As part of our MI 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.
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.
“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."