Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Best Wishes 'Denver George'

I have always been a huge Poco fan and have everything they've ever recorded. I have seen them on numerous occasions and still play a few of their songs when my voice is working. I remember a Denver band named 'Benzy Crik' who played at a high school dance and they had a guy on peddle steel guitar(Rusty Young) and a guy playing these "pancake drums"(George Grantham)! I didn't know at the time that they would later be members of the band I grew to love and idolize(POCO). Their first album was called "Pick Up The Pieces" and "Denver George" sang even higher than Richy Furay or Randy Meisener!!!! I'm sure some of you out there in 'cyber space' remember that band that gave birth to 'country rock' and have some comments to leave. My thoughts and prayers for George! Sean asked me to pass this on to you bloggers...

November 20th was the 61st birthday of drummer George Grantham. It's also his fourth birthday as a stroke survivor.Grantham has spent most of his career with Poco; however, during the 80s he toured as a member of Ricky Skaggs' band. His home, however, was always with the legendary country-rock band (a group that would never get country airplay today for being far Too Country), and when they reunited in 1989 for the album Legacy he gladly rejoined the original line-up of Jim Messina, Richie Furay, Rusty Young, and Randy Meisner.Poco has always maintained a loyal following that has stuck with them through the personnel changes, Eagles stealing their bass players, and temporary disbandings. This fan base continued to enjoy their live performances throughout the 90s into the new century.On July 29, 2004, Poco played in Springfield, Massachusetts. As they began the second song of their set, "Call It Love" (their "comeback" hit from 1989), Grantham missed the beat. Rusty Young said he turned around and saw Grantham playing the hi-hat cymbal with his right hand, but his left arm was hanging limp at his side. Grantham assured his bandmate he was okay, but Young stopped and asked if there was a doctor in the house. Grantham was taken to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered a stroke. His left side was paralyzed.George Grantham has recovered sufficiently to have a quality life, but sadly he will never be able to return to the love of his life, playing drums for Poco. In addition, Grantham's disability has put a financial strain on his family, with (according to a 2006 entry at Poco's web site) $1,000 a month in expenses over and above what insurance covers resulting from the ongoing care that Grantham requires."There's just a little magic in the country music we're playing," Poco sang on their first album from 1968. With the band preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary, that lyric is as true as ever. As George Grantham turns 60, here's hoping the "little bit of magic" of Poco's music, the magic that has brought smiles to countless fans for the past 40 years, will in turn bring a smile to his face as well.Prayers are always welcome for George Grantham. Well wishes and financial donations to help with the cost of Grantham's medical expenses can be sent to:George GranthamP.O. Box 128523Nashville, TN 37212


Anonymous said...

"You Are The One"...George. My thoughts are with him too.

d stew said...

I saw Poco at the Denver Pop Festival in 1968. They were the
2nd band on a bill that included Zepher with Candy Givens and Tommy Bollin, Jeff or Tim Buckley(I always get them confused),and headlined by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
I remember being impressed with Poco and their style of music, which I didn't know at the time was "Country Rock". I only knew I really like the Steel Guitar and the Rock beat.
One of the guys I went to the concert went out the next day and bought "Pick up the Pieces" and we listend to it over and over. Could that really have been 40 years ago? I can still smell the tear gas from when people tried to crash the gates and the police gassed them.
I didn't see Poco live again until years later, after I'd met Cormey, Ray, Rob, Sean and the rest of that group of musicians. I remember seeing various incarnations of the band at places like The Rainbow Music Hall, some bar in Aurora that had a fog machine and the reunion concert at Winter Park. I have poster of that show, that I had framed, hanging in my condo in Grand Lake

Anonymous said...

Damn Dickie, you and Corm are old dudes, hard for a guy my age to remember this stuff.


Anonymous said...

You have stirred some memories Dick, including that show at some bar in Aurora where along with the fog machine you could dance to Poco, if I remember right. That was an interesting show. One of the first times I saw Poco was in Greeley, early ‘70s. Great show. I remember Paul Cotton breaking a string during a lead and without missing a beat Rusty Young finished the lead on his steel. Amazing. One of the best shows I have ever seen was the “Legend” incarnation of Poco at the Blue Note in Boulder in ‘79. Incredible show. Richie Furay and JD Souther sat behind us with a tape recorder taping the show. Oh to have a copy of that. And the show at the Grizzly Rose with George back and Richie showed up and they did an acoustic set that was unbelievable. Remember that one Dick? Poco is one of the most underrated, under appreciated bands in music, even though the band has always had some of the most talented musicians to ever sing a note or pick up instruments. Poco is one of those bands that when you hear the music, you are forever a fan.

Anonymous said...

Thanx, Corm, for passing the "Denver George" info on to your Blogites! Yep, POCO was/is the best. I, too, saw them at the Denver Pop Festival (Dick, were you the guy standing up in front of me all day?!) and they were great. They followed AORTA, who wouldn't be great?! LOL
Boenzee Cryque played at my high school, too. The first time I ever heard "Purple Haze," Rusty was playing it on a pedal steel!!!
I once counted up the POCO concerts I had been to and I realized I had seen them more than any other band. They won by a mile....
it numbered in the 20s....WOW. I remember all of us going down to a show at the Denver Coliseum ('73??)when they opened for Loggins and Messina. Now that was an incredible show! Saw them last in the summer of '07 and Rusty and Paul were still blowin' 'em away.
POCO Forever!
There's a rumor of a DELUXE box set being assembled by Rusty that would cut across all the different labels, different eras, and include every member of the legendary band. Let's hope we can all ask for that for Christmas in 2009!

Consequently, So Long!