Brian Alsobrooks, also known  as Spaghetti Man, dances to  the Magic Bus band performing at Dodge Park Aug. 17.

Brian Alsobrooks, also known as Spaghetti Man, dances to the Magic Bus band performing at Dodge Park Aug. 17.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Resident seeks help to get ‘Spaghetti Man’ a reliable vehicle

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 21, 2023


STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights resident Dawn King loves attending Sterling Heights events like Music in the Park concerts and watching everyone cut loose on the dance floor.

And that includes Brian Alsobrooks, the local dancer known as “Spaghetti Man,” who is often seen wearing a jacket with the nickname inscribed on it.

“No matter who you are … you know about him,” King said. “You get a kick out of him. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a hometown celebrity.”

Alsobrooks, 61, from Sterling Heights, is aware of his reputation. He told the Sentry that he has been attending and dancing at local concerts for over 20 years.

He said his reputation as Spaghetti Man started in 1991, when he was attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette. He said it started while he was DJing an event.

“One night, I was out flopping around, trying to motivate people to get out there and have some fun, and the kids out there started calling me Spaghetti Man,” Alsobrooks said.

“Ironically, it started out that Spaghetti Man was an insult. But within weeks, the local college bands asked me to join up with them. It became a term of affection.”

When Alsobrooks moved to metro Detroit in 1996, he was “just bouncing around in the clubs” when a local radio station started plugging him.

“All the sudden, I found myself a little bit of a local celebrity,” he said.

Even the Sterling Heights City Council has recognized Alsobrooks’ community presence. He earned a Sterling Heights Nice Neighbor award in 2016.


A need to keep on moving
But recently, King said she and some other Music in the Park attendees didn’t see Alsobrooks during the first couple of weeks of the Sterling Heights summer concert series. She said that at one point, she and others started wondering if he had fallen ill.

She was able to approach Alsobrooks recently and see if he was OK. She found out it was a matter of lacking reliable transportation.

“He is struggling and has never asked anyone for help,” she said in an email.

Alsobrooks told the Sentry that he has had car troubles and other issues in the last year and a half, and that has sometimes hindered his ability to attend concerts and dance.

“It’s been one thing after another, with my car, it’s getting up there in years,” he said, adding that it’s a 2009 vehicle. “It cost me three times between paychecks. I had to actually take out these loans just for a while there. I couldn’t attend because of budget and car issues.”

But Alsobrooks said he has been seen attending more Sterling Heights concerts lately.

“Actually, the car I use is back up running. It runs, just not great,” Alsobrooks said. “For years, I just got in the habit of riding my bike to anything that’s in 10 miles. This year, because there’s so much construction everywhere, I have to use the car.”

King said she would love to see the community rally around Spaghetti Man to get him more reliable transportation.

“I’m not looking to get him a new vehicle or anything, but something dependable to get him to and from so he can continue to share what I think we all need in this world: pure silliness and joy,” she said. “And for those few hours at each community event, a feeling of unity.”

King said she’d like to get a fundraising campaign going for him or get an auto dealership involved. She said that while she doesn’t know how to organize such a campaign, she hopes someone out there will take a leadership role, adding that she would participate in any way that she could.

“I want to find a way to help him with the transportation issue: a GoFundMe page, a (service) like Venmo — some way to assist him,” she said. “Once we reach out to the public, everyone wants to do something for him. We just have to let people know this is a need.”

Alsobrooks responded to King’s idea of helping him get a more dependable ride.

“It’s humbling and it’s cool,” he said. “Also, this car, as crappy as it runs, it’s what I deliver papers with. And if the thing goes down permanently, I lose that income.”

King said she hopes the public will support Spaghetti Man for his years of fostering a spirit of community.

“In this world of division and negativity, here is a man that has been focusing on joy and happiness,” she said. “Our community and the world as a whole needs more of what this man is offering — pure joy and happiness. We all need to let loose and just enjoy the music and dance and come together at these times.”