Tag: Grand Funk Railroad

Tunes for Tuesday: Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk Railroad was another one of those fantastic power trios I became so fascinated with over the years. Like Rush, ZZ Top, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, or The Police; just a guitar, bass, and drums. But when a power trio is excellent, that is all you need!

Of course, they would occasionally bring other musicians as needed for specific compositions.

The band, formed by Mark Farner (guitar, vocals), Don Brewer (drums, vocals), and Mel Schacher (bass), were very popular in the 1970s. The first Grand Funk album I purchased was Grand Funk Railroad / Caught In The Act. It was a great album containing most of my favorites.

I’m Your Captain (Shea Stadium, 1971)

Grand Funk Railroad put out a lot of really great music over their years. And, they lasted for a very long time. I saw Grand Funk Railroad on July 1, 2007, at the Dick Clark American Bandstand in Pigeon Forge, TN. While unfortunately, it was not the original line-up or even still a power trio, the music was still awesome.

Some Kind of Wonderful (1975)

Now I ask you! What is there not to like about that? But my very favorite song by Grand Funk Railroad has always been this one. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why.

We’re An American Band (Live at the Forum Los Angeles, 1974)

Then there was this one. It was just plain fun. Absolutely everyone was doing The Locomotion!

The Locomotion (Who the heck knows!)

I guess the cool thing for me was that this was An American Band that could really put out some Footstompin’ Music!

Footstompin’ Music (Live, 1970s)

And for me, that was really hard to beat!

And here is a little fun trivia fact for all you Rock History buffs out there. It took The Beatles several weeks to sell out Shea Stadium. It took Grand Funk Railroad just 72 hours!

What a Rush! Tunes for Tuesday … except on Friday!

We’ve taken care of everything
The words you read
The songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes

Rush Overture

I have always been a fan of power trios. There have been several great ones over the years: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, ZZ Top, Grand Funk Railroad (later became a quartet), The Police, Mountain (what about that Mississippi Queen), Stray Cats, Thin Lizzy (until 1974), and others.

And then there is RUSH! How the hell do three musicians put out so much awesome sound! And by the way … what the hell is Art Rock?


First Encounter

I still remember the first time I heard 2112. I out cruising with a high school friend in his Camaro. It had a Craig PowerPlay hooked up to Jensen Triaxle Speakers and would rattle the windows. The cassette in the player started to play, and I’d never heard anything like that before.

“Who the hell is this?”
“Some Canadian rock band called Rush.”
“Damn, that’s good.”
“The singer has a weird voice.
“Yes. But listen to the drummer.”

The singer, Geddy Lee, did have a strange voice, but it grows on you. Alex Lifeson is certainly no slouch on guitar. In fact, he is pretty freaking awesome.

And Neil Peart … well, he was probably the best rock drummer to ever tread the planet. I ended up seeing Rush in concert three times. Each experience was excellent. But there was nothing like that initial art-rock extravagance … 2112!

So what the hell is art rock?

According to Wikipedia, Art rock is a sub-genre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Influences may be drawn from genres such as experimental rock, avant-garde music, classical music, and jazz.

Art rock artists include such bands as Pink Floyd, Yes, The Moody Blues, Electric Light Orchestra, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I enjoyed the music many of these artists put out, notably Pink Floyd and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But Rush was unique … different! Maybe it was Geddy Lee’s voice!

Or just maybe it was Neil Peart on those drums …

Here is the professor performing in Frankfort, Germany in 2013. By the way it is also important to mention that Neil Peart also wrote many of the lyrics for Rush’s songs.

Unfortunately, even legends can’t live forever.

On January 7, 2020, Neil Peart died at the age of 67 after a battle with brain cancer. The world was stunned. Canada lost a national treasure, and Rock and Roll lost its premier drummer.

All I can say is, thank you for your gift to the world of rock music. Great musicians, wonderful music, and a very cool part of my younger years. And, yes, I still sometimes listen to Rush on my iPhone!