Classic Rock Corner

"Rock Patriot" Mark Farner Can't Fake The Funk

As the lead singer and guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, Mark Farner has powered songs like "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home," "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "The Loco-Motion" into the Classic Rock Canon.

Along with drummer Don Brewer (who sings on "We're An American Band") and bassist Mel Schacher, the three men from Michigan moved a lot of vinyl in the '70s and - at their peak of popularity - sold out Shea Stadium faster than the Beatles did. Oh, and according to an episode of The Simpsons, they are also Homer's favorite rock band.

And while Farner split for good from his bandmates, who continue to tour under the GFR moniker, more than a decade ago, he continues to perform and record, arriving at the Arena Theatre Friday as part of the "Hippiefest" package tour.

Rocks Off spoke with the "Rock Patriot" about gunfire in the Bayou City, his messy musical divorce, and where politics, God and car engines come together.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero