Mel Schacher

Mel Schacher


4/8/1951, Owasso, Michigan

Birth Name

Mel Schacher


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Mel Schacher helped change the face of heavy rock music in the late 1960s when he left Question Mark & the Mysterians and joined Mark Farner and Don Brewer to form Grand Funk Railroad. Most known for his distinctive and innovative walking bass lines, Mel helped create the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Grand Funk Railroad's episode of Behind the Music is still one of the most watched shows of the series that has aired on VH1.

    • Part of Mel's distinctive bass sound was from the use of what is called a fuzz box, a device that purposely adds distortion to the sound of the instrument. Used mostly on guitars, Mel was one of the first to use this gadget on the electric bass.

    • Soft spoken and reserved by nature, Mel is often referred to by his close friends as the "shy one."

    • As the bassist with Grand Funk Railroad, Mel has sold over 25 million albums with 19 charted singles, eight top 40 hits, two number one singles, 12 gold and 10 platinum records.

    • When Mel stood on stage with Grand Funk at the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969, in front of an audience of 125,000 people, he had just turned 18 years old.

    • Mel, with Mark Farner and Don Brewer as Grand Funk Railroad, broke a Beatles-held ticket sales record by selling out Shea Stadium in just 72 hours. They still hold the record to this day.

    • Mel was the first power bassist to purposely overdrive his bass amps, giving his bass sound a distinctive snarl.

    • Mel helped create the playing style which today is known as lead bass, which involves lots of moving notes and the use of guitar scales and patterns.

    • The band's name, Grand Funk Railroad, was taken from Michigan's landmark Grand Trunk Railroad.

    • To this day, Mel's favorite way to pass the time is in the recording studio, with close friends and fellow musicians.

    • After his touring was done with Question Mark and the Mysterians, Mel joined drummer Don Brewer and guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner to form the American power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1969.

    • Mel was the bass player in the group Question Mark and the Mysterians, after their national hit 96 Tears. He did not play on the single.

    • By the age of fourteen, Mel had moved over to the electric bass, playing in different bands for wedding receptions, at teen clubs and talent competitions.

    • Mel's last name Schacher is pronounced "Shocker."

    • Mel got interested in music when he picked up his father's banjo at the age of seven.

  • Quotes