Bow to the almighty Grand Funk Railroad

January 25, 2012

See, this is what I’ll miss most about the crackdown on filesharing sites Megaupload and FileSonic: If it weren’t for Brazilian music blogs and those online storage sites I would’ve never listened and downloaded Grand Funk Railroad‘s 1969 debut LP On Time, and I would’ve never experienced the joy of their 5 minute drum solo on the track “Tnuc“.

It’s not that I’m not familiar with Grand Funk. Hell, second only to Bob Seger, GF albums took up nearly half the shelf space of the record department in my local Kmart when I was a kid. and yes, I bought most of my records at Kmart in the 70s.

Back to that drum solo. 1969 was the year of the Archies “Sugar Sugar” and Neil Diamond‘s “Sweet Caroline”. Yes, Led Zeppelin also released their debut LP that year, but in a decade when bubblegum pop still ruled the AM airwaves, it was pretty ballsy for a group of teenagers from Flint, Michigan to release a chunk of stripped down blues-jam rock and roll, with one track an almost 9 minute opus with a 5 minute drum solo right in the middle.

The 60s really were a great decade for musical innovation.

MP3: Grand Funk Railroad- Tnuc

One personal note about GFR: My high school buddy Trevor’s best friend at his previous school was Mark Farner’s nephew, and since Trevor played guitar, he got to meet Farner and play with him on a few occassions. I think that was the highlight of Trevor’s life to this day. Farner also owned a farm (and possibly still does) just down the road from my Grandparent’s farm.

GFR are also Homer Simpson‘s favorite band: When hearing that the kids didn’t know anything about GFR, he said, “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!”



  1. Was it Farner that lived on Lake Shannon down the lake from Laura Young’s dad?

  2. […] listings, beer, bikes, politics and more; straight outta Philly « Bow to the almighty Grand Funk Railroad 500th Post! January 25, […]

  3. I dont’ know, Lee. I read that his farm was on Parshallville Road, which is pretty close to Lake Shannon.

    BTW, this blog automatically posts to my personal facebook account, and another friend (not trevor) wrote this interesting note:

    Franci wrote: “As a kid Matt, my older brother and Mark Farner were friends and I remember them jamming at our house. To me, at that time, it was my bro and his buddy and good listening. Then a few yrs later, it was like wow, this guy is famous. Great memory of my brother…R.I.P. Joel McDevitt. Peace.”

    • I want to say it was the drummer that lived on Lake Shannon….but it’s been a long time and memories get foggy….

    • I’m about 90% sure Franci you quote is my cousin.

      • Franci McDevitt Wegman

      • That would be her.

      • I suppose growing up in the area, everyone close to my age has a Grand Funk story. Just did not realize my own cousins were friends with Mark Farner.

  4. it was the drummer. I live in his house 🙂 ha.

  5. Homer was right! That drum solo is bong-rattling!
    Makes me want to break out my old one from college now! LMAO
    GFR is one of the best things to come out of Flint since the ORIGINAL Bozo the Clown!!

  6. Thank you Ashley! I have long had a story I could not confirm. Many years ago in the 70s, a friend of mine’s aunt’s boyfriend moved into your house. Somehow I wound up helping out in the move. A box that had been left behind in an attic was brought out, and contained sequined muscle T-shirts, emblazoned with “Grand Funk”. Also in the box, there were there frilly sleeves, which I have now identified as part of Don Brewer’s stage costume from the VH1 Behind the Music program. How I dearly wish I had kept anything from that box, and I have no idea of any of its whereabouts.

  7. Mark Farner did indeed live on Parshalville Road, and I would not dare reveal where, but I do remember driving by with friends in the 70s, and seeing lines of cars outside, while we would hear GFR playing in the barn. The same barn was also used a few times as the local haunted house, most assuredly while Mr. Farner lived there.

  8. […] This post on Grand Funk Railroad has gotten quite a few neat comments, but not that many hits. This one about Craigslist scams gets quite a bit of traffic, but nowhere near 300 hits a day. […]

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