Rock For Jobs
What is Rock for Jobs?
“Rock for Jobs” is a celebration of Detroit’s musical past and present and a fundraiser supporting its bright economic future. The event brings together many of the stars who built and continue contributing to the city’s musical renown for one night of “goodwill” and great tunes. The event helps put the people of Metro Detroit back to work.
Legendary “saxman” Alto Reed, founding and current member of “Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band,” has teamed up with Goodwill again to assemble a star-studded roster of Detroit’s top talent for this celebration of the Motor City’s rich music legacy. Alto Reed’s AllStars featuring Detroits own Groove Council led by Kathleen Murray, special appearances by Craig Frost (Bob Seger keyboardist), along with hometown singers Jill Jack & Michael Brock. The AllStars with be joined on stage by special guests rock n roll icon Mitch Ryder and former Grand Funk Railroad frontman Mark Farner.
Ticket sales and sponsorships support Detroit area Goodwill employment training, education, placement and job creation programs that enable local people to overcome challenges and earn jobs. These programs help the region’s unemployed become “Trained, Trusted and Ready to Work.” Goodwill is the only organization solely dedicated to fighting the battle against MetroDetroit unemployment and believes job creation and placement to be the key to sustaining the area’s revival.
Mark Farner is a true rock 'n roll legend. He found fame and success at the age of 20 as the leader of one of America's most successful rock bands, Grand Funk Railroad. With GFR, Mark recorded 17 albums with total sales of more than 25 million records, and toured the world, which isn't bad for a guy who only had three formal guitar lessons.
As a teenager in a garage band, Mark played the usual dates - school dances, VFW halls, wedding receptions and the like. After leaving high school, Mark entered the professional world, working with The Bossmen, Terry Knight and the Pack, then just the Pack (this time without Terry Knight, but with future Funk drummer Don Brewer).
In 1969, Mel Schacher, who had been a member of ? and the Mysterians, was invited to join Mark and Don, and power trio Grand Funk Railroad (named after the Grand Trunk Railroad in Michigan) was born.
But it wasn't until the Atlanta International Pop Festival in July 1969 that GFR first caught anyone's attention. The only unsigned act on the show, Grand Funk Railroad played before 180,000 people in 110-degree heat and the acclaim was instantaneous. Following their Atlanta appearance, the band was signed by Capitol Records and their first album On Time, was recorded and released within four months.
The saga of Grand Funk Railroad is well documented. The albums included such titles as Grand Funk Railroad, Survival, Live Album, Closer To Home, E Pluribus Funk, Phoenix, Good Singin' Good Playin', Caught In The Act and All The Girls In The World Beware, among others. The hit singles included "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)," "Foot-Stompin' Music," "Loco-motion," "Mean Mistreater," "Bad Time" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful," among others. In 1971 they set the attendance record at New York's Shea Stadium for a concert, surpassing the record set by The Beatles in 1966, and a record that still stands today, some 35 years later.
In early 1977, Grand Funk Railroad called it quits, and after taking a year or so off, Mark Farner signed a solo deal with Atlantic Records and issued two critically acclaimed albums: Mark Farner and No Frills.
In 1981, a reunited Grand Funk Railroad recorded a new album, Grand Funk Lives for Full Moon/Warner Bros. Records, and a second album, What's Funk, shipped in 1982. Mark released 4 contemporary Christian albums from 1983 through 1994, earning a Dove nomination and reaching the number 2 chart position with the John Beland composition "Isn't it Amazing". His continuous touring schedule kept him in contact with both his longtime Grand Funk fans, and the new fans that first noticed Mark during his solo years.
In 1995, Mark toured with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, then toured with The Northwest Airlines All-Stars in 1996 before reuniting with Don Brewer and Mel Schacher to record their Bosnia album for Capitol-EMI. Grand Funk Railroad toured in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and was named to Pollstar's Top 100 Tours of 1998. VH-1's "Behind The Music" on Grand Funk Railroad has been airing since early 1999, as well as the Grand Funk Railroad Anthology album released on Capitol Records.
Today, Mark is still traveling the world, both with the All-Starr Band and fronting his own band, N'rG, pleasing GFR fans everywhere and continuing the legend begun with Grand Funk Railroad!
Mitch Ryder: ...... ....
.......... .. .. .. .. .. High octane, turbo, high performance, super-charged - MITCH RYDER & The Detroit Wheels didn't need to hail from the Motor City for those adjectives to be tossed their way, but it was certainly appropriate that they called Motown home. It was Mitch and The Wheels who served as the musical bridge between the Motown soul factory and the high energy, take no prisoners rock 'n' roll that would roar out of Detroit via Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger. The explosive quality was there from the very start. Listen to the way the chords introducing Jenny Take A Ride are chomping at the bit to swoop down into the double-time mid-section, or how John Badanjek's thundering bass drum trigger's the ecstatic roll that kicks off Devil With A Blue Dress On. The Wheels must have known what they had. Witness the confidence -even cockiness- of telegraphing their punch forever on Little Latin Lupe Lu, building expectations to fever pitch before hammering down the riff with Jim McCarty's lead lick trailing behind. And nailing it big time. One punch, KO, Mike Tyson-style. The records worked because they perfectly captured the kinetic frenzy of the live performances that had been the group's stock in trade since they first joined forces in Detroit early in 1964. What followed was a wild two-year ride through the starmaking machinery of the record industry that brought them fame but no fortune and tore the group apart in the process. Late in 1965, Jenny Take A Ride climbed to 10 as The Wheels welded Chuck Willis' "C.C. Rider" to Little Richard's "Jenny, Jenny", and cannily tossed in an advertisement for their live show along the way (check how the backing vocals change to "See Mitch Ryder" during the second verse). Little Latin Lupe Lu cemented their commercial appeal when it reached 17 and set the general outline of the band's most popular sound- an R&B standard or two revved up, Wheels-style, with Mitch's peerless soul shouting ripping away over the top. Late in 1966, the Devil With A Blue Dress On and Good Golly Miss Molly medleys exploded over the airwaves and indelibly stamped the high energy Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels sound on anyone within an earshot as they hit 4 on the charts. Early in 1967, prototypical, riff-rockin Sock It To Me Baby! became Ryder's final Top 10 single, despite being banned on several stations for being too sexually suggestive. The brassy Too Many Fishes In The Sea and Three Little Fishes medley was the final chart entry (at 24) for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. Ryder's career then took several detours, when Bob Crew encouraged him to pursue a solo career. Unhappy with the results, Mitch went to Memphis to record The Detroit-Memphis Experiment album with Stax luminaries Booker T. & The MGs and The Memphis Horns for Dot. He then returned home to a reunion with The Wheels drummer John Badanjek in the short-lived supergroup Detroit, which lasted just long enough to record one monster of a heavy-duty rock 'n' roll album in 1971. "Long Neck Goose" updated the classic Wheels sound as Ryder digs into the tune with a ferocious glee, but the climatic moment was "Rock N' Roll", kicked off by a mountainous guitar riff while Badanjek bounced a cow-bell off your skull at regular intervals. It was so powerful a performance that Lou Reed was quoted as saying that was how the song was supposed to sound. Mitch left the active performing scene for the next 5 years, honing his songwriting skills at night. After returning to Detroit, he formed a band and released the confessional, autobiographical How I Spent My Vacation and then Naked But Not Dead on his own Seeds and Stems label. That helped trigger a resurgence of European interest in Ryder and he released several additional albums in the early '80s on the German Line label. He came back to a major American label for the John Cougar Mellencamp - produced Never Kick A Sleeping Dog in 1983, highlighted by a world weary, gritty version of Prince's When You Were Mine that cut the original and all others to shreds. Currently enjoying another surge in European popularity, Mitch has released two more LPs for Line, Red Blood, White Mink and In The China Shop. No one, but no one, ever kicked out the rockin' R&B jams better than Mitch.