“I had an operation and the doctor told me, ‘No more heavy guitars.’ He rattled off a ton I couldn't play – I said, ‘Doc, what can I play?!’” Mark Farner on what led him to the Parker Fly – and what’s preventing a Grand Funk Railroad reunion

Mark Farner performs live with a Parker Fly electric guitar
(Image credit: Press)

Mark Farner was a primal voice of early-'70s rock. Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Farner blended '60s R&B and British blues rock alongside Mel Schacher (bass) and Don Brewer (drums), touring up a musical cocktail via power trio Grand Funk Railroad. Albums like On Time (1969) and Grand Funk (1969) showed promise, but it wasn't until Closer to Home (1971) and We're an American Band (1973) dropped that Grand Funk shook the world.

When asked if those classic staples are Grand Funk's definitive statements, Farner tells Guitar World, "I think so. But as far as getting a following and radio play, We're an American Band was big. I wrote a lot of that album, but I gave Don Brewer a fair amount of credit for it."

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.