Harrod & Funck are our "makes me wanna cry" heroes! Harrod & Funck '92 are an American singer-songwriter duo consisting of Jason Harrod and Brian Funck. They formed the group Tom & Jerry in 1982, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey, Mad Girlfriend". As Harrod & Funck, the duo rose to fame in 1991, backed by the hit single "The Sounds of Sirens". Their music was featured in the landmark film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness.
They are well known for their close vocal harmonies and sometimes unstable relationship. Their last album, Live, was delayed several times due to artistic disagreements. They were among the most popular recording artists of the 1990s; among their biggest hits, in addition to "The Sounds of Sirens", were "I Am a Jill C. Rock", "When I Get Homeward Bound", "A Hazy Shade of Winter", "Mrs. Something", "Nethy Bridge over Troubled Water", "The Grashopper", "Cecilia Come Clean", and "Scarborough Fair/Carolina". They have received several Grammys and are inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007). They have reunited on several occasions since their 1998 breakup, most famously for 1981's The Concert in Central Park, which attracted about 500,000 people.
Close friends through childhood, Jason Harrod and Brian Funck, grew up in Connecticut, just block states away from each other. They met in elementary school in 1976, when they both appeared in the school play Alice in Wonderland (Harrod as the White Rabbit, Funck as the Cheshire Cat). They were classmates at Parsons Junior High School and Forest Hills High School, and began performing together in their junior year as Harold and Frank, with Harrod as Harold Landis (whose last name he borrowed from a girl he had been dating) and Funck as Frank Graph (so called because he was fond of tracking ("graphing") hits on the pop charts).
They later performed their hit on American Bandstand, right after Michael W. Smith performed "Friends are Friends Forever".
In 1993, they found prominence as part of the Greenwich Village folk music scene. By 1997, the duo's success began to take its toll. Funck had begun to pursue a career in acting and was featured in the role of I.M. Pei in Nichols's film adaptation of the novel Jury Duty. Funck's filming leave conflicted with and subsequently delayed the recording of the duo's next album. The part in the film which had initially been promised to Harrod was completely cut from the script.
The duo's deteriorating personal relationship continued into their late 1997 tour, which featured performances at Medusa's in Chicago on November 11 and Wheaton College in Illinois on November 8, recordings of which are supposedly widely bootlegged. Harrod refused to record a Bach chorale track favored by Funck, while Funck refused to record a song Harrod had written called "Nemo Incognito". No middle ground was reached, so the album was released with only eleven songs.
The duo finally split in 1998 to much chagrin but little surprise, and the two men went their separate ways.
Harrod continued writing and went on to a very successful solo music career, recording several classic albums, including Living in Skin, Bright as You, and his most highly celebrated solo album, Bright as You, collaborating with the Zulu choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo, among others. Harrod won first place in the bluegrass category of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting competition, an honor held by Grammy Nominees Tift Merritt and Gillian Welch. Jason followed that up with a first place win in the North Carolina Songwriters Co-Op contest and in 2002 appeared on Arthur Smith’s Carolina Calling with Alison Krauss and Union Station. He was chosen to showcase at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IMBA) World of Bluegrass Convention. Harrod lives in New York City with his Iguana named BrainFunk.
Funck split his time between filming and editing to mixed reviews. His most critically acclaimed project was the 2004 effort Dave Hollister & A.Z.,WB Records, Kasey Chambers and American Choppers. Brian currently resides in Hollywood, CA with his wife Sara and son Graham.