grand funk concert stories mark farner rocks sycamore township Dayton Ohio
Some kind of wonderful
A long pure burst of rockin nrg
In June of 2007 it was now becoming much hotter out with lots of sunshine and high summer temperatures along with the announcement of three Mark Farner nrg band shows in Ohio for July.So I searched for fellow rockers.People who could appreciate a great footstompin rock show,however I just kept getting other things.Things like I cant go Chris.No I cant go because Id be going a full two hours without a beer on the way there.I cant do that man.I cant go Chris because I have to wash the dog.Or,I cant go Chris because my wife will only allow me to attend country music events.On and on and on it went.A friend from mark farners railroad forum had two tickets for the Portsmouth Ohio show just for me.Ironically,I was having trouble finding someone whod go.Heck I was even paying for the whole extravaganza but yet it was as though it just wasnt meant to be.After so many peoples lame excuses I said to heck with it.I knew there were other shows coming.I personally had wanted to attend the Portsmouth show July 3rd so I could re-visit my fellow railroad forum friends.Just like the 2006 show in Mansfield Ohio.Mark would be doing a show ay Bechtal Park in Sycamore township Cincinnati July 14th.This one I would go to.on june 27th Mark was to be doing a show in Streetsboro Ohio which is up near Cleveland.I had made plans to meet quite a few friends up there.As the 27th rolled around my friend Mike and myself were all ready and set to go but then,viola,there were massive thunder storms in that area along with alot of lightening and we were told that weather could get even worse still.No way were goin to this one.Now I am not opposed to a wet outdoor concert but I wasnt too thrilled with the prospect of driving clear across the state in hard pouring thunder storms.It was a shame because I really wanted to go to that one.When asked if we were still going I replied no because I gotta find a better day.After having missed the Streetsboro show and then the Portsmouth show as well,I began making plans for the Sycamore township Cincinnati show.This was fairly close to where I used to live over a year and a half ago.As plans for this show were beginning to be made I once again found myself with the dilemma of finding someone who would want to go.I said no freakin way not this again.Hey Ill just go by myself then.It wouldnt be a first.It happened once back at my third Grand Funk concert..I later then remembered my old friend Mike and paid him a visit.Hey Mike I got a question for ya.Are you still young enough to rock and roll or are you just waiting to go to the nursing home like all these other lame idiots?I then gave him the scoop on the show.He says,yea man lets rock and roll,and it was on.Saturday afternoon we embarked on what would be Mikes first and my 18th Mark Farner Grand Funk show.Mike would end up very glad he went.When we arrived near that area I had to go revisit the city I had lived in for two years prior to my coming back to my hometown.It sure drummed up some great old memories.The places I jammed and the good times that I had with some very special people ran through my mind as we passed through this city.We then went a little further south and went to visit my friend and brother Justin and his friends whom I hadnt seen in over a year.It had been too long.He used to drum for me when I had lived there.He showed us his new huge drumset and gave us a little mini concert of his own.We soon had to leave and said our goodbyes.NOTE-In May of 2009 I would find out that my beloved friend Justin had died and I will always remember how much of a true friend and brother he was to me.Well after we left his place we would be arriving well on time even though once we had gotten lost and declared now where do we go from here?
An event that occurred just prior to going to this concert that made me say-
What the funk is goin on here?
There was a little bar/restuarant along a lake near home that I sometimes frequented.I had gone there just prior to these upcoming shows.There was a guy there whom one night I had shown to him all of my Grand Funk memorabilia.He was enthralled in all of this.On this one particular night he approached me and asked me if Id like to meet a friend of his.His buddy walks up and says-hey you know of Mark?I replied,yea sorta.Ive gone to alot of his shows.We then began talking.Later I would find out that this guy was only visiting Ohio for awhile.Also,that he just happened to live down the road from Mark Farner.He was indeed from Michigan.He later asked if Id like to come up and visit them all sometime.I replied that I would,however I would never have a desire to impinge on Marks privacy.He said,nonsense youd be visiting me.A few weeks prior to this I had taken the stage at a club down the road and I do remember him being there and watching me perform so this was an extended Ohio visit on his part.A friend at that club had pulled me up on stage for about a 10 minute jam.When I had finished a pretty girl walked up to me with her husband.Mmmay I touch you?,she blurted out.Her husband smiles at me and knods as in agreement.All the while this Michigan guy is watching me.I told this story to some friends the next day,one exclaims-I wish youd quit believing in your stupid dreams.Nobody ever reaches them so why even have them Chris?Its nonsense so lets party.I remarked-Yep,I can see Im back home again.lol.This neighbor of Marks though did tell me quite a few things in relation to Mark that certainly no stranger would ever know.Two days later I was sitting at the lakes beach which is just up the road.I was playing my guitar on the beach when another man approaches me and asks,-What all do you play?I replied,Grand Funk,Mark Farner and Joe Satriani.The guy says,yea we gotta love Mark huh?I replied,yep sure do.So I asked,I take it that youre familiar with Mark?He says,oh yes,my brother works for him.Hey can I play your guitar Chris?Hes playin my guitar and I just had to ask,-Alright what the funks goin on here?He replies,-what do you mean?I then told him about the other guy from two days previously.He then replies,-I imagine that is pretty odd huh?Man that sure is coincidental aint it?He told me we outta get together and jam sometime.And this ended this particular encounter.Really nice fellow.Later at the Sycamore township show while conversing with one of Marks crew I brought up the story about the first encounter with the first guy at the lake.When I mentioned the things he had told me in reference to Mark,he says that is true Chris.That is all very true
July 14th 2007 Sycamore Township Dayton Ohio
When we had gotten to Sycamore twp,some very strange things were occurring at this show.It was a free outdoor festival.Its true I have online friends down in that area and previosly lived about 45 minutes from there but I had never visited there before.This was my first.The day couldnt have been more perfect.Not too hot but warm with a slight breeze.Just perfect.As we walked in and walked about,there was a man doing caracatures.He looks at me and says-Well hi there.When ya goin on?When am I what?I replied.I said,When ya goin on?Oh,lol,no sir,Im not goin on.Why not?,he replied.You play a little?he says. Yea,I replied,I play some.Mike was gettin a kick outta this.I joked around-They dont wanna put me on a stage do they?They know what will happen huh?Mike goes-Yea youll blow everyones minds.He gloated on me with this guy about NRG concerts,my guitar playing,etc.The man says-sit down and have a freebie on me.I said,well yea...sure.He then
did Mikes caracature as well.We thanked him and left.During the first band (midnite express-who were awesome),I get approached by this guy in glasses wearing like a long coat.He comes up and shakes my hand.Man dude,how ya been?I was cordial but I couldnt place him at all.Still jammin?I replied,I am so sorry,but I still cant place you.Im in Cincy and play in a jazz emsemble.Or something like that.Damn ya dont remember do ya Chris?I replied,Oh my gosh,Im not sure but..Dont worry bout it Chris.I aint tellin ya,but youll remember on your own.He wished me well and left to go sit down.Mike and I went up by stage to watch this band awhile.I left temperarily to go see what was on sale.Posters,cds,shirts,etc..The gal at the booth remembered and knew who I was.How could she forget?lol.After I talked with her and left there,a guy approaches me-Youz the man.What?I said,Youz the man.He looks at his friends..heres the man yall.You still doin it?You
playin here today? Im goin,what the @#@#?There were perhaps a half dozen people Ive never known coming up to me wishing me well,hows it goin?etc..It was so odd.I made my way back to the stage where Mike still was.Besides runnin to the car to eat or the restroom,we kept this spot on the right end of the stage.It was soon showtime.Mark came out in true form to kick things off with footstompin music and then into rock n roll soul. were an american band was played as the third song of this long series of 18 songs.This was a dynamite show as paranoid and heartbreaker would come next.I had noticed that Mark had a new keyboardist and was wondering wheres Paul EO?I was told he was taken time off for personal reasons.I truly hope he is doin well.I always get a kick outta talkin or jokin around with him after a show.They then went into nadene.(For those reading this and not yet familiar with Mark Farner-Nadene is a song from Marks new cd-For the People.Marks energy and show really blew Mike away.He didnt expect this.Hed been to all kinds of concerts but this one,..it really blew his mind.In a good way of course.They then did a new musical jam of I come tumblin that was utterly incredible and this really got the people movin.I loved it.They then did crybaby from off the For the People cd and people lets stop the war came next and then-In Need.I had only seen In Need performed twice.Once of course,on the In Concert series on ABC back in Jan.73 and the other in town square of Dayton Ohio in September 84,which was a part of a medley of songs thrown together,so it wasnt the full version.This one at the Sycamore show was the full version and man it rocked.Nothing is the same,mean mistreater and bad time followed next.The locomotion and some kind of wonderful then after these.I become dazzled at times by Marks fancy footwork.How the heck does he get his feet to
do that?Amazing! After some kind of wonderful,they left the stage and man this festive crowd went crazy.Of course they came back out.Hubert Crawford(The H-Bomb),went into a drum solo that blasted out into the audience.Ive seen quite a few of his solos before and they were great and all,but this one just really had it all.They all then came out,each playing a different percussion instrument at once and man the whole place was a poundin and a rockin like nobodys business.A very kind lady and her husband were seated right beside where we were standing.A drumstick was tossed out and headed straight for her.She caught it.Well,so did the guy sittin next to her.They both caught it and a short tugga war ensued.He wasnt lettin go either.They tugged as the stick moved to and fro.In one mighty adrenalistic shout,the little lady yells-ITS MINE damnit! as she pulled it out of his grasp.She smiled toward me and goes-how bout that?Inside Lookin Out brought everything to
its fever pitch,then the show was ended with closer to home.Thats one helleva lineup in my book.Afterwards,we waited around til Mark was cleaned up and ready to do a meet everyone.While the line to see Mark was building up,we walked over to the stage to talk with Hubert and get a pic with him.He autographed my poster and Mikes shirt.This mans got such a great personality along with his awesome talent.Saying goodbye to him,we went on over to see Mark.The guy ahead of us was gettin ready to take a picture with Mark when one of the crew stopped him.Sorry sir no pictures.It was too late though.The guy had already clicked it.Hey Chris how ya doin?Hey Mark,as I shook his hand.This is my friend Mike. Hi there Mike,as he shook Mikes hand.I asked Mark about Mr.C and the family and found out they had moved outta state,but I had already figured they had.I then quickly explained to him about the coincidence I had recently around the lake-(my home area)in meeting a supposed
neighbor of his.Mark exclaims-Chris do you know how many people go by that name?I replied-Yea I know,probably a zillion.lol.I think that guys pullin your leg Chris,replies Mark.Yea,I guess so Mark.I never told Mark what all the guy had said,or about the other guy 2 days later.He signed my poster and Mikes shirt and we said goodbye to him.We then walked over to the other end of the stage.I asked a security,hey is Lawrence around?Lawrence Buckner is Marks bassist.One of the best for sure.Why yes,hes over in there doin his birthday thing.It was his birthday.He was kind enough to come out to sign my new poster,even though we had no sharpie and he had to use a regular pen.We thanked him for his time and wished him a happy birthday.This was a very memorable concert from many points for me.As we were settin to leave,we walked past Mark.God Bless ya Mark,I said.He replied,see ya Chris.We then got situated and headed on our long
journey back home...and I knew that another show was just on the near horizon.In 2 weeks in fact..and that cant be too long.
cant be too long-from Lp-On Time/Grand Funk Railroad 1969
where do we go from here?-from cd-for the people/Mark Farner 2006
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