There are all kinds of stories about how the song “We’re An American Band” came to be, and I had to ask Brewer, I’m sure for the hundredth time, about it. It never made it into the book, Detroit Rock City, but I’m always interested in all things Grand Funk, as everyone should be,
Don Brewer, drummer, Grand Funk, on writing the song, “We’re An American Band”: There was some rumor goin’ around at times — and I’ve seen it written, over and over, actually, I think I even saw it on Wikipedia –that we came up with the concept for “American Band” because we got into a fight with Humble Pie one night about who’s better, the English bands or the American bands. That wasn’t the case at all. I came up with that concept for “American Band” from us being sued by Terry Knight, traveling around from town to town, being sued at every city we were playing at, and I’m goin’, in my head I’m goin’, ‘we’re coming to your town, we’ll help you party it down. ‘That what I thought was happening, and then later the term came up — popped into my head — ‘we’re an American band.’ I needed a tag line for it. It had absolutely nothing to do with the English bands or anything.
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
View my complete profile