‘Sweet, sweet’ Connie Hamzy, subject of Grand Funk Railroad song, dead at 66

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Connie Hamzy, immortalized in a No. 1 rock ‘n’ roll hit by Grand Funk Railroad in 1973, died after a brief illness, KARK-TV reported. She was 66.

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Hamzy was the subject in the opening verses of Grand Funk Railroad’s hit, “We’re An American Band,” which spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 1 on Sept. 29, 1973.

“Out on the road for 40 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,” sang drummer Don Brewer, who also wrote the song.

“I was determined to become a famous groupie,” Hamzy told KTHV in 2019. “I really was.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Hamzy attended dozens of shows at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, KARK reported.

She also traveled to shows around the country, the television station reported.

Hamzy was 17 and a senior in high school when the band’s manager first told her about the line in the song, KTHV reported in 2019.

“He called me and said, ‘You’re never going to believe this,” Hamzy told the television station. “But Grand Funk’s written a song called ‘We’re an American Band,’ and your name is in the first lyrics.”

Hamzy had been to Barton Coliseum several times. She was 15 when her mother dropped her off to watch Steppenwolf, KTHV reported.

”She didn’t like to deal with parking. She didn’t like to deal with traffic. So, she’d take me out to the fairground early in the afternoon before the traffic got bad,” Hamzy told the television station. “We’d go out there and then we’d wander around the backstage area, and one thing would lead to another.”

It was not the last time Hamzy made it backstage.

She said she has hung out with Queen, the Eagles and Kiss, and spent time with Van Halen when the band toured in 1988, according to KTHV.

Hamzy was featured in Comedy Central’s “Insomniac with Dave Attell” during the early 2000s, according to KARK.

Hamzy spent 12 years as a substitute teacher for the Little Rock School District, according to KTHV.

”I can show you papers from the principals who asked for me,” Hamzy told the television station. “But I think after a while the heat was just too much for them.”

Her last public appearance was in June at a reception for the “Play It Loud: Concerts at Barton Coliseum” exhibit at the Old State House in Little Rock, KARK reported.

”I loved all of it, to tell you the truth,” Hamzy told KTHV. “I’ve had a great life. I really have.”