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You kids don't know Grand Funk? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer? Oh, man!
One of the most popular American rock bands of The Seventies, Grand Funk Railroad was formed in 1969 by Mark Farner (co-lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Don Brewer (co-lead vocals, drums) and Mel Schacher (bass guitar). Hailing from Michigan, they took their name from the state's famous Grand Trunk Railroad rail line.
Earning massive popularity at the expense of critical derision with their hard-edged Blues Rock style, the group shifted millions of records, scored two number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 ("We're An American Band" and "The Loco-Motion") and even broke the attendance record at Shea Stadium set by The Beatles. However, disputes within the band, Executive Meddling and burn-out resulting from their touring schedule took their toll on Grand Funk, who decided to call it a day in 1976.
Reunion attempts were initially unsuccessful, resulting in Mark Farner quitting the band in favour of his solo career as a Christian Rock artist. He was replaced by former .38Special vocalist Max Carl and KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, with whom the group continues to tour.
Notably, they're Homer Simpson's favourite band.
Tropes associated with Grand Funk include:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Named after their state's Grand Trunk Railroad.
- Cover Version: Their second number one hit was a cover of "The Loco-Motion" (written by Carole King), which had previously occupied the top position as a version by the Motown artist Little Eva.
- Epic Rocking: "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home"
- Non-Indicative Name: Not actually a Funk band.
- Rockstar Song: "We're An American Band".
- Rock Trio: Directly patterned after Cream, they were one of the earliest examples, although they added a fourth member (Craig Frost) as a permanent keyboardist in 1972.
- Signature Song: "We're An American Band", which supposedly arose from an argument
- Vocal Tag Team: Mark Farner and Don Brewer.