Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Mark Farner
. . . .

Mark Farner

Rick Coates - September 27th, 2010
Petoskey’s Rocker: Mark Farner
By Rick Coates
Grand Funk (Railroad) founding member and frontman Mark Farner has
made Petoskey his home for the past 25 years. Tack on another 10 years
he lived in Onaway before that and Farner is a “Northern Michigan” guy
through and through and “darn glad of it,” especially right now.
Farner, who left Grand Funk after the band’s 1999 tour, will perform
in Petoskey, this Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Odawa Casino’s Ovation
Hall.

IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS
Over the past 10 years of his solo career, the two questions Farner is
asked the most is will the original members of Grand Funk reunite
again? (original members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher tour as Grand
Funk with other musicians now in the band to replace Farner) and will
Grand Funk make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
But a serious accident this summer that left Farner’s wife’s (Lesia)
youngest son Jesse paralyzed from the neck down makes those questions
irrelevant right now for Farner.
“He took a bad fall on July 3 and broke his neck,” said Farner. “First
of all we are grateful that he survived the accident. Both Lesia and I
are also so grateful to all of the people from Northern Michigan who
have assisted us through this trying time.”
Last week after two months at the University of Michigan Hospital,
Jesse was able to return to the Farners’ home in Petoskey.
“So many people have lent a hand to help us transition the home into a
livable space for Jesse,” said Farner. “The people from Northern
Michigan are the best anywhere. It is why we chose to live here.

MUSIC COMMUNITY SUPPORT
“We wanted Jesse home, we know in the long run we will be the best
caregivers for him; and both Lesia and I are committed to that
responsibility like any good loving parents would be.”
Farner was only home for about 30 minutes to welcome his son home as a
unique opportunity came calling.
“Promoter David Fishof called me and said that People Magazine wants
to write an article about me and Jesse and that they were having a
private concert for their staff and others at the Hard Rock in San
Diego and wanted me to join other musicians to perform my songs,” said
Farner. “He also told me that the organizers of the Sweet Relief
Musicians Fund—an organization that helps musicians financially with
medical bills—would be there and wanted to speak to me to see what
they could do to help. Plus, I was able to meet a person who suffered
the same type of injury as Jesse, was paralyzed but now is walking. It
was very inspirational.”
The People Magazine jam session included several musicians from AC/DC,
Kiss and other bands and even guitarist Bruce Kulick—who is now in the
reformed Grand Funk—joined Farner on stage.
While out in San Diego, Farner learned about a major concert being
planned to benefit Jesse.
“The rock and roll community is an awesome one; and I can’t name names
yet, but several major musicians are going to come together in early
2011 for a concert at the Palace for a fundraiser for Jesse,” said
Farner. “We already have been so blessed that many people have made
financial contributions to Jesse’s medical fund, people we do not
know.”

CLOSE KNIT FAMILY
Farner, like many performing artists, is without medical insurance.
“That is a story for another day, it is all part of how the industry
has been changing. I use to have some insurance but the union dropped
it.” said Farner, “but Lesia and I have never been about the money or
possessions. We will sell everything we own for Jesse.”
For Farner and his wife, this experience has tightened what was
already a close-knit family.
“Yes, the Farner family has always been very close and now we are even
closer,” said Farner. “Our oldest son Jason said to me the other day
that he was ready to step up and take care of his brother if anything
were happen to Lesia and myself.”
While Farner has been focused on being a “general contractor”
overseeing home renovations, as well as making many trips to Ann Arbor
in recent weeks, his rock star life keeps calling. The numerous hits
he wrote and performed while with Grand Funk keep him in demand.
Farner is also popular at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps.
“I have been keeping busy on the road that is for sure,” said Farner.
“I still have that zest for the live show and I am humbled that people
are still willing to come out and hear my music after all of these
years.”
Farner turns 62 and has found new musical inspiration in being a
regular participant at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps.
“I really enjoy them. It is not only cool for the participants, but
for those us that our the counselors,” said Farner. “For me to be with
these people, who are usually business people who play an instrument
and spend big money to attend the camp, is like being at the start of
my career, everything is so new to them. They are so excited. It
really invigorates me.”
Some of the others that join Farner from time to time include; Roger
Daltrey (The Who),Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Slash (Guns N’ Roses and
Velvet Revolver), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Vince Neil (Mtley
Cre), Paul Stanley (KISS), Meat Loaf, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), and
Bret Michaels (Poison).
“In the summer these camps are a week long,” said Farner. “After the
Odawa show this weekend, I am going out on a series of weekend camps
around the country. I like teaching, it is fun having brain surgeons
ask me how I bend a certain chord from one of my songs; and when I
show them, they say ‘wow, that is intense and way too hard. I can
never do that.’”

KEEPING BUSY
Musically, Farner is still keeping busy. He plans to go into the
studio soon for another solo release, his first since his 2006 release
For The People.
“I am a songwriter, always writing songs so I have material ready for
a new release,” said Farner. “It looks like I am going to do something
different for this next release and have a tour with some all-star
musicians where we go out and play just the hits, no B-sides, just the
hits. I will post details soon on my website.”
In addition to doing his own thing, Farner has been in the studio with
another Detroit legend: keyboardist Robyn Robins, formerly with Bob
Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
“Robyn just moved his recording studio from Ireland to Grand Rapids
and has been working with a lot of great talent,” said Farner. “I went
down along with Drew Abbott, Seger’s long time guitarist and Shaun
Murphy of Little Feat, to do backing vocals and guitar for this
up-and-coming country vocalist, she is 14 and is amazing. Megan Rae is
her name and you will be hearing a lot about her soon.”
Farner is still hoping that the original members of Grand Funk will
reunite some day for another tour. His original bandmates have said
they have moved on and re-branded Grand Funk with new members; but
musical purists will contend that without Farner, it is not truly
Grand Funk.
Imagine a Mick Jagger-less Stones or a Townshend-less Who.
Never.
The best hope for a reunion will come early next year at the Palace
during the benefit concert for Jesse.
In the meantime, Farner will perform this Saturday at the Odawa Casino
Resort in Petoskey. He plans on playing some of his solo work, along
with Grand Funk deep cuts and, of course, the hits that helped make
Grand Funk one of rock and rolls’ greatest bands of all time,
including “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” “Mean Mistreater,”
Feelin’ Alright” “Footstompin’ Music,” “Rock and Roll Soul,” “The
Loco-Motion,” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

For additional concert information, go to www.odawacasino.com or call
the box office at 877-442-6464. If you would like to assist with Jesse
Farner’s medical bills you may do so by sending checks made payable to
Mark Farner FBO Jesse Farner and mailed to The Bank of Northern
Michigan, 406 Bay Street, Petoskey, MI 49770. A special account has
been established for this fund.

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From: colleenzan@gmail.com
Subject: farner
Date: September 24, 2010 3:49:02 PM EDT
To: lynn@northernexpress.com

Petoskey’s Rocker
Mark Farner

By Rick Coates

Grand Funk (Railroad) founding member and frontman Mark Farner has
made Petoskey his home for the past 25 years. Tack on another 10 years
he lived in Onaway before that and Farner is a “Northern Michigan” guy
through and through and “darn glad of it,” especially right now.
Farner, who left Grand Funk after the band’s 1999 tour, will perform
in Petoskey, this Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Odawa Casino’s Ovation
Hall.

IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS
Over the past 10 years of his solo career, the two questions Farner is
asked the most is will the original members of Grand Funk reunite
again? (original members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher tour as Grand
Funk with other musicians now in the band to replace Farner) and will
Grand Funk make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
But a serious accident this summer that left Farner’s wife’s (Lesia)
youngest son Jesse paralyzed from the neck down makes those questions
irrelevant right now for Farner.
“He took a bad fall on July 3 and broke his neck,” said Farner. “First
of all we are grateful that he survived the accident. Both Lesia and I
are also so grateful to all of the people from Northern Michigan who
have assisted us through this trying time.”
Last week after two months at the University of Michigan Hospital,
Jesse was able to return to the Farners’ home in Petoskey.
“So many people have lent a hand to help us transition the home into a
livable space for Jesse,” said Farner. “The people from Northern
Michigan are the best anywhere. It is why we chose to live here.

MUSIC COMMUNITY SUPPORT
“We wanted Jesse home, we know in the long run we will be the best
caregivers for him; and both Lesia and I are committed to that
responsibility like any good loving parents would be.”
Farner was only home for about 30 minutes to welcome his son home as a
unique opportunity came calling.
“Promoter David Fishof called me and said that People Magazine wants
to write an article about me and Jesse and that they were having a
private concert for their staff and others at the Hard Rock in San
Diego and wanted me to join other musicians to perform my songs,” said
Farner. “He also told me that the organizers of the Sweet Relief
Musicians Fund—an organization that helps musicians financially with
medical bills—would be there and wanted to speak to me to see what
they could do to help. Plus, I was able to meet a person who suffered
the same type of injury as Jesse, was paralyzed but now is walking. It
was very inspirational.”
The People Magazine jam session included several musicians from AC/DC,
Kiss and other bands and even guitarist Bruce Kulick—who is now in the
reformed Grand Funk—joined Farner on stage.
While out in San Diego, Farner learned about a major concert being
planned to benefit Jesse.
“The rock and roll community is an awesome one; and I can’t name names
yet, but several major musicians are going to come together in early
2011 for a concert at the Palace for a fundraiser for Jesse,” said
Farner. “We already have been so blessed that many people have made
financial contributions to Jesse’s medical fund, people we do not
know.”

CLOSE KNIT FAMILY
Farner, like many performing artists, is without medical insurance.
“That is a story for another day, it is all part of how the industry
has been changing. I use to have some insurance but the union dropped
it.” said Farner, “but Lesia and I have never been about the money or
possessions. We will sell everything we own for Jesse.”
For Farner and his wife, this experience has tightened what was
already a close-knit family.
“Yes, the Farner family has always been very close and now we are even
closer,” said Farner. “Our oldest son Jason said to me the other day
that he was ready to step up and take care of his brother if anything
were happen to Lesia and myself.”
While Farner has been focused on being a “general contractor”
overseeing home renovations, as well as making many trips to Ann Arbor
in recent weeks, his rock star life keeps calling. The numerous hits
he wrote and performed while with Grand Funk keep him in demand.
Farner is also popular at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps.
“I have been keeping busy on the road that is for sure,” said Farner.
“I still have that zest for the live show and I am humbled that people
are still willing to come out and hear my music after all of these
years.”
Farner turns 62 and has found new musical inspiration in being a
regular participant at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps.
“I really enjoy them. It is not only cool for the participants, but
for those us that our the counselors,” said Farner. “For me to be with
these people, who are usually business people who play an instrument
and spend big money to attend the camp, is like being at the start of
my career, everything is so new to them. They are so excited. It
really invigorates me.”
Some of the others that join Farner from time to time include; Roger
Daltrey (The Who),Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Slash (Guns N’ Roses and
Velvet Revolver), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Vince Neil (Mtley
Cre), Paul Stanley (KISS), Meat Loaf, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), and
Bret Michaels (Poison).
“In the summer these camps are a week long,” said Farner. “After the
Odawa show this weekend, I am going out on a series of weekend camps
around the country. I like teaching, it is fun having brain surgeons
ask me how I bend a certain chord from one of my songs; and when I
show them, they say ‘wow, that is intense and way too hard. I can
never do that.’”

KEEPING BUSY
Musically, Farner is still keeping busy. He plans to go into the
studio soon for another solo release, his first since his 2006 release
For The People.
“I am a songwriter, always writing songs so I have material ready for
a new release,” said Farner. “It looks like I am going to do something
different for this next release and have a tour with some all-star
musicians where we go out and play just the hits, no B-sides, just the
hits. I will post details soon on my website.”
In addition to doing his own thing, Farner has been in the studio with
another Detroit legend: keyboardist Robyn Robins, formerly with Bob
Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
“Robyn just moved his recording studio from Ireland to Grand Rapids
and has been working with a lot of great talent,” said Farner. “I went
down along with Drew Abbott, Seger’s long time guitarist and Shaun
Murphy of Little Feat, to do backing vocals and guitar for this
up-and-coming country vocalist, she is 14 and is amazing. Megan Rae is
her name and you will be hearing a lot about her soon.”
Farner is still hoping that the original members of Grand Funk will
reunite some day for another tour. His original bandmates have said
they have moved on and re-branded Grand Funk with new members; but
musical purists will contend that without Farner, it is not truly
Grand Funk.
Imagine a Mick Jagger-less Stones or a Townshend-less Who.
Never.
The best hope for a reunion will come early next year at the Palace
during the benefit concert for Jesse.
In the meantime, Farner will perform this Saturday at the Odawa Casino
Resort in Petoskey. He plans on playing some of his solo work, along
with Grand Funk deep cuts and, of course, the hits that helped make
Grand Funk one of rock and rolls’ greatest bands of all time,
including “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” “Mean Mistreater,”
Feelin’ Alright” “Footstompin’ Music,” “Rock and Roll Soul,” “The
Loco-Motion,” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

For additional concert information, go to www.odawacasino.com or call
the box office at 877-442-6464. If you would like to assist with Jesse
Farner’s medical bills you may do so by sending checks made payable to
Mark Farner FBO Jesse Farner and mailed to The Bank of Northern
Michigan, 406 Bay Street, Petoskey, MI 49770. A special account has
been established for this fund.

 
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