Music / Grand Funk Railroad

"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 '70s, 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), with Craig Frost (organ) joining the band by the time they had their biggest hits. 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 .38 Special vocalist Max Carl and KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, with whom the group continues to tour.

Notably, they're Homer Simpson's favourite band.


  • On Time (1969)
  • Grand Funk (1969)
  • Closer to Home (1970)
  • Live Album (1970) - live album
  • Survival (1971)
  • E Pluribus Funk (1971)
  • Phoenix (1972)
  • We're an American Band (1973)
  • Shinin' On (1974)
  • All the Girls in the World Beware!!! (1974)
  • Caught in the Act (1975) - live album
  • Born to Die (1976)
  • Good Singin', Good Playin' (1976)
  • Grand Funk Lives (1981)
  • What's Funk? (1983)
  • Bosnia (1997) - live album
  • Live: The 1971 Tour (2002) - live album

"Grand Trope Railroad":

  • Actually Pretty Funny: They enjoyed the jokes at their expense on The Simpsons, noting that Homer is a perfect representative of their fanbase.
  • Cover Version: Their second #1 hit was a cover of "The Loco-Motion" (written by Carole King), which had previously occupied the top position in a 1962 version by Little Eva.
    • They reached #3 with "Some Kind of Wonderful", originally a minor hit by the '60s R&B group Soul Brothers Six.
  • Epic Rocking: "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home"
  • Non-Indicative Name: Not actually a funk band.
  • Punny Name: Named after their state's Grand Trunk Railroad.
  • Rock Star 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.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Mark Farner (soprano) and Don Brewer (gravel).
  • The Band Minus the Face: Since 2000, when Mark Farner departed and the band chose to continue without him.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Mark Farner and Don Brewer.