Saturday, January 21, 2017

Grand Funk - 1997 - Bosnia

Grand Funk 

01. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Intro) 1:25
02. Are You Ready 3:26
03. Rock'N Roll Soul 3:50
04. Footstopmin' Music 4:19
05. Time Machine 3:17
06. Medley: Paranoid - Sin's A Good Mans Brother - Mr. Limosine Driver 7:17
07. Heartbreaker 7:38
08. Aimless Lady 3:53
09. T.N.U.C. 7:25
10. Inside Looking Out 10:22
11. Shinin' On 3:37
12. The Loco-Motion 3:41
13. We're An American Band 3:58
14. Overture 2:59
15. Mean Mistreater 4:26
16. Some Kind Of Wonderful 3:58
17. To Get Back In 4:02
18. Bad Time 2:57
19. I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home 9:04
20. Loneliness 8:59

Grand Funk Railroad:
Mark Farner – acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, percussion
Howard Eddy Jr. – keyboards
Mel Schacher – bass guitar
Don Brewer – drums, percussion, vocals

Peter Frampton – guitar
Alto Reed – saxophone
Michigan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Shaffer
Recorded by David Hewitt on Remote Recording Services Silver Truck

Recorded live March 1997 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

This album is dedicated to all the people of Bosnia and those who suffer around the world. We care.
Mel, Don & Mark

The triumphant return of the boys from Flint, Michigan. A fabulous live recording complete with guest stars up the wazoo. Mark, Don, and Mel are joined onstage by their own sideman Howard Eddy Jr. as well as Peter Frampton, Paul Schafer (David Letterman's band leader), and Alto Reed (Bob Segar's saxman for many years). The recording features a full orchestra and lots and lots of hits! The guys and the sound may have matured, but don't take that as meaning old, these guys got out there and rocked there tails off! This was a happy time indeed for the Grand Funk boys who in the 70's conquered the world straight out of the Musician's Union Hall in Flint. This CD is a must have for GFR fans and non-fans alike. It is out of print but can be still found in many CD shops across the US. Bosnia is a true testiment that Rock and Roll isn't just for the kids!

The Bosnia Live 2CD set is a great work, which was born out of the GFR Re-union tours of 1996 and 1997. GFR was back and filling the concert venue as always. I love the Orchchestra set and GFR never sounded better. Below is a Review of a 1996 GFR Re-union show I attended in my home town.

York Pavilion, York PA 6/19/96- Grand Funk Railroad Re-union Tour

Don't ask me where, but I think it was on a classic rock radio station, that I heard Grand Funk Railroad was touring again and was going to play a concert in my home town of York, PA. I heard that it was a "test" tour to see if there was enough interest for a full blown re-union tour.

As GFR was my favorite Rock group since about 1970, I was determined to get tickets and arrived before 8AM on the Saturday at the York Fair , to my surprise I was about 50th or so in line. Everyone in that line was really psyched about the concert and I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of me. Both of us reminiscing about the concerts we had seen in "the day". I guess it took about an hour to get though the line but with all the Funk banter time went quickly and I was on my way.

On Concert day my then 18 year old son accompanied me, he had heard  plenty about GFR from me but he really only came because I asked him to, but in any case there we were. I am not sure exactly how many the York Pavilion will hold, but I think it is in the 10 - 12,000 range and the crowd was probably around 8-9,000 that day. The tickets were $20 and I bought tickets right in the middle about 6 or 8 rows into the first seats of the grand stand, there were plenty of the ground level seats available for about $10 more but I took the grandstand.

Rick Derringer was the opening act, and did a outstand job. Rick was in the McCoys of "Hang On Sloopy" fame and also the Edgar Winter's White Trash Band. So he did lots of Edgar Winter stuff, like "Still Alive and Well", "Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo", and selections from "They Only Come Out At Night". Derringer burned up the guitar just like he did back in the "Roadwork" Days and ended his set with "Hang On Sloopy".

After about a 45 minute break to set up GFR's equipment, the crowd was chanting and clapping their hands just like in the old days, ...Grand Funk..Grand Funk...Grand Funk... the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey intro and Mark Don & Mel trot onto the  stage. Boy! they still looked great, maybe a little less hair, lol, but still looking fit and trim. Drummer supreme, Don Brewer. wore a mostly white outfit, and still had the 'fro, I can't remember what Mel wore, but he did have dark sun glasses on and looked sharp. What I do remember is Mark Farner's entrance, dancing and prancing while playing the beginning chords of "Are You Ready" the traditional GFR opening number. After all these years Mark was still the same as always, moving to the music from one side of the stage to the other.

It was a fantastic show, and if it was not for the "odd Looks" I was getting from my son, I would have been dancing and shouting along with the music more than I did. They did all of the great songs and I remember that Mark introduced his brother Ricky, who was playing second guitar from off to the side, most notably filling in the beginning of Closer To Home and other needed guitar parts. I don't remember the exact set list, but I can tell you it was a classic set much like is listed in Mark Farners Bio in the Appendix II, which list all of Mark's public appearances from his first local band through the 2001 Mark Farner Band shows.

Here is the typical Set List which is printed in Marks Bio for the 1996 GFR Tour:
Are You Ready / Rock & Roll Soul / Footstompin' Music / Winter In My Soul / Time Machine / Aimless Lady / Mean Mistreater / TNUC / Inside Looking Out / The Railroad / Sin's A Good Man's Brother / Heartbreaker / Bad Time / Some Kind Of Wonderful / I'm Your Captain / The Loco-motion / Nothing Is The Same / Shinin' On / We're An American Band (Encore).

It really was almost unbelievable how good they sounded that day, and I was on cloud nine for about a week following that show. I would keep track of the Re-union and would see GFR listed as doing shows around the PA, MD, NJ, NY areas for quite a while and in 2000 when I first got on-line one of the first things I did was type in into the search box and it was then I found that Mark Farner had again gone solo and as Paul Harvey always says you know "The Rest Of The Story". In any case, for a few short hours I had the good fortune to re-live a favorite time in my life with my favorite music performed flawlessly by Mark, Don & Mel and again confirm what I always knew- "WHAT'S FUNK? GRAND FUNK"

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