Bubba's Den

Bob "Bubba" Grundner

'Bob grew up in Bay City and graduated from Central High School. While Bob was at Central High, he was the Drum Major for the Marching Band during his junior and senior years. During that time Bob and a fellow drummer rewrote the drum cadences for the marching band, which are still being played to this day.

Because of his love of music Bob continued on to SVSU to study percussion and music theory. He served as drummer for the SVSU Jazz Band. He was the driving force behind the band while they toured Europe under the direction of the late Dr. Charlie Brown.'  --- Review Magazine ---

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Those of you who've been following the Zen Ponies, since its beginnings back in 1993, will remember Bubba as  Zen Ponies' original drummer.  Maybe you've caught him with Acme Jam Co., or the Blue Avenue Delegates,  performing at the Green Door Lounge.  You may remember him from waayyyy back as the drummer with another great Michigan group, Showdown.

Bubba in Showdown - January, 1980
Click pic for a larger image.

Bubba was the drummer with the Mark Farner Band (Of Grand Funk Railroad fame), and worked with Mark in the studio from '77 until '85.  He also toured nationally with the band in '84 and '85.

1996-1998 -- Bubba worked with internationally reknowned, country music star, Dolly Parton!  He recorded 2 CD's with Dolly including, "Hungry Again" and, "Precious Memories", and performed live with her, including a performance on NBC's "Today Show" (just prior to moving back to good old Lansing, Michigan.) 

The "Dolly connection" came through an audition for a group that was headed by Richie Owens,  1st cousin to the living legend.  After passing the audition and much methane, a demo CD was recorded and sent to, "Miss Dolly", who was returning from her retreat in the hills of Tennessee with a bundle of songs under her arm.  She promptly plugged in the CD and upon hearing the first few tracks called her 1st cousin "Richie" and hired the whole band right there over the phone. (Or something like that was told to Bubba and it sounded plausible.) The rest of the story will be discussed over many brewskies and written down at a later date.  The big question that he gets asked most often about his working with the ,"larger than life", icon is too obvious to even mention here but Bubba can be quoted as saying," Dolly Parton is one of the most professional, talented, generous, beautiful, and sincere human beings that I've ever had the pleasure of working with." 

1999-2004 -- Upon his return to Michigan , Bubba quickly found work with Bobby Hoyt and the Bronco Billy Band and Bigfoot Bob and the Toe Tappers. After gigging with those groups for the better part of a year and also while doing studio sessions in Lansing and in Detroit , the offer came to join up with his former bandmates the Zen Ponies on the condition that he bathe regularly as well as drive the equipment truck. Being an agreeable sort of chap, Bob said , "OK."

Bubba in Zen Ponies - 2001
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Bubba worked, with Steve Edwards, Jim Eargoode, Dale Calder, and the rest of his great friends, at Sound EFX, a local sound company. Bubba also taught drums/percussion and repaired drums for local rhythmatists.

Bob played drums and percussion, for studio sessions, at Glenn Brown Productions. He also played on gigs with many groups including: Bigfoot Bob and the Toe Tappers, Life Support, Mike Skory Quartet, Ambidexterous, and Satin Sounds featuring Betty Baxter.

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On Saturday, October 2nd, 2004, our dear friend and drummer Bob Grundner quietly and peacefully lost his year-long battle with lung cancer at his home, surrounded by his family.

During the months before his passing, Bob shared time with his sons, Levi and Evan, his two sisters Maggie and Kathy, his brother John, his mother Mildred, and with other loved family members, and close friends.

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More information about Bubba can be found at these sites.