Mark Farner Altar Call

From Lorne Anderson, “Some Kind of Wonderful“:

… Memory can be deceptive at times, but I am pretty sure (Mark Farner) finished with his reworked version of “Some Kind of Wonderful”. What I do remember most is the audience.

Grand Funk Railroad was a working class band from a blue collar community that attracted a similar audience. The top level of Barrymore’s (which at the time had five levels) was filled with bikers. Hells Angels members, I was told, though I didn’t go up to look.

The show ended with a surprise twist, something unusual in bars, then and now. Mark presented the Christian message, and invited people to come forward and pray with him if they wanted to become Christians.

I was surprised at that, and I must admit even more surprised that people took him up on the offer. I didn’t count, but I remember it as being at least a dozen, mostly it seemed from the biker crowd.

Backstage, I asked about that. I know that evangelists who come to town arrange with local churches to follow up with those who come forward at their rallies. Mark, though, was trusting that God would guide these new believers, that they would find appropriate Christian fellowship and grow in their new faith. I have no idea if that is how it eventually played out. I do know that Ottawa today, 30 years later, has a biker church, which it didn’t then. Maybe its genesis was that evening….

The original:

Mark Farner’s later take:

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