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Don Brewer Performing at The South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, FL
September 3, 1948 |
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, hard rock|
|Labels||Capitol, Lucky Eleven|
|Associated acts||Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight and the Pack, Flint, Silver Bullet Band|
Brewer was born in Flint, Michigan on September 3, 1948 and is a graduate of Swartz Creek High School.
Brewer joined his first band, called The Red Devils, at the age of 12. After leaving "The Red Devils", Brewer joined 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 1967, Brewer met guitarist Mark Farner who joined the band after Johnson left.
Grand Funk Railroad
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". 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". Brewer was the baritone lead singer for the group, in contrast to the tenor vocals of Mark Farner.
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 before disbanding. In 1981, Brewer and Farner resurrected Grand Funk for an album that cracked the Billboard albums chart. Two years later, they split again and Brewer joined Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band. He also continued in other musical endeavors, including producing for the band The Godz. 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.
Brewer played the bongo on Frank Zappa's song 'Let me take you to the beach' from the album Studio Tan, released in 1978  Brewer was featured in Classic Rock Drum Solos, performing a solo from when he and Grand Funk Railroad filled up Shea Stadium. 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 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. He is also playing with them on Seger's 2011 tour.
Brewer resides in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Sunny Quinn, who is a 23-year radio veteran from South Florida. They met while Brewer was on tour with Bob Seger as the drummer for the Silver Bullet Band. At the time, Sunny was married to the bass player for Michael Bolton who was touring with them.
- "Grand Funk Railroad - We're An American Band LIVE - 1974". YouTube. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Some Kind of Wonderful[dead link]
- "Classic Rock Drum Solo DVD". Drummercafe.com. 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Grand Funk at Shea Stadium[dead link]
- "Drummerworld Biography". Drummerworld.com. 1948-09-03. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- "Sunny Quinn a.k.a. Mrs. Don Brewer - Bob Seger Net Forums". Segernet.com. 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-10-08.