Mark Farner visits Flint's Capitol Theater - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mark Farner visits Flint's Capitol Theater

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/26/14) - He's a Petoskey resident, a Flint native and the guy behind many of Grand Funk Railroad's greatest hits. Mark Farner is ready to celebrate his fiftieth year in rock 'n' roll.

"I'm really geeked about that, especially having just come back from South America just a couple of days ago, I'm revved up, and to see this, I'm bringing the rev here," Farner said.

That place Farner is referring to is the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Flint. The theater has been closed since the mid-1990's, but is currently being renovated. Farner dropped by for a tour over Memorial Day weekend.

"There's a lot of hope here, it's bright. And I like the attitude of the people that are doing it," Farner said.

Farner grew up watching movies at the Capitol and has always dreamed of playing the big stage himself.

"Never was here for a concert yet. I'd like to put one on right there. I'll make it happen, I mean, if they want me here, they got me. This is my town," Farner said.

Farner plans to travel through at least 60 towns this summer as part of the Happy Together Tour with Mitch Ryder and the Turtles. They'll visit DTE in Clarkston, Aug. 2.

"As soon as I found out about it, I started calling people and saying, 'Hey we're gonna be in town!' Everytime we've played down there it's been it's been good because I mention something about my people from Flint and they go, 'Yeah,' and it's like, Yeah, they're there,'" Farner said.

It's been quite a year for Farner, he turned 65 and is adjusting to life with a pacemaker. So far, it hasn't slowed him down.

"I get on that elliptical machine and do my cardiovascular. And it does, I'm thinking about the crowds and thinking about running around and doing my stuff and I'm geeked about going out because I'm still able to do it, and still singing the songs in the same keys and people are really loving it," Farner said.

That signature sound goes back to his days with Grand Funk. The band turns 45 this year, but after a well-documented split, it's been years since the original lineup has played together.

"Yeah. Too bad those guys won't get back together with me. I just talked with them here a couple weeks ago and the answer is still the same," Farner said.

For now, Farner is focusing on his rock 'n' roll future. He recently released a new single and produced his first music video, but it's one of his classics that he knows will never be topped.

"The soldiers today love ‘I'm Your Captain.’ They want to be closer to home. That's the soldiers' song, and every time I sing that song, you just see people tear up," Farner said.

While out on the road, Farner plans spread his message of supporting the troops. He also plans to share a new message at that DTE stop, one inspired by this trip back home to Flint.

“I am going to speak of the Capitol Theater and I'm going to encourage people to get involved. Why not? I'm going to be involved," he said.

As for the Capitol Theater, no time table has been set for when it might re-open.
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