This Day In Music History: Grand Funk Railroad Beats The Beatles

This Day in Music notes that on June 5, 1971, Grand Funk Railroad sold out Shea Stadium in 72 hours. June 5, I guess, was the third day. That was faster than The Beatles, the record holders at the time.

This vintage clip of “I’m Your Captain,” which presumably is from that concert, reminds me of what a dump Shea was.

I did some surfing to find out if the song was Grand Funk’s re-imagining of “Mutiny on the Bounty.” I doubted it, simply because things that awesome just don’t happen.

It turns out that the song was written by Larry Carlton. I couldn’t verify that it was the same Larry Carlton who has played with Steely Dan and many others. If it is the same fellow, well, that’s even awesomer. He seems to be a pretty literate guy. So perhaps it is the Bounty story.

Here is one of the best paragraphs ever at Wikipedia:

On the long-running series The Simpsons, Grand Funk Railroad is a favorite band of Homer Simpson. In the season seven episode “Homerpalooza”, upon hearing that Bart and Lisa do not know anything about GFR, Homer says “You kids don’t know Grand Funk? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer? Oh, man!” and in the season twelve episode “A Tale of Two Springfields” when he gives The Who a list of songs to play, Roger Daltrey states that most of the songs are by GFR. In the series premiere of season 18, “The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer”, Bart and Lisa get on the school bus, and Bart will not share his seat (the last available one) with Lisa. Instead of dealing with her problem, Otto puts a Grand Funk tape into his Walkman and sings to “We’re an American Band”. When asked in interviews, Don Brewer has confessed to being incredibly flattered about having Homer as a fan. (Continue Reading…)

All kidding aside, “I’m Your Captain” is a pretty good song.

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