Who is the “Sweet Connie” in Grand Funk’s “We’re an American Band”?
Connie Hamzy was a diligent groupie in Little Rock, Arkansas; starting as a teenager in the early ’70s, she screwed just about every rock star who came through town–she especially liked drummers–and lots of their roadies too. (“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act / She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact,” Grand Funk sang. Possibly in tribute to Hamzy’s preferences, the vocals were taken by Don Brewer, who was, yes, the band’s drummer.) Some of the partners she claims in Rock Groupie, her unpublished autobiography: Keith Moon (who once used a banana), John Bonham, Mick Fleetwood, Richard Carpenter, Huey Lewis, Alice Cooper, Rick Springfield, Waylon Jennings, Doc Severinsen, and Don Henley and Glenn Frey (at the same time). She also reports being propositioned by then-governor Bill Clinton (which he’s denied); she says she was willing, but they couldn’t find a room. When Hamzy began publicizing her hobby, she had to go to court to keep her job as a schoolteacher; she’s also unsuccessfully run for Congress and mayor of Little Rock. In her book, she says that the secret to success as a groupie is being willing to service a dozen roadies before you get to the band: “At concerts almost every girl in the first 20 rows secretly hopes that somehow, through the smoke and lights, she will be spotted from the stage and summoned to a band member’s bed. Things rarely happen that way. By the time the band goes on, I’m either astride a speaker onstage or a crew member out back.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)