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Classic rock band coming to our town

They're coming to our town. They'll help us party it down. They're the American band.

That's right, the classic rock quintet Grand Funk Railroad is coming to Lawton to rock the Apache Casino on Friday.

Originally formed in Flint, Mich., nearly 50 years ago, Grand Funk helped establish the arena-rocking, soul-crooning sound that would inspire bands such as Foreigner, Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi.

Grand Funk has toured the world, selling out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and South America.

In its current iteration, the band consists of founding members Don Brewer, on drums and vocals, and Mel Schacher, on bass. Other members of the band are lead singer Max Carl, lead guitarist Bruce Kulick and keyboardist Tim Cashion.

The group has now accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records, with its most recent gold record coming in 2002 for "Grand Funk Railroad: The Collector Series."

Brewer helped found the band in 1969 and, after 49 years, he continues to play with the same energy and enthusiasm as always.

"I tried retirement a number of years ago," Brewer said. "That was no good."

Brewer loves to entertain and said Grand Funk's current lineup is an "amazing group of guys."

"To get up on stage and see their faces light up, and then the recognition of the audience, there's nothing like it," Brewer said.

The band just returned from a stint at sea playing on the "Flower Power Cruise." And pretty soon it will be hitting the road again for a 23-city tour. The band will be playing all across the country in cities such as Las Vegas and Orlando and right here in Lawton.

Several of the band's hits have stood the test of time, including "We're an American Band," "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "Locomotion."

Brewer is amazed at the reach the band's music has had throughout the years.

"There's no feeling like that. To get out on stage where you can see four generations together  grandkids, kids, parents and grandparents  I can't really describe it; it's just truly a wonderful feeling to find out you've affected that many people. That, to me, there's nothing like it," Brewer said.

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