Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner Criticizes Band’s 50th Anniversary Tour Lineup
In an engaging conversation with Rock History Music, Mark Farner opened up about Grand Funk Railroad‘s upcoming anniversary project and drew a comparison between the band’s present state and Foreigner‘s current lineup.
Earlier in March, Grand Funk Railroad unveiled their plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their 1973 single and album, ‘We’re An American Band.’ The celebrations include a 2023 tour titled ‘The American Band,’ featuring original members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher alongside newer members of the group. During the interview, Farner was prompted to share his thoughts on these recent developments.
With a critical tone, the musician asserted that it is ethically questionable for the band to embark on a tour without the original lineup. He compared the situation to Foreigner, a band whose current roster comprises just one original member, Mick Jones. He maintained that both bands owe it to their fans to be transparent about their lineups to prevent any potential disappointment.
To express his view, Railroad’s former vocalist remarked:
“You mean the Grand Fraud tour? [Laughs] Yeah, the Grand F-a-u-x Railroad. It’s too bad. ‘Cause it’s really dishonest. As legal as it may be, it is completely dishonest to the fans, and the fans are taking a slap in the face, just like they are with that fake Foreigner that’s out there.
There’s not even an original member in that band, and they go out as Foreigner without telling the prospective audience that there are no original members. But the audience, the fans, don’t get the truth. They get screwed again. And I think the fans have been screwed enough, man. Why not tell people the truth and go out with the chest held high instead of hiding behind your dark glasses and trying to present a fraud?”
Since Farner’s departure from Grand Funk Railroad in 1998, the relationship between him and the band has been rocky. The situation further deteriorated when the band chose to proceed without him in 2000. Disputes and legal battles over the band’s trademark ensued, and it seems the rift between the two parties has yet to be mended.