“Everybody, listen to me/And return me my ship/I’m your captain, I’m your captain/Though I’m feeling mighty sick.”
Mark Farner remembers the night Grand Funk Railroad’s 1970 hit “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home” came to him.
“It’s a song that I prayed for one night back in 1970. I asked for a song that would reach and touch the soul of those that the creator wanted me to,” said Farner, the band’s original frontman. “I’m always getting up and writing songs in the middle of the night. I have a legal pad beside my bed just for that. Until I grabbed my guitar that following morning, I didn’t know it was a song. I came up with the chords, and it just flowed together. I took it to rehearsal, and the guys said, ‘That song’s a hit.’”
That song is Farner’s favorite to perform live, and he’ll play it and some of GFR’s other chart-toppers with “David Pack’s Legends Live” at Boot Barn Hall at Bourbon Brothers on Friday and Saturday. The show features Farner; Jim Peterik, formerly of Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger,” “High on You”); John Elefante, former lead singer of Kansas (“Carry on Wayward Son,” “Dust in the Wind”); David Pack, former lead singer of Ambrosia (“Biggest Part of Me,” “You’re the Only Woman”); and Wally Palmar, lead singer of the Romantics (“Talking in Your Sleep,” “What I Like About You.”)
Each musician will perform a few of their band’s hits and then come together on the stage. Everybody shares a core band.
“The best part of it all is we’ll be out there sucking air together,” said Farner, 70, speaking from his Michigan home last week. “It’s going to be a hoot.”
Grand Funk fans will hear Farner sing “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Locomotion” and a few others that “might surprise you.”
This weekend’s shows are the only time you’ll get to see these particular five rock “legends” together on stage. Pack brought a similar lineup to Philip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock last August as part of the town’s summer concert series. Peterik and Elefante performed, as well as Gary Wright and David Benoit.
“I’d like to invite everybody out to the hall in Colorado Springs to rock with some legends that know by virtue of what we’ve been doing for all these years that this stuff works,” Farner said. “If you miss this, you’re going to be kicking yourselves in the butts.”
Farner and original Grand Funk Railroad members Mel Schacher and Don Brewer parted ways in the late ‘70s and reunited for a short time in the early ‘80s and late ‘90s. Brewer and Schacher recreated Grand Funk and still tour with the band. Farner tours with Mark Farner’s American Band, whose 50th Anniversary Tour kicks off this month and visits a number of U.S. and South American cities.
He’ll release a CD/DVD set in April called “From Chile with Love,” featuring a soundtrack from a live 2017 show plus five new songs.