Hard Rock Music
The song was written by the group’s drummer Don Brewer . He says that their manager kept saying, “Why don’t you just write songs about what youdo: you’re out there on the road, you’re going to this hotel, you go to different places, there’s people, you come into town…” So that was the subject matter of Brewer’s song. Many of things in the lyrics come from their tour for The Phoenix Album. For example, blues guitar player Freddie King would make his band play poker with him every night. The four young chiquitas were four groupies in a hotel lobby in Omaha, who were waiting to see the band. When Grand Funk was touring with British group Humble Pie, they were drinking at a bar one night, and Brewer proudly bragged about American rock legends, including Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee . Brewer said, “We’re an American Band.” And a title was born.
One bit of trivia is that during the first pressing of the records for the song, they were pressed on gold vinyl. This is also called virgin and vinyl and is see-through. It’s like giving everybody a gold record.
The song “We’re an American” was released on Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 album We’re an American Band and as a single, backed with “Creepin’.” It was their first #1 single, going to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. It was #4 in Canada.
The album was produced and engineered by the prolific Todd Rundgren. On the album were Mark Farner (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, conga, electric piano), Craig Frost (organ, clavinet, electric piano, Moog), Mel Schacher (bass), and Don Brewer (vocals, drums, percussion).
Grand Funk Railroad (aka Grand Funk) formed in 1969 in Flint, Michigan. The name was a take-off on the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, which ran through their home town.The lineup has changed over the years, and they continue to tour and perform.