7-year-old hangs with Grand Funk rock star

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jackson Tipton, 7, experienced what its like to be a rock star last Saturday.

The son of Rodney and Kristy Tipton of Columbus, Jackson joined his grandparents as they attended the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Jackson&squo;s grandparents, Calvin and Cindy Page Atkins, are close friends with rocker Mark Farner, original front man for the classic rock band, Grand Funk Railroad.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Grand Funk Railroad was a highly popular band during the 1970s, having sold over 25 million records and selling out arenas worldwide and having been awarded four RIAA gold albums in 1970, the most for any American Group that year.

The band, formed in 1969 in Michigan, took its name as a play on the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a well-known rail line in Michigan. Grand Funk Railroad disbanded in 1976.

During Farner&squo;s show at the Riverbend Festival on Saturday, June 7th, Jackson got the red carpet treatment that most people only dream of.

The members of Farner&squo;s band, N&squo;rG (pronounced energy), each greeted Jackson, presented him with an All Access pass, VIP seating and tee shirt signed by Mark Farner and the band.

During Farner&squo;s performance, the crowd of 20,000 were on their feet with excitement hearing his classic tunes such as &dquo;Bad Time,&dquo; &dquo;We&39;re An American Band&dquo; and &dquo;Closer To Home.&dquo; After the show, Farner&squo;s autograph session lasted much longer than expected and Jackson didn&squo;t have to stand in line, he stood next to the famous rock icon as he greeted the fans, signed autographs and posed for photos.

When Jackson was asked, &dquo;Did you have a good time?&dquo; he happily replied &dquo;Yes! When&squo;s Mark&squo;s next show?&dquo;

Jackson&squo;s grandmother, Cindy works with Mark Farner and his wife Lesia, assisting with their web site, fan club, review site and photography. You can visit Mark Farner&39;s website at: www.markfarner.com and review site at www.easybreezes.com