Don Brewer

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Not to be confused with Don Brewster.
Don Brewer
Born (1948-09-03) September 3, 1948 (age 68)
Flint, Michigan, US
Genres Rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, vocals, guitar
Years active 1964–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 "Don" Brewer (born September 3, 1948 in Flint, Michigan) is the drummer and co-lead singer for American rock band Grand Funk Railroad.

Early life[edit]

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

Early career[edit]

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.

Grand Funk Railroad[edit]

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] Grand Funk goes on to record 12 Gold and 10 Platinum albums.[5] 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 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.

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 for 16 years playing about 40 shows per year. They continue to sell out venues and receive rave reviews wherever they perform.

Other drumming[edit]

Brewer played the bongo on Frank Zappa's song "Let Me Take You to the Beach" from the album Studio Tan, released in 1978.[6] Brewer was featured in Classic Rock Drum Solos DVD (2007),[7] performing a solo from when he and Grand Funk Railroad sold out Shea Stadium[8] 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.[9] 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[edit]

Brewer resides in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Sunny Quinn, who is a 23-year radio veteran from South Florida. They have two daughters and four grandsons. They have four cats and a horse. Don and Sunny are animal lovers and have done work for animal rescues in Jupiter. They also have a home in North Carolina and spend summers in the mountains there.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fred Mills (August 14, 2002). "Still in a Grand Funk". Metro Times. 
  2. ^ http://www.grandfunkrailroad.com/bios/Don_bio.html
  3. ^ "Grand Funk Railroad – We're An American Band LIVE – 1974". YouTube. August 29, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  4. ^ Some Kind of Wonderful on YouTube[dead link]
  5. ^ http://www.grandfunkrailroad.com/bios/Don_bio.html
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Classic Rock Drum Solo DVD". Drummercafe.com. October 3, 2007. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  8. ^ Grand Funk at Shea Stadium on YouTube[dead link]
  9. ^ "Drummerworld Biography". Drummerworld.com. September 3, 1948. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 

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