Don Brewer

Last updated

Don Brewer
Born (1948-09-03) September 3, 1948 (age 70)
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Rock, hard rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, vocals, guitar
Years active1964–present
Labels Capitol, Lucky Eleven
Associated acts Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight and the Pack, Flint, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Website Web site

Donald George Brewer (born September 3, 1948) is an American drummer who is best known as the drummer and co-lead singer of American rock band Grand Funk Railroad.

Americans citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Grand Funk Railroad American band

Grand Funk Railroad, sometimes shortened as Grand Funk, is an American rock band popular during the 1970s, when they toured extensively and played to packed arenas worldwide. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine once said, "You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad!" Known for their crowd-pleasing arena rock style, the band was well-regarded by audiences despite a relative lack of critical acclaim. The band's name is a play on words of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a line that runs through the band's home town of Flint, Michigan.


Early life

Brewer was born in Flint, Michigan on September 3, 1948 and is a graduate of Swartz Creek High School. [1]

Flint, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Flint is the largest city and seat of Genesee County, Michigan, United States. Located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit, it is a principal city within the region known as Mid Michigan. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan. The Flint metropolitan area is located entirely within Genesee County. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 425,790 in 2010. The city was incorporated in 1855.

Swartz Creek, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Swartz Creek is a city in Genesee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,758 at the 2010 census. The city is a suburb of Flint and has incorporated land formerly within Flint Charter Township, Gaines Township, and Clayton Township, but is administratively autonomous from all three.

Early career

Brewer started his first band, called 'The Red Devils', at the age of 12. After leaving 'The Red Devils', Brewer formed another band named the 'Jazzmasters' for whom he played drums and sang vocals. In 1964, Brewer joined former DJ Terry Knight as well as bassist Herm Jackson, guitarist Curt Johnson, and keyboardist Bobby Caldwell and formed the band Terry Knight and the Pack. In 1966, he experienced his first top 40 hit with "I (Who Have Nothing)". [2] In 1967, Brewer met guitarist Mark Farner who joined the band after Johnson left.

Terry Knight was an American rock and roll music producer, promoter, singer, songwriter and radio personality, who enjoyed some success in radio, modest success as a singer, but phenomenal success as the original manager-producer for Grand Funk Railroad and the producer for Bloodrock.

Terry Knight and the Pack was an American garage rock band formed in Flint, Michigan in 1965. The band was signed to the Lucky Eleven label throughout most of its short recording career, and they produced one national hit with their cover version of the song, "I ". Despite their inability to replicate their success, the band was still a frequent attraction in the Michigan rock scene. The Pack was fronted by singer, Terry Knight. In 1967, the group disbanded, but two of the members of the band, drummer/vocalist Don Brewer and guitarist Mark Farner, would later go on to form another band, Grand Funk Railroad.

Mark Farner American musician

Mark Fredrick Farner is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, and later as a contemporary Christian musician.

Grand Funk Railroad

Brewer in 1968. Don Brewer Grand Funk Railroad 1970.JPG
Brewer in 1968.

In 1968, Brewer left Terry Knight and the Pack along with bandmate Mark Farner and recruited Mel Schacher, the bassist for the hit band ? and the Mysterians, and formed Grand Funk Railroad. They hired Terry Knight as their manager. In 1973, Grand Funk released the album We're an American Band , featuring the hit song "We're an American Band". [3] This track, written and sung by Brewer, was the band's first #1 single. Still popular, the song has since been recorded by other artists. In addition to playing drums for Grand Funk, Brewer also provided lead vocals for a number of songs. This is evidenced by the first and third verses of the song "Some Kind of Wonderful" (1974). [4] Brewer was the baritone lead singer for the group, in contrast to the tenor vocals of Mark Farner.

Mel Schacher American musician

Melvin George "Mel" Schacher is best known as the bassist for rock band Grand Funk Railroad.

<i>Were an American Band</i> 1973 studio album by Grand Funk Railroad

We're an American Band is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad, credited as Grand Funk. The album was released by Capitol Records on July 15, 1973 and was certified gold by the RIAA a little over a month after its release. Two singles were released from the album. The first single, "We're an American Band", was released on July 2, 1973 and the second, "Walk Like a Man", was released on October 29, 1973. Both singles were sung by drummer Don Brewer. There is an addition to the band on this release - Craig Frost - who plays the organ, clavinet and Moog. Craig was credited as an additional musician on "Phoenix" which was released the previous year.

In 1977, following the initial breakup of Grand Funk, Brewer and former Grand Funk bandmates Mel Schacher and Craig Frost formed a new band named 'Flint'. Flint released one self-titled album in 1978 before disbanding. He also continued in other musical endeavors, including producing for the band The Godz (from Columbus, Ohio) their self-titled debut album The Godz in 1978.

Craig Frost is the keyboardist for Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. He is also known as keyboardist for 1970s hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad. He plays organ, synthesizer, and piano.

The Godz are an American hard rock band from Columbus, Ohio that formed in the 1970s.

<i>The Godz</i> (album) 1978 studio album by The Godz

The Godz is the self-titled debut album by American hard rock band The Godz, released in 1978. It contains their most notable radio hit, "Gotta Keep a Running".

In 1981, Brewer and Farner resurrected Grand Funk for the album Grand Funk Lives that cracked the Billboard albums chart. Two years later, they split again and Brewer joined Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band. In 1996 Brewer, Schacher, and Farner reunited as Grand Funk, and were eventually named one of Pollstar's top-grossing acts of 1998. Farner decided to leave the band at the end of 1998 to resume his solo career. In 2000, Brewer and Schacher added vocalist Max Carl, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick and keyboardist Tim Cashion to the line-up. This band has been touring the U.S. and Canada playing about 40 shows per year.

<i>Grand Funk Lives</i> 1981 studio album by Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk Lives is the 12th studio album by Grand Funk Railroad. It was their first album since disbanding in 1976. Although known as a reunion album, it did not feature bassist Mel Schacher or keyboard player Craig Frost. The album was the first to feature bassist Dennis Bellinger and the first and only to feature keyboardist Lance Duncan Ong.

Bob Seger American singer-songwriter

Robert Clark Seger is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first national hit and album in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the 'System' from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger's best-selling singles and albums.

Max Carl American musician

Max Carl Gronenthal is an American rock singer, keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter. He is the current co-lead singer of the classic rock band Grand Funk Railroad. In addition, he spent several years as the keyboardist and lead singer for the southern rock band 38 Special, for whom he co-wrote and sang lead on the hit song "Second Chance".

Other drumming

Brewer played the bongo on Frank Zappa's song "Let Me Take You to the Beach" from the album Studio Tan , released in 1978. [5] Brewer was featured in Classic Rock Drum Solos DVD (2007), [6] performing a solo from when he and Grand Funk Railroad sold out Shea Stadium [7] in 1971. In 2000, Don performed as a guest clinician at Modern Drummer Magazine's annual Drum Festival event, where he was honored as one of the most influential drummers in the history of rock. In 2006 Brewer rejoined Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band for their 2006–07 tour; it was his first appearance with the band since he played for them on their 1983 tour. [8] He also played with them on Seger's 2011 tour. He also played drums during Bob Seger's 2014-2015 Ride Out concert tour throughout the United States.

Personal life

Brewer lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife Sunny Quinn, together since 1985. They have two daughters, Logan and Dale and two grandsons, Joseph and Jackson. [9]

Related Research Articles

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<i>Grand Funk</i> (album) 1969 studio album by Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk is Grand Funk Railroad's second studio album and was released in December 1969 by Capitol Records. It was produced by Terry Knight and engineered by Ken Hamann. This release was certified by RIAA with a gold record award, the first for the group. It includes a cover of The Animals' "Inside Looking Out" which is still a cornerstone of the band's live concerts today. Other key tracks include "Got This Thing on the Move", "In Need", and "Paranoid". The inside spread photograph of the trio, for the original album release, was used for the now infamous, $100,000, block-long and several stories high New York CityTimes Square billboard ad for the album Closer to Home (1970). It stayed up longer than the contracted time due to a strike by the painters union. Mel Schacher's "fuzz" bass tone gained as much prominence as Mark Farner's guitar and Don Brewer's drums and remained a co-lead instrument until 1972's Phoenix, when it was toned down slightly.

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Survival is Grand Funk Railroad's fourth studio album and was released in April 1971 by Capitol Records. It was produced by Terry Knight. Drummer Don Brewer was never happy with the drum sound on the album, due to Knight's insistence of having Brewer cover his drum heads with tea-towels, after seeing Ringo Starr using that technique in the Beatles' film Let It Be (1970).

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<i>Phoenix</i> (Grand Funk Railroad album) 1972 studio album by Grand Funk Railroad

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  1. Fred Mills (August 14, 2002). "Still in a Grand Funk". Metro Times .
  3. "Grand Funk Railroad – We're An American Band Live – 1974". YouTube. August 29, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  4. Some Kind of Wonderful on YouTube [ dead link ]
  5. "Classic Rock Drum Solo DVD". October 3, 2007. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  6. Grand Funk at Shea Stadium on YouTube [ dead link ]
  7. "Drummerworld Biography". September 3, 1948. Retrieved October 8, 2011.