Update With Terry Furlong - Summer 2006

Who is that sun glassed gent, peeking out of the open door by the LBJ poster, on the back cover of the More Golden Grass LP?  It is The Grass Roots lead guitarist Terry Furlong. He became a driving force with the band after the departure of Creed Bratton in 1969 through 1972, with his contribution on “Two Divided By Love”. 

Terry’s story begins in London, England on December 31, 1942.  He made his way to the US and was a junior high school classmate of Warren Entner. Besides their love for music, Terry and Warren shared another intimate bond - they both had the same hairstylist.

Warren and Terry’s paths later crossed again when Creed left The Grass Roots and the group was in need of a lead guitarist. Both Dennis Provisor and Terry played in the band Blue Rose. The Grass Roots came in to see Blue Rose and hire both a keyboard player (Dennis) and Terry as a guitarist. The Grass Roots decided to hire Dennis only. Terry related, with a deep belly laugh “Real nice guys. You hired my keyboard player away from my band. That's really, nice.” Shortly after that situation, Dennis called Terry to see if he would like to do some session work with The Grass Roots. The group was so impressed with Terry’s work that shortly after, Warren called Terry to tour with the group, deciding that they really did need a lead guitarist and to become a five piece group, in 1969.

Terry’s contributions are heard on More Golden Grass. He is credited on this LP with lead guitar. He related he did participate in the photo shoot for the album cover, but in the end, “stock stuff” was used for the photos on the front, and middle of the album, leaving his appearance on the back of the album jacket only. He toured with The Grass Roots to promote this album and lived the rock star life with limos, 5 star hotels, and the best cuisine around. He will always be thankful he was able to see the world. One of his biggest thrills was hearing The Grass Roots songs being played on the radio (a constant in the 60’s and 70’s).

As a Grass Roots member, Terry appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and made several appearances on American Bandstand. Terry has a gold record for Temptation Eyes. Although Terry quit touring (for a time) with The Grass Roots, he continued to contribute on their songs, such as Sooner Or Later and Two Divided By Love. In 1974, Rob Grill called and asked Terry if he would consider going on tour with The Grass Roots (Dennis was also part of this tour).  During that 9 month period, Terry decided this would be his last tour.

However, Terry has managed to run into his former band mates from time to time. In 1996, Rob and The Grass Roots were appearing in Eugene, Oregon. The promoter of the tour knew Terry and his history with the group. He sent Terry to the airport to pick up Rob and the guys. Rob and Terry had a blast reminiscing about bygone days. Rob invited Terry to play with The Grass Roots at their show that evening, which he accepted. 

Terry has kept busy writing and recording in his own right. He has contributed to recordings with Redbone (The Essential Redbone), Blue Rose (Blue Rose) and Smokey Robinson (A Quiet Storm and The 35th Anniversary Collection). He has written songs for Cher, Tom Jones, John Hammond and others.

The song My Impersonal Life, which Terry recorded for his own LP, was tapped by former 8th grade classmate, Danny Hutton, of Three Dog Night for their Harmony album.  This song sets the precedent for the rest of this classic album. This song also earned Terry a mention in 3DN keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon’s autobiography “One Is The Loneliest Number”.

Currently, Terry resides in Prescott Arizona. His second wife is from Benson Minnesota, where Terry once fished to relax. His son is finishing his fourth tour of duty in Iraq and will be back to study in Portland, Oregon. Terry is one of the busiest semi-retired musicians around. He currently is teaching his craft to about 30 students at a music store in Prescott. One of his students was Dennis Provisor’s nephew (small world). He has also taught at the local college. 

This summer Terry will be hosting Dennis at his house for a vacation. He will also be traveling to Mexico, which he enjoys visiting about 3 times a year. Terry spoke very highly of Rick Coonce and hoped to establish contact with him in the future. He said Rick was very humorous and did a banjo bit during part of The Grass Roots performances that would drop the audience to their knees.

If you are visiting anywhere near Prescott Arizona, stop by Whiskey Row (which is a street of bars). Terry and his band play at The Jersey Lilly several nights a week. Check out the link below.

Terry truly was an integral contributor to the success of The Grass Roots and continues to share his gift of music and humor with the world today.

Tina Reichow

Click above for Terry’s site