Today marks the 40th anniversary of Grand Funk Railroad’s classic song “We’re An American Band” hitting #1 on the music charts. We all remember where we were when that song first came out. Right? OK, you probably weren’t born forty years ago, but it’s a pretty badass song no matter when you heard it.
The song even has a pretty cool history. Grand Funk Railroad was touring with the British band Humble Pie when members of both bands got into an argument about which country had the best rock n’ roll musicians. After destroying the British opposition by naming people like Little Richard, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley, Grand Funk Railroad’s drummer Don Brewer screamed, “We’re and American band!” To drive the point home, he wrote the lyrics to the song the next day.
The song also features a reference to the legendary groupie Connie Hamzy. Before the song came out, Hamzy was just a groupie known among musicians as someone who was very eager to show how much she liked rock music’s superstars. Grand Funk’s lyric “Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act/ She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact” made her more of a household name as someone who had sex with lots of musicians.
Although the song is now forty years old, it’s been covered my numerous artists over the years. Even Rob Zombie showed how much he likes the song with his much heavier version.
If Rob Zombie isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe you’ll like this cover performed by Kid Rock and The Zac Brown Band.
When your song is able to resonate with the man who directed House of 1,000 Corpses, Detroit’s finest country music star and The Zac Brown Band, then you know you’ve written a good song.
In honor of Grand Funk’s great achievement today, drive around town, play “We’re An American Band” on repeat and prove to those British jerks that America has the best rock n’ roll musicians in the world. If someone even dares to mention The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, spit in their face and say, “That’s from Don Brewer.”