Who played a guitar with customization that included foam rubber, masking tape and glow-in-the-dark paint, watched Janis Joplin massage helicopter seats with chocolate bars and taught Frank Zappa how to shoot a handgun? Hint: Take the obvious answer.
Mark Farner turns 70 on September 29, 2018 and lives life like a rockstar. Well…he is a rockstar. He prides himself on a phenomenal career as a musician, being a family man and a person of love.
After Grand Funk initially disbanded in 1976, Farner released his first self-titled solo album in 1977, and his second, No Frills, in 1978 (both Atlantic Records). In 1981, Farner and Don Brewer launched a new Grand Funk line-up with bassist Dennis Bellinger and recorded two albums, Grand Funk Lives and What’s Funk?. Farner went solo again with 1988’s Just Another Injustice on Frontline Records. His third Frontline release was 1991’s Some Kind of Wonderful, which featured a revamped version of the Grand Funk classic of the same name. Farner enjoyed success with the John Beland composition “Isn’t it Amazing”, which earned him a Dove Award nomination and reached No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian music charts.
In the 1990s, Farner formed Lismark Communications with former Freedom Reader editor Steve Lisuk. Soon after, Farner began reissuing his solo albums on his own record label, LisMark Records.
From 1994 to 1995, Farner toured with Ringo Starr’s Allstars, which also featured Randy Bachman, John Entwistle, Felix Cavaliere, Billy Preston, and Starr’s son, Zak Starkey.
In the late 1990s, Farner reunited with Grand Funk, but left after three years to resume his solo career. He currently tours with his band, N’rG, which plays a mixture of Grand Funk songs and Farner’s solo offerings.
Farner had a pacemaker installed October 22, 2012, having struggled with heart troubles for the prior eight years.
Now he makes his way to the Historic Everett Theatre June 8th.
This episode features a newer song “Take You Out” and a 1975 release “Some Kind of Wonderful” with the shared vocals of drummer Don Brewer and Farner.Listen to the full episode
There were many legends that passed this year. Many musicians including Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Al Jarreau, Mel Tillis, J. Geils and Walter Becker. There were others but I chose Tom Petty for the final episode of 2017. He was loved and respected by many and one of my personal musical influences.Listen to the full episode