmons, Peter Criss, Grand Funk, Mick Ralphs, Ted Nugent, The original Alice Cooper Band. I always ask guys "if the music is so easy, let me hear some of it". They NEVER can play it right. Some of the greatest bands sound the simplest. When it comes down to it music is about connecting with the most fans and few bands have sold the amount of tickets GFR did in the 70's. It's about the GROOVE man, not the complexity.
  10. acesclone


    Feb 27, 2003
    by the way...funny how Mel's distorted, farty, tone on those early albums is now a SOUGHT after tone....with all brands of electronic gizmos trying to emulate it. I suppose you don't like Lemmy either?
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    So did Milli Vanilli.

    If sales dollars were synonymous with quality, McDonald's would be gourmet cuisine.

    We're here just expressing opinions.

    Trying to invalidate others' person's "tastes" is not what Talkbass is about and is pointless where any form of art is concerned.....no matter how awful that "art" may be. :D
  12. Actually, they were a disaster live IMHO. I saw them at a 12-band festival in Montreal in 1970 (I think), and they were the bottom of the heap as far as quality and sound - one VERY loud train wreck with no discernable sounds resembling any of their songs. Quite painful actually, because they were sandwiched in between The Byrds (who were crystal-clear and spot-on) and Amboy Dukes (Ted N is a madman, but he was highly entertaining and the band played well).

    All that being said, I used to love playing "Closer to Home" in the garage band days before gigging for pay! :spit:

    Mel might have played OK, but I never listened much to most of their tunes - they were boring.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Mel's distorted sound was intentional..the producer Terry Knight who also ripped them off, liked the distorted bass.
  14. acesclone


    Feb 27, 2003

    Invalidate? You gave your opinion and I disagreed. Then I gave mine. I thought it was TALKBASS not LISTENBASS. Opinions are like a**holes everyone has one and they all stink......except for mine of course ;)
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I never saw them live...
    If their '70s Live album was any indication(& the liner notes seemed to indicate it was)-
    Pretty rough, IMO. In fact, I think that turned me off of "LIVE" albums for quite awhile(especially Rock albums). ;)

    In any event, I did have Mark, Don, & Mel(my 1st GFR album), E Pluribus Funk(loaned out...never got back), Survival, Phoenix, & An American Band(played out by that time...for me).

    I never had Closer To Home; I'm still thinking about picking that one up...even though Machaut is lauding "the red album"(Grand Funk?). ;)

    Schacher was also in ? & The Mysterians, correct?(Is that him on "99 Tears"?)
  16. "The bong rattling bass of Mel Schacher"

    Love it!!
    We could use more of that
    and less of this pristine,
    gutless sounding crap passing
    as a bass sound..

    Oh yeah..
  17. acesclone


    Feb 27, 2003
    Closer to Home gets a lot of props because it has I'm Your Captain on it...one of their more famous tunes. IMHO though On Time, The Red Album(Paranoid), and Survival are killer. The recordings are really raw but I like it. If you want a GREAT live album with bass that will tighten your sphincter get Caught In the Act....one of the greatest live albums of all time....right up there with KISS ALIVE!....Frampton CA...Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous....and Judas Priest Unleashed in the East. In fact if I was to pick an album to tell people what Grand Funk Railroad was about I'd pick Caught In The Act. You can get it for Best Buy money on top of it. Really shows how tight Mel and Don were as a rythm section. Mel really drives the band on that one.
  18. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I had never seen GFR live until this past summer. I had the pleasure of seeing Mark Farner perform Closer to Home live first at Taste of Chicago during the Walk Down Abbey Road show...with Jack Bruce, of all people, on bass.

    I don't understand the negative comments about Mark, he played very well, has an awesome voice and a certain stage presence magic that was incredible...that song got one of the biggest ovations the whole show (along with Jack doing Cream tunes).

    That night, GFR was playing at a festival ummm closer to my home :) I got there just after they finished but could hear Mel's bass line as I approached from blocks away...he sounded great.

    A few days later, I made the journey to Beloit WI to hear GFR. The sound man should have been fired..the sound was awful... Mel looked bored too.
    I was really disappointed as I was really excited about finally seeing Mel in person.

    Besides the sound being lousy, Don Brewer was trying way too hard to get the crowd going...kind of sad.

    Anyway, it was a hoot to finally see Mel...I just wish it would have been a better show.

    One question...was Mel a finger player or did he use a pick? When I saw him he used a pick exclusively.
  19. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    I have no idea what "T.N.U.C." stands for, but that and the live version of "Inside Looking Out" are probably on my top ten list of songs that made me want to play bass. I don't care what any of you haters say, Mark Farner could wail like a mofo and played guitar quite well. I'll admit that I could have done without his "shirtless antics", though.:bassist:

    Things to do today:
    1. Learn "Inside Looking Out"
    2. Learn "INside Looking Out"
    3. Learn "Inside Looking Out"

    Here's my verbal interpretation of the bass-line from "Inside Looking Out": da-da-duhdudada-da-da da-duda-da-duh

    Hope that helps.
  20. LOL - we know you're joking by your location and username!;) :p :D

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