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The bass player for Grand Funk Railroad

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Skel, Feb 22, 2006.


  1. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I'm going to find out what is name is, but anybody know what his rig consisted of? He had a pretty good sound for that time period, IMHO. And to be in a 3 piece band, he had to be pretty damn good to sound decent live (never saw them, though).

    Skel
     
  2. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    His name is Mel Schacher (hope I spelled it right). I was googling for his equipment and ended up on some guy's "resume" web site, because he was *influenced* by Mel Schacher. But check out this guy's gear - it's really interesting. This guy has a great pro bass player resume. http://www.kirkpowers.com/index.html

    Skel
     
  3. Mel is a great rock trio player. He was one of the first bassists that I actually took notice of early in my playing development when I was a kid starting out... also Gary Thane (I think that's his name) from Uriah Heep.

    That music has not really stood the test of time IMO, but there's some GREAT rock bass playing by those two guys. I have no idea about the gear, but assume it was probably Acoustic360's/370's back then.
     
  4. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    When I saw GFR in the early 70's Mel and Mark were both using huge West stacks. I believe the boutique tube amps were made in Michigan.

    Hardly ever see them, but I believe somone on TB scored one not too long ago. From what I remember it may have been one of GFR's.
     
  5. I remember that now from another post... those big West tube amps. Cool!
     
  6. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Well anyway - it seems Mel was the real deal. GFR recruited him from another successful band, "? and the Mysterians" who had a hit single "96 Tears". So he was already seasoned when joined GFR.

    Skel
     
  7. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    he used usually Fender jazz basses, some of them modified with different pickups (one had a Gibson boombucker in the neck position) and 200w West Fillmore amps: http://www009.upp.so-net.ne.jp/GrandFunkManiac/west_7.htm (text in Japanese)

    The trick was, he deliberately used the wrong type of tubes in the amps, creating the huge distortion, but blowing up tubes left and right-- like, 2-3 times per show-- and being very hard on the amps. His roadie had to be standing by with asbestos gloves to swap dead tubes for new ones during shows.

    link to West's history page, and to their site: http://www.westlabs.com/History.HTML
     
  8. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    That's cool stuff. I LOVED GFRR as a teenager and Mel's roaring fuzzy bass was a BIG component of their sound!
     
  9. i believed he used telefunken tubes
     
  10. nothing beats The shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner, the bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher and the competent drumwork of Don Brewer.

    :)
     
  11. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hey, this is great info! GFR ROCKED! I love to hear about the idiosyncracies (try spelling that right twice) behind the greats - like using the wrong tubes on purpose?

    I played with a guitar player many years ago who had a West amp. I thought it was SS, but maybe it was a tube amp. He did tell me that Mark Farner used them. I'll check out the links on these.

    Skel
     
  12. I have the first issue of Bass Guitar(the first issue actually, in 2003), and it has an article on him on the very last page:

    "He used a J Bass through two West "Fillmore" amplifiers rigged with GEC KT88 tubes from th U.K.

    Pricey as hell, the GEC tubes frequently blew up in the middle of gigs, due to their horrible impedance mismatch with the West heads. Schacher's bass tech - wearing heavy flame-resistant gloves -- would stand on a stool behind Schacher's stack of JBL D140 speakers and wait for the tube to "flame out", then instantly plug in a new one."
     
  13. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado

    Unbelievable. But I read the article by Dave West, and I got the impression his amps used KT88's, so I don't know why they didn't remedy this problem, or why it didn't happen to Farner as well.

    Skel
     
  14. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    God. Now I can't get this out of my head.

    "I don't NEEEED......a whole lots a money"

    "I don't NEEEED.....a big fine car"

    That's Rock & Roll baby.

    Skel
     
  15. a ha...i thought i read that in a BP mag about the telefunken tubes, but that was off the top of my head, so i am probably wrong (this wouldn't be the first time my mind failed me :) )
     
  16. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I remember Tim Bogert's roadies had to do the same thing, change tubes during the set. I played a lot of Mel's basslines in early bands, and also dug his tone at the time.
     
  17. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Aimless Lady blows my mind every time!
     
  18. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    That whole album "Closer to Home" is a classic, played it to death as a teenager!!!
     
  19. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Oh MAN! Agreed. to me, GFR *IS* America at its finest.

    Skel
     
  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Fo sho, aimless lady is a highlight for me though, fantasic album all around though. I got into them/this album because of Monster Magnet's cover of "Sins a good man's brother," I prefer the GFR version (coming from a huge MM fan)