The Story of Mark Farner — Legendary Guitarist /Singer /Songwriter /Performer — & Touring Now

Mark Farner is a legendary guitar player, singer, songwriter, and on-stage performer — whom many have never heard of, but have heard often. He was the lead of Grand Funk Railroad, the biggest American group of the 1970’s, who broke box office records performing to sold out stadiums across the world for years.

Mark Farner at this writing has 440 followers on Twitter, where he actively tweets.

I’m Your Captain, Though I’m Feeling Mighty Sick

While mainstream media bombards us with unending coverage of a select set of 1970’s musicians — Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, etc — most of whom are dead or relatively inactive – Farner gets miniscule fanfare.

Mark Farner just toured the US with his “American Band” tour in 2019, and has scheduled dates for the coming year. Farner wrote the legendary song “I’m Your Captain” (Closer to Home), amongst many other top hits.

Tremendous Lead Guitar AND Lead Vocal

His guitar playing was the equal of many mentioned above. But unlike many of the heralded guitarists like Page or Townsend, Farner sang lead vocal — and had a great voice. And was a terrific stage performer. Here’s a great review of Farner’s performance by Phil of Wings of Pegasus — we fast forward to a spot where you hear 10 seconds of Farner playing, and then Phil’s review:

Farner’s Son Jesse

In an interview with Mike Huckabee in 2011, Farner mentioned his son Jesse had a weight-lifting accident several years ago when he was in college, which caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down.

In July 2018, Farner’s son Jesse sadly passed away from health issued due to the accident.

Farner Heroic

The music industry has been controlled by the “forces that be” since its inception. Those forces know the power of music, and how it can influence the youth (and everyone). Many musicians have become voice pieces of those “forces” during the Donald Trump Presidency, knowing their entire musical career is dependent on that support.

Farner is one of the few musicians who as early as 2017 — early in the Donald Trump Presidency — heroically stated their support for Trump. In an interview on Mike Huckabee’s show in 2018, Farner discussed his support for Trump — that interview is gone off youtube.

Here’s Farner singing about borders and ending endless wars (which Trump has been aiming to do) in 2003:

Mark Farner is Part American Indian

Unlike some politicians such as Elizabeth Warren who claims to be American Indian, Farner is actually part American Indian — Cherokee — and was honored with the Lakota Sioux Elders Honor Mark in 1999.

Farner Is from Flint, Michigan

Farner is from, of all places, Flint, Michigan — in the news the last 5 years for its toxic water supply.

Song Etymology — How Farner Wrote “I’m Your Captain”

In an interview with the Flint, Michigan paper in 2019, Farner described how he wrote his most famous song, “I’m Your Captain” (“Closer to Home”):

“I prayed for that song,” he said. “I had no forethought of it. I just got up at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning and started writing…in between the state of sleep and consciousness. I was writing these words.

“My wife will tell you it doesn’t even necessarily have to rhyme like a poem. I just write whatever it is and get it down and get it out.”

After finding a new chord, Farner said, “It all just fell together, just like I wrote it and I went, ‘Wow.’ I take it to rehearsal that day and both Don (Brewer) and Mel (Schacher) said, ‘Farner man, that song’s a hit.’”

Authorized Biography

An authorized biography was published in 2001 about Mark Farner — although that is a long time ago and much of Farner’s story has been written since then (see above).

Still, there must be a ton of good information about his Grand Funk Railroad years in the book.

Follow Him on Twitter; See Him in Concert

So that’s a short story on Mark Farner. The rest of the story you can engage in yourself — by following him on Twitter, and catching this legenday guitarist/singer/songwriter/performer on tour.

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  1. I’m a huge Mark Farner fan. I jam out to GFR Live cds in my car all the time. I’m even more excited to hear that Mark is a Trump supporter. I assumed but you never know. I’m also thrilled to see all the love and support Mark receives from his legions of fans on social media. The only thing I wish is to be able to go back to the 1970s and see Mark’s long hair flying and his Messenger screaming out “Inside Looking Out” and all his other hits. Thanks for this tribute to my favorite frontman but he’s so much more than that being the primary song writer and arranging the music. It’s not a stretch to say that Mark Farner is Grand Funk Railroad.

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