Mark Farner has been creating new music with several other Michigan rock legends.
The former Grand Funk frontman spent last week working with Alice Cooper and several other home state pals working on music "to bring some honor to Detroit and [bring] some credit to where we all come from."
Those songs will be included as a bonus with his upcoming DVDLive in Chile.Expect that disc -- recorded during his 2017 tour of Latin America -- to go on sale in April.
"There will be CD of the soundtrack of that DVD, plus five new songs. I've been in the studio last week with Alice Cooper, Wayne Kramer from the MC5, Johnny B... Bedanjic, from Detroit Wheels and we are doing some music to bring some honor to Detroit and some credit to where we all come from, from this great state of Michigan, where all this good music has come out of."
Mark is now branding his live shows as Mark Farner's American Band. though he had the right to use "formerly of Grand Funk Railroad" in promoting himself, venues kept violating the terms of the agreement. Too often he was billed as "from Grand Funk" or in other ways that led his ex-bandmates to take legal action -- even though he says he wasn't directly responsible.
"Man, it got to the point where my manager Abi, he said, 'You know, we're just going to need to drop any use whatsoever of Grand Funk Railroad.' He says, 'I hate to do it.' He says, 'But that's the only way we're going to get away from constantly being, ya know, harrassed by these guys, threatening to sue us, threatening to sue us."
Inspired by the '70s classic, American Band seems to be ideal branding -- but his former band still took objection.
"Because they tried to say it would interfere with their gigs as Grand Funk Railroad, me going out as Mark Farner's American Band. I'm going, 'Are you kidding me, man? I'm not even saying Grand Funk Railroad and I'm an American more than, way more than those two guys. I mean, as far as being patriotic, when I was with that band, I wouldn't have toured with them if we'd have put our names on tee shirts made in some foreign country."
On April 29th, Mark Farner’s American Band will officially kick off his 50th anniversary tour in his hometown, at Flint, Michigan's Capitol Theatre.