Possible Gangster Fun Reunion?

For those of you who know what I’m talking about…there’s talk about a Gangster Fun reunion show happening at Detroit’s Magestic Theatre on December 29.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about…I was in a ska band in the late 80s to early 90s in Detroit. Sometimes called the “Godfathers of Midwestern Ska”, Gangster Fun was a strange mash-up of really good musicians and really entertaining people playing ska mixed with classic rock. During the period I was in the band, we inspired a boat-load of other ska bands, some of whom are still playing and apparently doing quite well.

Despite a crazed bunch of fans, 4 or 5 albums, and a couple tours, Gangster Fun never did well enough to be a full time job for anyone. After several old-time members left, it very slowly morphed into a much different band and then broke apart during the 2nd half of the 90s.

The reunion show, if it happens, will be largely an early-90s Gangster Fun show, which will be exciting to a bunch of people in their mid-30s in Detroit, and maybe to a bunch of younger people who have only heard about G-Fun.

If you’re curious, you can view some videos of the band, and of me playing sax, on Google Video. Here’s a direct link.


  1. Paul Stebleton says:

    So, will Gunrack be opening for this show? I don’t see any mention of the Gunrack reunion. Will we be “gettin some Fun” that night? Will Rack Beer flow?

  2. Chris says:

    Nah, Gunrack should have its own reunion show. I don’t think those ska fans can appreciate or understand the ‘rack. Let’s figure out when that can happen and do it. Send me email. later!

  3. chris says:

    update: the show is indeed happening. December 29, at the Magic Stick, or maybe at the Magestic if there’s enough interest in it. Mustard Plug, Parka Kings, and Gangster Fun will all be there. should be good.

  4. Gus says:

    Hey Chris, it’s Gus from 655. How the hell are ya?

    I’m half tempted to fly out there for ths one. I’ll see how finances are next month…

    Is Ron Hill going to be playing this show? I haven’t seen him in ages.

  5. Chris says:

    Gus! Good to hear from ya!

    Yes, Ron will be playing, and it’s going to be mostly the old tunes from the first 2 albums (late-80s stuff). I think it’s going to be an 11-piece band.
    Should be a good time if we don’t all have heart attacks on stage.

  6. I think a lot of us out here are wondering (and hoping) that “Keyboard Dan” Cogswell will be appearing, as well. While some people may be of the opinion “He’s no Hockman,” there were of course others who referred to the group as “Dan Cogswell’s Gangster Fun.”

  7. chris says:

    Tru ’nuff. Unfortunately, last I heard, Keyboard Dan was hiding out somewhere in Arizona. Rumor has it that he has invented a new martial art called ‘keyboard-jitsu’. For the reunion, we’ve replaced Cogswell with a Birko unit.

    Good to hear from you Kurt! Have you seen the craziness going on at http://www.crabid.com (David’s and my record label)?

  8. Kurt says:

    No, I must check it out. I was doing an Altavista search regarding the Gangster Fun show to find out where it was at (Mom Silverstein told me about it, but she wasn’t sure where it was). Hope to see you at the show, however due to a extended sickness in the family (mine, not the mafia), am having to play things by ear.

  9. Jason says:

    Gangster Fun… wow. I saw you guys at least 3 times at the Daily Double in Akron, OH. Do you remember those shows, or were you not with the band at the time? I remember your lead singer getting threatened by Neo-Nazis one night. Who could forget the energy of G-Fun’s live shows? I remember the song ‘Brown Paper Bag’. And a band named ‘City Chicken’ opened up for you. You also played with ‘Dink’ and ‘Cop Shoot Cop’. Memories?

  10. chris says:

    Yes, we played pretty often at the Daily Double. I remember the names of those bands, but I can’t really say I remember the bands. I do remember the free pitchers of beer for the band and falling off the stage during a solo. Fun times, but then some strange times (like John getting threatened) too. I guess that’s how Akron is, though. Is the Daily Double still open?

  11. Tommy Osborne says:

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve been on the hunt for Gangster Fun CD’s. I’m a friend of John Ferry, stayed at his house for the last year. Anyway, after seeing the GFun Gig last December, have been trying to locate CD’s to purchase. I was amazed how little Ferry had. Anyway, got any laying around I could buy?


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