Grand Funk Overlooked For The Hall….AGAIN
After reviewing the 2014 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I had one question: "Why Nirvana and Not Grand Funk Railroad?" Not to take away from the forerunners of the grunge movement, but really?
Being from Michigan, it's hard to not know of the rock band Grand Funk Railroad. The Flint based trio have sold millions of albums and have toured world wide. Today founding member, lead guitar and vocalist Mark Farner, continues to tour with his band NRG. Don Brewer and Mel Schacher tour with former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick and one time .38 Special frontman, Max Carl. Even today, Grand Funk (as they are known to fans) tunes are a staple on Classic Rock and Rock stations everywhere. So why is it, that they are not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
I know I may be a bit of a homer on this, but let's look at the facts. They have received multiple gold and platinum albums. Numerous Number 1's including "We're and American Band" and their cover of Little Eva's "The Locomotion" which was produced by Todd Rundgren. They broke the Beatles record for selling out Shea Stadium in just 72 hours back in 1971. Their recorded music continues to sell to new audiences who are discovering classic rock on a regular basis.
Is it because of the tumultuous relationship that they had with the media due to constatnt conflict of their then Manager Terry Knight? According to Mark Farner, it's "all politics!" The refusal of the band to play nice and glad-hand those that might otherwise help them to become more acceptable to the press.
Since this is a blog and blogs have a tendency to be more about the opinion of it's creator, I think that the voting should be left up to those who purchase and continue to support these bands as they make their way into our mp3, CD and yes, even record players. The people that continue to work and spend their savings on collections of music that mattered.
The irony of such a band not being in the Rock & Roll is much like that of Jethro Tull beating Metallica for the first Grammy for the category of Heavy Metal. Grand Funk is woven into the tapestry of American Rock & Roll history. Their blue collar roots on tunes like "Inside Lookin' Out" or hard the driving political stance of "Stop the War." Even songs like "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home, that was written by Farner when he asked God to give him a song that could help the band break that next level of their career. All of these and many more songs in the storied career of the American Band from Michigan have just one last chapter to be written. Put Grand Funk Railroad into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! And should the 700 that vote each year to put new inductees in to imortal anals of music history actually realize the error of thier ways? I would hope that Grand Funk would graciously accept their statues and offer a great big "Red, White & Blue" middle finger to the critics who would otherwise not have liked to see it happen. - Duran Martinez