Terry Knight and The Pack
Richard Terrance Knapp (who later changed his name to Terry Knight) was a popular Flint / Detroit disc jockey. He soon tired of radio, and decided to enter the music end of the business.
Terry dee-jayed at record hops with a local band named "The Jazz Masters", which consisted of Don Brewer (drums), Al Pippins (guitar), Bob Caldwell (keyboards), and Herm Jackson (bass). Soon he asked to join the band as lead singer. Because of his radio connections, the band readily agreed. To sound more "English", they renamed themselves "The Pack".
After about a year, they developed a large following, and became known as "Terry Knight and The Pack". Herman Jackson was drafted, and was replaced by a local kid named Mark Farner.
Grand Funk Railroad
After a wildly successful performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival on July 4, 1969, the band landed a recording contract with Capitol Records. In 1970 they had sold more albums than any other American band, and went on to break the Beatles' record at Shea Stadium in 1971, selling it out in 72 hours.
Sometime during/after the recording of E Pluribus Funk, it was decided to replace Terry Knight with Andy Cavaliere as Manager. The next few years were spent in litigation over the rights to the name "Grand Funk Railroad" and song royalties. The band got to keep their name, but little else.
During this time, the band recorded the album "Phoenix", which they produced themselves, and added a keyboardist, former "Fabulous Pack" member, Craig Frost. Although not yet an official member, Craig added an extra element into the GFR sound, which would continue for the remainder of the 1970's.
The American Band
Jimmy Ienner (Raspberries, Kiss, Three Dog Night) produced their next few albums, including the final Capitol release "Born to Die", which many thought would be the last GFR album.
One more album was recorded with the original members on MCA records. "Good Singin' Good Playin' ", produced by Frank Zappa, and is considered their finest by many fans. (GSGP was remastered and issued on CD in January 1999.)
In the early 1980's, Mark and Don reformed and teamed up with Flint musician Dennis Bellinger (replacing Mel on bass) to record two more Grand Funk albums, this time on the Warner Brothers label, Full Moon.
Mark resumed his solo career after the band called it quits in 1983, recording three Christian albums. Don followed Craig and joined Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band, and Mel opened a record store.
Teaming up with Ringo Starr's Promoter, David Fishof, the band played three sold out Bosnia benefit concerts in 1997, released a new live album titled "Bosnia" (which proceeds went to benefit the orphans of war torn Bosnia) then continued to tour throughout 1998 under the management of Bobby Roberts and Jim Della Croce.
Grand Funk Railroad reunited a total of 3 years and toured extensively from 1996 to 1998. Their 1998 tour was listed in Pollstar's Top 100 Shows and was also listed as one of the top grossing tours of 1998.
The 1976 Frank Zappa produced album "Good Singin' Good Playin'" was remastered and reissued on CD in January 1999, VH-1 filmed a "Behind the Music" special about the band which first aired in March 1999, and Capitol Records released GFR's Anthology "Thirty Years of Funk" on June 29, 1999.
New Tour Information!
Grand Funk is proud to announce a 2000-2002 tour that will kick off with a date in West Palm Beach, Florida, on December 2, 2000. They will headline "Holiday by the Shores" presented by 98.7 FM The Gator and Clear Channel Broadcasting.
Founding members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher will be joined by singer Max Carl (38 Special, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack, Max Carl and the Big Dance), lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (12 years with KISS and credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf, and Billy Squier), and at keyboards, Tim Cashion (Bob Seger and Robert Palmer).
Together, Brewer and Schacher have created a new, dynamic and multi-talented five-piece band that will not only carry on the tradition of the Grand Funk hits, but also has the potential to create a brand new chapter in the legacy of Grand Funk Railroad.
Be sure to check back frequently for new tour dates and information. They may be coming to YOUR town...so get ready to party down!
Last Update: May 06, 2012