They are “an American group” | Indianakokomo
KOKOMO – As you may already know, Grand Funk Railroad is an American group. And at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, they’re coming to our town to help us party as they headline the last night of the Haynes-Apperson Festival in Foster Park.
âWe can’t wait to get there this way,â Don Brewer, co-singer and drummer, said in a phone interview Thursday. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The energetic five-piece group will perform 40 shows nationwide this year, according to a press release. The group includes original founding members Brewer and bassist Mel Schacher, affectionately known as “The God Of Thunder”. He was also the co-founder of the legendary Jack Mack and the Heart Attack in California. Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known for his 12 years with Kiss and also has credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier. Keyboardist Tim “Dr. Tim” Cashion has a Masters of Music from the University of Miami and has also performed with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and Robert Palmer.
Brewer has also performed extensively with Seger and his band over the years. On September 2, Grand Funk Railroad actually opens for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band at the Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville.
âI started playing kind of like a second job in the early 80’s with the Silver Bullet Band,â he said. âThen, as 2006 approached, they were interested in starting touring again. So I was doing both groups, actually. â¦ I did about thirty shows intermittently with the Silver Bullet Band. Quite busy schedule. “
Brewer said he started performing in bands when he was 11 growing up in Flint, Michigan.
âI’ve always been a singer drummer,â he said. âI started to play the guitar.
In the summer of 1969, Grand Funk Railroad’s debut album, âOn Timeâ, was released. A lengthy tour with Led Zeppelin was planned, but was quickly scrapped after Grand Funk Railroad outperformed its more famous counterparts on October 18, 1969 at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit.
âWe go out and we do our show and the audience goes crazy,â he said. âThey love the new Grand Funk Railroad group. They’re on their feet and they’re just hammering and screaming and having a good time. Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, who weighs around 300 pounds, approached our manager and said, ‘You’re taking your band off stage now. Right now. ‘ And we kept playing because the audience loved it. So they unplugged. The crowd booed. We had to do a whole tour with them. It was canceled. They didn’t like being overshadowed by the new group Grand Funk.
Grand Funk Railroad hasn’t released an album of original songs since “What’s Funk?” from 1983. But, Brewer said that hasn’t stopped them from writing and performing new tracks.
âThis group, the current formation, has been together since 2000, so we are going for 17 years,â he said. âSo during that time, we’ve had a lot of songs that have come and gone in the show for new tracks. â¦ We are a classic rock band. And, as you know, classic rock radio doesn’t broadcast anything new. All they do is play the old stuff. So it’s very difficult for any classic rock band to get something new on the radio.
Still, Brewer said he wasn’t tired of playing hits like “We an American Band” or “The Loco-Motion” even after all these years.
âI always love watching an audience light up,â he said. âWatch those eyes light up. Watch the smiles happen. Watch them jump and throw their arms in the air. … Everyone knows the songs. That’s what they want to hear. I love watching the audience do that. And now we have four generations of people who know these songs. We see grandparents all the way to grandchildren and they all know these songs. I love to watch this happen. So no, I never tire of it. It comes back again. I think there is a lot of curiosity on the part of young music lovers. They heard the name of Grand Funk Railroad. They heard these songs on the radio and they are curious. And they’ll come out and see the group and they’re still amazed. â¦ They don’t think a bunch of old guys can rock. And we started it.
Rob Burgess, Editor-in-Chief of Tribune City, can be reached at [email protected]
Haynes-Apperson Festival schedule
12 p.m. to 11 p.m .: Carnival rides
1 p.m. to 4 p.m .: Registration for the Haynes-Apperson Auto Show
4 p.m. to 7 p.m .: Judging and awards for the motor show
7 p.m. to 10 p.m .: Blues Traveler concert. Opening of the Jason Skaggs Band. VIP tickets available for $ 30.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.: $ 20 in bracelets for unlimited rides
Noon: recording and composition of the parade
2 p.m .: Parade downtown on Main Street
6 p.m. to 9 p.m .: Cruise on Superior Street
7 p.m .: Rogers Ritual opening concert, power-rock music.
8:30 p.m .: Grand Funk Railroad concert. VIP tickets available for $ 20.
10 p.m .: Fireworks in the park
For sporting events, visit haynesappersonfestival.org/attractions/sports-festival, or go to haynesappersonfestival.org for details on all events.