Rick Coonce

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Rick Coonce
The Grass Roots.png
The Grass Roots in 1969
Left to Right: Dennis Provisor, Warren Entner, Rob Grill & Rick Coonce
Background information
Birth nameErik Michael Coonce
Born(1946-08-01)August 1, 1946
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 25, 2011(2011-02-25) (aged 64)
Canada
Genres Folk, rock, country, pop
Instruments Drums, fiddle, percussion
Years active1966–2011
Labels Dunhill, ABC
Website The-GrassRoots.com

Erik Michael Coonce (August 1, 1946 February 25, 2011), better known as Rick Coonce, was the drummer for American rock band The Grass Roots from 1966 to 1972.

Contents

Early life

Coonce was born in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1946, at The City Of Angels Hospital. [1] He attended a Catholic school for six years while his mother worked to support the family. His father played the fiddle and his mother sang. Coonce developed an interest in music at an early age by observing his parents and his older brother's guitar lessons, though his mother insisted he learn the accordion. [2] He attended high school in Simi Valley and played in local bands in between working at a Sunkist Growers packing house. [3]

Career

At age twelve, Coonce switched from guitar to drums, and he was given a used drum kit by his mother. [4] He then gave lessons at sixteen at a music store, whose owner provided him a new drum set in exchange for monthly payments. He joined a Mexican-American group called The Beethovens, with Freddie Trujillo on lead guitar, John Sepulvada on bass, Mike Vasquez on sax and Ruben Arvizo on rhythm guitar.[ citation needed ] The band was affectionately called "four beans and a tortilla". They covered several Beatles songs, with an emphasis on achieving the harmonies of Lennon and McCartney. Coonce was strongly influenced by Mexican folk music and rock legend Ritchie Valens, with whom Coonce's older brother had been a high school classmate. [5]

In 1966, The Beethovens played at a Battle of the Bands in Hollywood and took second place. A future bandmate, Rob Grill was a singer in one of the other competing bands that night. They actually did better than The Beethovens but were disqualified because one of their band members was a professional musician, so Coonce's group moved up in rank. [6]

Creed Bratton and Warren Entner were in the audience that night and saw Coonce play. They called him later and asked him to join their band, The 13th Floor. Kenny Fukomoto played bass and sang in the group. Through Coonce's relationship with music store owner Herb Wall, the struggling new group was allowed access to the store's equipment. The 13th Floor played wherever they could. Eventually they put together a demo tape and sent it to Dunhill Records. [7]

P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri heard the demos and liked them. The 13th Floor were on their way to a recording contract but met an obstacle when Kenny Fukomoto was drafted into the army. The group lacked a bass player and singer so they visited the Musician Union #69 in Hollywood. There they saw a posting for Rob Grill. Rob tried out for the open slot and was dynamite. [8]

In 1967, the group changed their name to The Grass Roots to take advantage of prior name recognition and recorded "Let's Live For Today". The iconic song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Capturing the mood of the era, "Let’s Live For Today" kicked the group into stardom. [9]

With the help of producers like Steve Barri and pushed forward by Coonce's energetic drumming, which often emphasized the bass beat, the band evolved a unique sound. Some of the hits that continue to get airplay are "Midnight Confessions", "I'd Wait A Million Years", and "Temptation Eyes". Coonce appeared with the group on many television programs such as American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show . The Grass Roots appeared in a major motion picture starring Doris Day called With Six You Get Eggroll . Coonce also composed songs with The Grass Roots, co-authoring "Feelings" and "Get it Together" (a theme song for the ABC television show) and self composing "Truck Drivin' Man". Coonce was able to work with drummer legend Hal Blaine, who was an importance influence. [10]

Coonce left the band in 1972 and moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he played in many local groups and recorded music in his home studio. [11]

Coonce died of heart failure on February 25, 2011. [12]

Discography

Singles

Release dateTitleFlip sideRecord labelChart positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Depressed FeelingDunhill85
Things I Should Have SaidTip Of My TongueDunhill2336
Wake Up, Wake UpNo ExitDunhill6861
1968Melody For YouHey FriendDunhill123
FeelingsHere's Where You BelongDunhill
Midnight Confessions ++Who Will You Be TomorrowDunhill55
1969Bella Linda+++Hot Bright LightsDunhill2820
Melody For YouAll Good Things Come To An EndDunhill
Lovin' ThingsYou And Love Are The SameDunhill4935
River Is Wide, The(You Gotta) Live For LoveDunhill3116
I'd Wait a Million Years Fly Me To HavanaDunhill1512
Heaven KnowsDon't Remind MeDunhill2413
1970Walking Through The CountryTruck Drivin' ManDunhill4430
Baby Hold OnGet It TogetherDunhill3525
Come On And Say ItSomething's Comin' Over MeDunhill6139
Temptation EyesKeepin' Me DownDunhill1516
1971Sooner Or LaterI Can Turn Off The RainDunhill912
Two Divided By LoveLet It GoDunhill168

++- Gold Record - RIAA Certification

+++ - Composed by Italian superstar Lucio Battisti

Albums

Release dateTitleRecord labelChart positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Dunhill75
1968 Feelings Dunhill
Golden Grass ++Dunhill25
1969 Lovin' Things Dunhill73
Leaving It All Behind Dunhill36
1970 More Golden Grass Dunhill152
1971 Their 16 Greatest Hits ++Dunhill58
2000Lackadaisical DayRC

++- Gold Record - RIAA Certification

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<i>Lets Live for Today</i> (album) 1967 studio album by The Grass Roots

Let's Live for Today is the second studio album by the American rock band The Grass Roots, released in July 1967 by Dunhill Records. A new group was brought in for this album which included Creed Bratton, Rick Coonce, Warren Entner and Rob Grill. It features their first top-ten hit by the same name, "Let's Live for Today". The bulk of the compositions are by group creators Sloan and Barri, but the new group was allowed to compose four songs and was given some input in the studio instrumentation. The other A and B side singles released were "Depressed Feeling", "Things I Should Have Said" b/w "Tip of My Tongue", and "Wake Up, Wake Up" b/w "No Exit". The album charted at #75.

Midnight Confessions single by The Grass Roots

"Midnight Confessions" is a song written by Lou T. Josie and originally performed by the Ever-Green Blues. It was later made famous by American rock band The Grass Roots, who released the song as a single in 1968. Though never released on any of the group's studio albums, it was on their first compilation album, Golden Grass, and has been included on many of their other compilations since.

Warren Entner is an American singer, songwriter, organist and guitarist for the rock and roll band, The Grass Roots. He then became a manager for several successful heavy metal/rock groups.

Dennis Provisor is an American musician and songwriter. He recorded on several different labels, including 20th Century Fox and Valiant, under the name of Denny Provisor. He released some soulful singles as a solo artist. He later joined the groups The Hook, Blue Rose, and The Grass Roots. Provisor is a lead singer, keyboard player and songwriter.

<i>Their 16 Greatest Hits</i> 1971 greatest hits album by The Grass Roots

Their 16 Greatest Hits is the third compilation album by the American rock band The Grass Roots. It was originally released by Dunhill Records in September 1971 shortly after the success of "Sooner or Later" earlier that year. The album also included many other hit singles that were released from 1966 to 1971. The album was released on both stereo LP & tape as well as in Quadraphonic Sound on both LP & tape. This album was the only Quadraphonic album released by The Grass Roots.

<i>Where Were You When I Needed You</i> 1966 studio album by The Grass Roots

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<i>More Golden Grass</i> 1970 compilation album by The Grass Roots

More Golden Grass is the second compilation album by the American rock band The Grass Roots, released in September 1970 by Dunhill Records. It includes the #15 charting single "Temptation Eyes", the #61 charting single "Come On And Say It", and the #35 charting single "Baby Hold On". The album charted at #152.

<i>Feelings</i> (The Grass Roots album) 1968 studio album by The Grass Roots

Feelings is the third studio album by the American rock band The Grass Roots, released in February 1968 by Dunhill Records. It contained many songs composed by the group's members and studio performances of the musician's instrumentation. The album was intended to take the group into a heavier psychedelic direction with their music. The A and B side singles released from the album were "Melody For You" b/w "Hey Friend", "Feelings" b/w "Here's Where You Belong", "Who Will You Be Tomorrow", "Hot Bright Lights", "All Good Things Come to an End" and "You and Love Are the Same". Midway during this run "Midnight Confessions" was released as an A side and became the group's highest charting single.

<i>Lovin Things</i> 1969 studio album by The Grass Roots

Lovin' Things is the fourth album by American rock group The Grass Roots. The album was originally released by Dunhill Records in 1969. The album charted at #73. It contained only two songs composed by the group. The album was intended to take the group into a soulful direction that was being rewarded by charting singles. The A and B side singles released were "Lovin' Things", "The River Is Wide", "(You Gotta) Live for Love" and "Fly Me to Havana". At the end of this run, "I'd Wait a Million Years" was released as an A side and became the group's next charting single, appearing on their next album, Leaving It All Behind.

<i>Golden Grass</i> 1968 compilation album by The Grass Roots

Golden Grass is the first compilation album by the American rock band The Grass Roots, released in November 1968 by Dunhill Records. The LP's release in the fall of 1968 followed the success of the group's highest charting single, "Midnight Confessions". It featured a song written by Carole King and Tony Stern titled "Lady Pleasure", which was previously unreleased by the group, as well as a new single, "Bella Linda", which was originally written by the Italian songwriting duo of Lucio Battisti and Mogol. The Grass Roots' version of the song, which was given English lyrics by Barry Gross and Steve Barri, charted at #28. Golden Grass is the highest charting Grass Roots album at #25, and was certified gold by the RIAA in 1970.

<i>Leaving It All Behind</i> 1969 studio album by The Grass Roots

Leaving It All Behind is the fifth studio album by the American rock band The Grass Roots, released in November 1969 by Dunhill Records. Following the departure of Creed Bratton, who left in April 1969, seasoned musician Dennis Provisor joined the group solidifying the new direction of the band. Terry Furlong and Brian Naughton became alternating touring guitarists for the group. In a return to grace for the group member composers, it contained six songs written by the group. The album was intended to move the group further in a soulful direction that was being rewarded by more charting singles. The A and B side singles released were "I'd Wait a Million Years", "Heaven Knows" b/w "Don't Remind Me", and "Walking Through The Country" b/w "Truck Drivin' Man". At the end of this run "Something's Comin' Over Me" was released as a B side to "Come On And Say It", a charting single written by the group that appeared on the band's next compilation album, More Golden Grass. The album charted at #36, making it the group's highest-charting studio album. As of June 27, 2018, Leaving It All Behind is the only original studio album by The Grass Roots available on iTunes.

<i>Move Along</i> (The Grass Roots album) 1972 studio album by The Grass Roots

Move Along is the sixth studio album by the American rock group The Grass Roots. The album was released in 1972 and charted at #86. It was the last of the group's albums to chart on the Billboard 200. The album marked the departures of longtime drummer Rick Coonce and keyboardist Dennis Provisor from the group, though Provisor still contributed to the album both as a performer (uncredited) and as a composer. The A and B side singles released were "Two Divided by Love", "Glory Bound" b/w "Only One", "The Runway" b/w "Move Along", and "Anyway the Wind Blows" b/w "Monday Love". Later, the song "Someone to Love" was released as the B side to the song "Love Is What You Make It", which appeared on the band's following album, Alotta Mileage.

References

  1. The Grass Roots Official Site(retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  2. The Grass Roots Official Site(retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  3. The Grass Roots Official Site(retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  4. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  5. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  6. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  7. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  8. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  9. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  10. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  11. The Grass Roots Official Site (retrieved 1 Dec 2016)
  12. Cashbox Magazine, 19 March 2011 (retrieved 12 July 2011)