It’s been a long drought for decent shows up here where the interstate ends.
Since Joan Jett stopped by last September, there hasn’t been much to get excited about. Not even the Eagles, announced last week with the cheapest ticket at $89.
So we wait and wait and wait for word of something worth seeing, and something affordable. And then, today, some light in the darkness.
You know it’s been a long drought when you get stoked about seeing Grand Funk Railroad, which is playing at the Fond du Lac County Fair this summer. That’s about an hour south of here.
As with many bands of that vintage, the first thing I often check is who’s in the band these days. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lineup that includes original members Don Brewer on drums and Mel Schachter on bass.
Now get a load of the rest of the band, another pleasant surprise: Bruce Kulick, formerly with Kiss, on guitars; Max Carl, formerly with .38 Special, on lead vocals; and Tim Cashion, formerly with Bob Seger and Robert Palmer, on keyboards.
It’s a group that’s been together for 15 years. There’s something to be said for that kind of staying power. I learned that six years ago, when I saw the Grass Roots at another county fair. Lead singer Rob Grill was the only original member, but he and his bandmates had been together for 25 years, far longer than the original lineup. They were tight.
Hoping for the same from Grand Funk.
We’ll likely hear all the singles — “We’re An American Band,” “The Loco-Motion” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful” among them — but I hope we also get to hear some of the heavier, more substantial stuff from the early ’70s. Back in the days of free-form FM radio, Grand Funk was one of the bands you heard after 10 p.m., when the DJs would play anything and everything. Something like this.
“Feelin’ Alright,” Grand Funk Railroad, from “Survival,” 1971. Also available digitally. This is, of course, their cover of the Traffic song written by Dave Mason. (The buy link is for a remastered reissue from 2002.)