10/09/2005

Mel Schacher of Grand Funk: The God Of Bass



Man! This guy is great. What a great dude. What talent. If more people were like this guy we wouldn't be in this god damn mess.

'kay- leave lots of positive comments about this dude.

30 Comments:

Blogger Employee of the Month said...

Positive Squirrel sez:

His fretless bass work on English Settlement is a thing of beauty.

ayrhqbho

3:33 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Definitely in my top 5 bass-players of all-time.

Wrote some damn good songs too, not the least of which is "I Remember The Sun."

5:03 PM  
Anonymous the brentmeister general said...

I wish I had his hair, he has great hair.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Fingers that work magic. An underrated writer, it's a tragedy that his muse seems to have left him, his partner is the mental / brain side of things, he dealt with the emotional / heart aspect.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

I don't think he played bass on English Settlement.

Don't remember him writing "I Remember The Sun".

I think you guys are thinking of Colin Moulding of XTC.

Yeah, great hair, though. That's fer sure.

dbpljubi

5:49 PM  
Blogger Pinko Punko said...

First of all, I know he was the brains behind the woodblock on "We're An American Band", also the mastermind behind the chiquitas in Omaha and trashing the hotel in Boise. He brought those guys up through sheer force of will

9:24 PM  
Blogger Pinko Punko said...

I am reminded of seeing some rock dog lose his shit when Peter Hook won best bassist in the Rolling Stone year end critics poll. Ha ha good times. Even more funny is the indiolas all mad that Flea didn't win.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Sweet. Like when Karen Carpenter took best drums and Neil Peart got all pissed.

Peter Hook. Archetypal great New Wave bassist. Yup.

Flea.

I kicked his ass once in Sheboygen.

kdngz

10:00 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Sheer force of will! That fuckin' Schacher was driving th' whole bus with those losers. Mark Farner. Gimme a break. Guy couldn't sing his way outta paper bag.

Shit, without Schacher those guys would be nobodys instead of universally reviled.

uocam

10:07 PM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Wah! I'm too young to know who they are!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Simon- not "too young"

Rather, "too utterly fucking fortunate".

Although I have to say they have had a lot of face time in our little quadrant of th' bliggiverse.

wnmey

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, Mel has a big impact on my bass playing still to this day,playin loud & proud and with feeling. he got that big sound with a Fender jazz bass with a gibson EB-1 humbucker pickup black tapewound strings & a pick. and thank GOD when they recorded his sound they miked it, so that it capured a live sound. Its better than lining the bass into the board witch results in a very flat rubbery sound. PS McCartneys bass amp was always miked with the Beatles. Dave60

9:10 AM  
Blogger John R said...

It's nice to see people who appreciate the man as well as his playing....I'm one of the most fortunate people alive, as Mel is a friend of mine, as well as my mentor....and producer. He's one of the most incredible people I've been blessed to encounter on this rock, as well as a genuinely humble and extremely self-effacing individual. Make sure you go to a GFR show (before there are no more, go to www.grandfunkrailroad.com and see their tour schedule). A master bassman, a class act, and one of the greatest people you'll ever meet. Talk BASS with the guy and he'll light up like a Christmas tree, LOL.

As for the comments on Farner- give the guy his due. He was never the guitarist Kulick is, but damn, without him the band couldn't have reached where it did. As a solo entity (as well as a human being), Mark leaves much to be desired- there's no doubt that Mel and Don were the SOUL of Grand Funk.... just being the "voice" doesn't mean shit, and Farner's failure as a solo act is proof of that. GFR, with Bruce Kulick on lead guitar, Mel, Don, and Max Carl on vocals as well as Tim Cashion on keys, give an AWESOME live show and present Grand Funk's music like the power trio of old never could. Be sure to catch them....while you can.

Thanx, guys....I'll send Mel here to look at the site. Don't be surprised if he posts a thank you note to y'all....

John R (GFR Fan Liaison 2000-2003)

8:14 PM  
Blogger John R said...

It's nice to see people who appreciate the man as well as his playing....I'm one of the most fortunate people alive, as Mel is a friend of mine, as well as my mentor....and producer. He's one of the most incredible people I've been blessed to encounter on this rock, as well as a genuinely humble and extremely self-effacing individual. Make sure you go to a GFR show (before there are no more, go to www.grandfunkrailroad.com and see their tour schedule). A master bassman, a class act, and one of the greatest people you'll ever meet. Talk BASS with the guy and he'll light up like a Christmas tree, LOL.

As for the comments on Farner- give the guy his due. He was never the guitarist Kulick is, but damn, without him the band couldn't have reached where it did. As a solo entity (as well as a human being), Mark leaves much to be desired- there's no doubt that Mel and Don were the SOUL of Grand Funk.... just being the "voice" doesn't mean shit, and Farner's failure as a solo act is proof of that. GFR, with Bruce Kulick on lead guitar, Mel, Don, and Max Carl on vocals as well as Tim Cashion on keys, give an AWESOME live show and present Grand Funk's music like the power trio of old never could. Be sure to catch them....while you can.

Thanx, guys....I'll send Mel here to look at the site. Don't be surprised if he posts a thank you note to y'all....

John R (GFR Fan Liaison 2000-2003)

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Pinko Punko said...

I just heard some ominous tapping on my window, and it was fretless. I'm outta here.

4:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, Hey John R Is there any way I can touch base w/ Mel ? I was lucky that after 22 years I met Mel backstage in Jax Fl in March 1998. I told the then manager that I was waiting to get Mels autograph and is he coming by the backstage door because I have waited 22 years to meet Mel. He dissappered for a couple of moments then the backstage door opened and he said YOU, COME HERE so I did and was finaly able to meet Mel. I had a quick picture taken and I was back out the door,I was happy but I though damn why didn,t I at least ask some questions! I though he was busy so I didn,t want to be a pain BUT I sure would Like to talk with Mel I have so many questions, MEL YOUR THE MAN, Thanks Dave60

4:53 AM  
Blogger joetoronto said...

Mel was the main reason I became a huge fan of the Railroad back in the day as a young man.

His booming fretless Fender Jazz Bass carried me through my youth. He was barely a young man when he started mesmerizing people with his work.

He is the best bassist I've ever heard in my 50 years, by far.

As for Farner, unlike some people here, I have to give the man his due. Someone said he couldn't sing, what a crock of schit that is. The guy had an amazing voice, once he got into his mid-20's.

Yes, Mel was by far my favourite but the 3 of them TOGETHER made GFR special.

Too bad they couldn't all get along, I went to a show of theirs here a few years ago not realizing Mark wouldn't be there and it was a bitter sweet experience.

I was very happy to see and hear Mel and Don but really disappointed to see someone other than Mark trying to look like Mark, complete with Indian style clothing, not cool.

All the best, Mel.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those ranking on Farner here, GFR without him is not GFR. Farner is not only a strong and emotive singer and songwriter, his playing, while perhaps not technically stellar, gets at the rock n roll heart of the working class in a simple and affecting way; hence, the platinum and the gold and the hits and the legacy. Listen again to Inside Lookin' Out at the Atlanta Pop Festival, or Are You Ready. The testosterone levels are palpable and through the roof! No disrespect at all for Kulick, but ... Bruce, Don and Mel? Please.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great player all around, but wish that he'd let go of the pick...

12:44 PM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

West amps kids. The magic was in the West amps Mark and Mel played through. And let's get something straight here. GFR is Mark, Don and Mel, and anyone who doesn't shoot blood from every pore trying to air guitar, bass and drums at the same time to "Live Album"..... well, maybe you should just act on your New Kids On The Block tribute on karaoke night.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

I plan to pick up a used Fender J bass and install an EB-1 p/u in search of THE tone. Can anyone tell me if Mel simply replaced the neck p/u with the humbucker and left the wiring otherwise stock, with the original bridge p/u in place?

Mel is the reason I picked up the bass back in the late 70's and remains an inspiration to this day.

Thanks for the help.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mel is a man among men, he is a saint among saints, and a bass player among bass players. A true musicians musician.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Brentmeister General said...

He's the Mel of Mels!

3:09 PM  
Anonymous stang said...

Just saw the 2010 tour...Bruce played the way Mark did on the "red album", almost note for note. All involved are "caught in a class act"...

1:51 AM  
Blogger RatBatBlue said...

Absolutely one of the Greatest Rock
Bass players EVER! His playing on the song In Need on GFR's second album is spectacular to say the least. You gotta love that FAT,HEAVY
SOUND! Definitely one of my top 3 Bass Players!

4:10 PM  
Blogger SV Radio/Podcast said...

Wish I could take lessons from this dude!I am working on a few of his tunes! Love his playing style!

12:00 PM  
Blogger SV Radio/Podcast said...

Hi west amp sounded the way it did because he purposely put the wrong tubes in it and they gave it "THAT" sound...hos stage hand would stand on a chair behind his stack and swap out tubes as they blew every other song!

12:04 PM  
Blogger David Staats said...

Your comments on Mel are right on... Your comments on Mark and gfr without Mark are completely 100% wrong. Obviously you are not a farner fan and that's fine but I wonder with those comments on farner if your really a gfr fan... My guess would be no

9:41 PM  
Blogger David Staats said...

Your comments on Mel are right on... Your comments on Mark and gfr without Mark are completely 100% wrong. Obviously you are not a farner fan and that's fine but I wonder with those comments on farner if your really a gfr fan... My guess would be no

9:45 PM  
Blogger Old School said...

I remember buying the live album and listening to it a lot. The bass was incredible to me. Like Mel was playing a mean solo on every song but matched the music perfect.

3:07 AM  

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