Rick Coonce
American musician
Rick Coonce
Erik Michael Coonce, better known as Rick Coonce, was the drummer for The Grass Roots, a successful rock group that received heavy airplay on the radio from 1967 to 1972. Due to renewed interest in classic bands, The Grass Roots and Coonce's driving drum beats are popular even into the new millennium. He was born in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1946, at The City Of Angels Hospital.
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Corrections: July 14 - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
The others are, from left, Warren Entner, Mr. Grill and Rick Coonce. The Times welcomes comments and suggestions, or complaints about errors that warrant correction. Messages on news coverage can be e-mailed to nytnews@nytimes.com or left toll-free at
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Rob Grill, 67, Lead Singer of the Grass Roots
NYTimes - over 5 years
Rob Grill, the longtime lead singer and a very nearly original member of the Grass Roots, the immensely popular rock group of the 1960s and afterward, died on Monday in Tavares, Fla. He was 67. The cause was complications of a head injury he sustained in a fall last month, his wife, Nancy, said. Mr. Grill was a longtime resident of Mount Dora, Fla.
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rick Coonce
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2011
    Age 64
    Died on February 25, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FIFTIES
  • 2000
    Age 53
    In 2000, he released a solo album on CD. It featured many songs written by him. Coonce died of heart failure on February 25, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details ++- Gold Record - RIAA Certification +++ - Composed by Italian superstar Lucio Battisti) ++- Gold Record - RIAA Certification
  • TWENTIES
  • 1969
    Age 22
    The Grass Roots played at Newport Pop Festival 1969 at Devonshire Downs which was a racetrack at the time but now is part of the North Campus for California State University at Northridge.
    More Details Hide Details They played on Sunday June 22 which was the final day of the festival as their top twenty hit "Wait A Million Years" was hitting the airwaves. In Canada, they played at the Vancouver Pop Festival at the Paradise Valley Resort in British Columbia in August 1969 (see List of electronic music festivals). In 1972 Coonce left the band and moved to Vancouver, Canada. When he applied for citizenship they told him that there was a point system. They immediately gave him the full ten points because they needed more musicians. He played in many local groups since his immigration. He loved the island on which he lived, farmed and the music he recorded in his studio. Rick was approached by a friend about working as a child protection social worker and did that important work in Canada for 27 years until his retirement. Often with his keen sense of humor he was able to break the ice with many troubled children and families, helping them find a road to a better life. Rick was a dedicated family man with a loving wife, two children and two grandchildren to fill his days. He loved spending time with his family and enjoyed the peaceful living at his home on Vancouver Island. He continued to write songs, record in his studio, and had a great love for music as always.
  • 1967
    Age 20
    The Grass Roots played at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Sunday June 11, 1967 in the "summer of love" as their top ten hit "Let's Live For Today" was hitting the airwaves.
    More Details Hide Details This music festival is important because it occurred before the Monterey Pop Festival but did not have a movie to document it for the ages (see List of electronic music festivals). On Sunday October 27, 1968 they played at the San Francisco Pop Festival and then played at the Los Angeles Pop Festival and Miami Pop Festival in December of that year as their top ten hit "Midnight Confessions" was hitting the airwaves.
    In 1967, the group changed their name to The Grass Roots to take advantage of prior name recognition and recorded "Let's Live For Today".
    More Details Hide Details The iconic song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Capturing the mood of the era, "Let’s Live For Today" kicked the group into stardom. With the help of producers like Steve Barri and pushed forward by Coonce's energetic drumming, which often emphasized the bass beat, the band evolved a unique sound. Some of the hits that continue to get airplay are "Midnight Confessions", "I'd Wait A Million Years", and "Temptation Eyes". Coonce appeared with the group on many television programs such as American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show. The Grass Roots appeared in a major motion picture starring Doris Day called With Six You Get Eggroll. Rick also composed songs with The Grass Roots, co-authoring "Feelings" and "Get it Together" (a theme song for the ABC television show) and self composing "Truck Drivin' Man". Rick was able to work with drummer legend Hal Blaine, who was an importance influence.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1946
    Born
    He was born in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1946, at The City Of Angels Hospital.
    More Details Hide Details He attended a Catholic school for six years while his mother worked to support the family. His father played the fiddle and his mother sang. Rick developed a keen interest in music at an early age by observing his parents and his older brother's guitar lessons. Rick's mother insisted he should play the accordion despite his interest in guitar. While pursuing the accordion he noticed that girls had little interest in that particular instrument. At 12 Coonce decided he wanted to play drums. His mother surprised him with the special Christmas present of a used snare drum, hi-hat cymbal, and stand. Rick added to his set right away, acquiring mismatching pieces as he could. At 16 years old Coonce taught drums at the Adler Music Store. Befriending the owner, Herb Wall, he was offered a new set of drums with nothing down and payments each month. He went to high school in Simi Valley and became active in bands, playing wherever he could. He also worked at the Sunkist Orange packing house, and often played gigs after work.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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