Ignored Obscured Restored
Two weeks ago, Connie Hamzy died. She was 66. What band was she in? Well, she wasn’t in any band – she was a real life “Penny Lane”; a Groupie based in Little Rock, AR, and the “sweet, sweet Connie” made (almost) famous by Grand Funk.
Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact
She also earned a mention in a less well known song about life on the road – “Pleasin’ For Reason” — by The Guess Who.
Order some cash, we’ve got another tour to make
Workin’ so hard, just to pass the time away
Connie my love, our movie was great and so was the taste
It was pleasin’ for reason
And she scored a trifecta, getting name-checked in yet another song, by Cheap Trick!
I had a vision
That was bigger than life
Oh Connie likes nighttime, every night
Connie likes candy, every bite
All day sucker, Connie might
Swallow that thing ’cause she does it right
The enterprising Connie was so determined to become a famous Groupie that she made round, pink stickers that she gave to the bands and roadies. They read “Call Connie in Little Rock” and included her phone number. I searched the internet for a picture of one but couldn’t find it.
Connie’s connections to members of The Allman Brothers, The Who, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, Rush, Eagles, KISS, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Fleetwood Mac make her one of the most famous Groupies of all time.
Connie was unapologetic about her lifestyle. And I’m not here to judge. But I read comments from many of the people that knew her, published in The Lefsetz Letter, and they were all respectful and mentioned how sweet she was and how well she treated the bands.
She wrote a memoir titled Rock Groupie: Intimate Adventures of ‘Sweet Connie’ that was published in 1995. She also spent a considerable number of years in a very different occupation… as a substitute teacher in Little Rock!
Enjoy… until next week.
One reference to Connie’s straight career mentioned that she taught special ed. It takes a remarkable kind of person to do that, no matter what their “extracurricular activities” might be.
The Lefsetz letters are indeed very interesting and in many cases touching. I can also recommend an interview she did with Joan Rivers in the early 1990s. Connie owned her life and Joan Rivers kinda came around to liking her, too:
As one would expect, many of the middle-aged very straight women in the audience remained unapproving, judging by their expressions in the cutaway shots!