Grand Funk Railroadstatement regarding the death of Terry Knight:
"We were shocked to here that Terry had been murdered. Even though we have not had a friendly relationship with Terry over the last 30 years it still was very distressing to hear of his death."
Terry Knight was instrumental in the birth and early success of Grand Funk Railroad from 1969 to 1972. Having been a former bandmate in previous bands with Grand Funk's Don Brewer and Mark Farner (The Pack, and Terry Knight and the Pack) Knight later became manager and producer of
Grand Funk Railroad. During those years Grand Funk sold millions of records and toured the world
as one of the biggest rock bands of all time even selling out Shea Stadium in NYC faster than The Beatles.
"There was a major falling out between the members of Grand Funk and Terry in 1972 and Terry
was fired. This led to huge lawsuits and lasting discord between GFR and Terry.
"Grand Funk moved on and continued to have great success with million selling hits 'We're An American Band,' 'Locomotion,' 'Some Kind Of Wonderful' and 'Bad Time.'
"We have had very little personal contact with Terry over the last 30 years.
"We deeply regret Terry's death and our sympathy goes out to his family."
Grand Funk Railroad, Nov. 2, 2004
David Tedds wrote:(on the mailing list)
In the last several years while working on the GFR reissues I had numerous phone conversations with Terry Knight and got to know him fairly well. Several things became obvious to me during these conversations and chief among them was that his pride in Grand Funk extended well beyond the financial gain he received from them. He was proud of Mark, Don & Mel as musicians and spoke warmly of them as people. I truly believe that in the years following his breakup with them he realized he may have come out on top financially but he'd paid for it by losing three of his best friends and the one thing he was most proud of.
I also became aware that Terry was broke. (And this will answer some of the questions as to why he was living in an apartment in Temple, Texas.) While he may have made millions from Grand Funk, he'd squandered it living the high life after his GFR breakup. He tried to orbit in the same universe and keep company with major movie stars and the like. Terry had the same resources as these people at the time but he did nothing to generate future earnings after Grand Funk while they kept making the big bucks starring in big budget films. He tried to live their lifestyle and failed, and between that and some bad investments it bankrupted him. If you think he was making a fortune annually from his GFR royalties I can only tell you that you're dead wrong.
My impression of him in his last several years is of a very lonely man, with little or no friends and nothing to occupy his time except raising his daughter on the limited resources he had. "Desperate," "isolated" and "sad" are three of the words I'd use to describe him best.
I really was dreading reading some of the posts here regarding his passing. I had real fears of reading things like "he got what he deserved" and "thank God he's gone" but I was wrong. You, the Internet fans, have showed real class and compassion by not posting anything of this nature. "Bravo" to all of you!
Terry may have screwed GFR financially but I know for a fact that he was a good father and worshipped his daughter. As misguided as he was, no one should have to die like this. Despise him in your hearts all you want (and I certainly can't blame anyone for that) but the inescapable truth is that without Terry Knight, Grand Funk Railroad would probably never have achieved fame and success. And without that, this forum wouldn't exist and neither would the many treasured friendships that have been fostered through.......
Now that Terry's left us I think I can pass on a few nuggets he told me over the last years of his life. I don't think I'm telling "stories out of school" or anything at this point as Terry's gone, Mark's out of the band and it's getting a little "late in the day" anyway. Terry told me several years back that he'd started to conceptualize the packaging for the "E Pluribus Funk" follow up. He said he wanted to call it "Trinity." The cover would have been a gatefold and on the front cover there would have been a picture of the three members of GFR crucified on crosses. (Mark in the middle.) I asked him if that wouldn't have been just a "little bit" sacrilegious and although he agreed it might he said it was to signify the bands crucifixion at the hands of the media. The shot would have been taken in the middle of the desert.
On the back cover would have been thousands of people stretched out across the desert leading away from this scene. Terry told me these people would have been made up of real GFR fans that would have been invited to participate.
Makes for quite a visual doesn't it?
This joins the list of those great "what if" albums, huh? We can only imagine what the songs would've sounded like. Probably nothing like "Rain Keeps Fallin" or "Freedom Is For Children."
Terry actually urged me to give the "Thirty Years Of Funk" package the title of "Trinity." He pointed out that "trinity" means three and that we had three band members, three CD's and three ten-year time periods. His rationalization was very logical and made complete sense. However, I didn't want Terry having too much input into this project knowing what his relationship was still like with the band so we went with "Thirty Years Of Funk" instead.
DKT. David Tedds
These words from Lee Pickens:
"When we first met Terry, and during the recordings that he produced, I looked up to him. I thought he was very creative and he made it fun, enjoyable and satisfying. He looked after us in a way, making sure that we behaved in a responsible, dependable way, that we took this opportunity he was providing for us very seriously. He knew we were young and inexperienced in this league of professionalism he was introducing us to. He was totally professional and ran a tight ship. He was at all times conscious of our needs and any problems we might have. He was always polite and thoughtful. In a way, kinda like a den mother taking care of her young. He could be stern and demanding, but always thoughtful and considerate. It was a very positive experience.
"After ... the interview [Knight gave for American Burn], I thought about looking him up if I ever got down that way, but time passed and I never did. I'm sad and it just seems like a shame that things didn't work out for him. Some times, we as humans just don't have the understanding and insight to live and do the right things. I truly believe that had we had a strong foundation in faith, especially me, we all might have been an asset to each other. What a waste. I am glad that we had the opportunity to experience what we did though, and had it not been for Terry Knight, Bloodrock would never have happened."
These words from Nick Taylor:
"I am saddened by the news. I hadn't seen Terry in 30 years but my memories of him are good ones. Our split with Terry Knight was strictly business - there were no hard feelings, at least not on my part. His family members are in my prayers."
These words from Stevie Hill:
"When we started recording, I didn't understand his minimalist approach to record-making - and I didn't appreciate it until very recently. When I think about his style - get in there, make your statement with some power and go right back on the road - that's what rock & roll is all about.
"When we recorded 'Song For A Brother,' I was pumped up because that was the first songwriting instance in which I wrote both the music and words - but I didn't have a title. I've got a bit of a perfectionist approach when it comes to titles and when we got on the plane to fly back to Fort Worth I told Terry I'd call him in a week with the title. When I got on the phone with him to tell him the title, he said: 'I already gave it a name, it's called Song For A Brother - and it's too late to change it.'
"At the time we split with him I felt no animosity toward him and when he later offered that sound bite for my EP [Vignette] in 2003 - it was gracious of him to do that. I was glad to see he felt no animosity either."
These words from James R. Cobb III:
"I sincerely regret hearing the sad news regarding Terry Knight. Many years have passed since I've known him but I greatly admire anyone who surrenders their life in the defense of a loved one, especially a daughter. May his soul rest in peace."