You’ll notice in This Week in Music History that Grand Funk Railroad made an appearance at The Ocean Ice Palace in Brick; the scheduled appearance was June 13th 1970. Grand Funk Railroad was a band on fire, they were signed by Capital Records and they put them on tour the minute they were out of the studio.

The band MC 5 was scheduled to open for Grand Funk. MC 5 gets stuck in Connecticut and with time running out Grand Funk’s manager makes a call to a local Jersey promoter Carl “Tinker” West who happened to be the manager and mentor of Bruce Springsteen’s group Steel Mill.

So Steel Mill opens for Grand Funk Railroad in Brick. The Steel Mill Band included three future E-Street band members and future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Vini Lopez, Danny Federici, and Stevie Van Zandt along with Vinnie Roslin and Robbin Thompson.

Tinker would go on and take Steel Mill out of New Jersey and introduced them to the music scene in California. This would be the first time that Bruce and the band stepped foot outside of New Jersey or New York.

Steel Mill went on to open for many big name acts and on the way back from California made some music stops in Nashville and started to make a name for themselves.

All of the band members were part of the fiber of the famous Upstage Club on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park which was a non drinking club that was opened late to musicians who would play original music.

It was there where Bruce would fill in the pieces of his E Street Band with David Sancious, Clarence Clemens, Garry Tallent and the three original Steel Mill band members. By the way, tickets for that Grand Funk Railroad and Steel Mill show sold for $5.00 each.

When Grand Funk Railroad needed an NJ band to open — This Week in Music History

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM