Did classic rock band Grand Funk Railroad write their name on the Grand Trunk RR bridge in Flint?

Jun 3, 2015

Graffiti over an old Grand Trunk Railroad bridge in Flint
Credit Cody LaRue

As part of our M I Curious project, Flint's Cody LaRue asked us the following question:

There is an old railroad bridge in Flint that has "grand funk railroad" on it. Did the band do this, or were they involved in some way?

The graffiti was painted over a “Grand Trunk Western Railroad” bridge in Flint. We checked in with the band to find out.

Grand Funk Railroad got their start in Flint in the late 1960s. They're best known for the hits, Some Kind of Wonderful and We’re An American Band.

The drummer of Grand Funk, Don Brewer, also talks about how music was a way to avoid the assembly lines in Flint in the 1960s and 1970s. He says back then, it seemed everyone he knew had parents that either worked in the factories for one of the car companies or in a factory that supplied the car companies.  

"We were vain, but we weren't that vain."

“It was just kind of the mentality that existed at the time,” Brewer says. “You would be raised in Flint by parents that worked in the shop and then when you got there, you could graduate and get married and have kids and work in the factory. That’s what you did.”

But Brewer says Flint gave Grand Funk Railroad the blue collar work ethic to be successful.

“We were raised by blue collar people that appreciated hard work. You work to get what you are going to get and you never give up,” Brewer says.

As far as the graffiti on the Grand Trunk Railroad bridge in Flint? Brewer says it was a fan who wrote "Grand Funk Railroad" over it. He says, "We were vain, but we weren't that vain."

What do you wonder about Michigan or its people that you want Michigan Radio to investigate? Ask your question below! (If the form doesn't load below, you can ask your question here.)