Given the borderline-apocalyptic events of the past several days, it is understandable how the death of Connie Hamzy has gone mostly unnoticed. Hamzy, who gained rock‘n’roll legend status not via any artistic accomplishments but rather via being name-checked in Grand Funk Railroad’s 1974 #1 hit “We’re An American Band,” passed away earlier this month in her native Little Rock, Arkansas after a brief illness. Hamzy was 66.
Hamzy’s one, and only, claim to fame was accrued during the days of her youth, during which time she pursued an eager willingness to sleep with whichever musicians were parking their tour bus in Little Rock for the night. Sometime in the early 1970s Mark Farner, Don Brewer, and Mel Schacher, collectively known as Grand Funk Railroad, apparently made their way into town. The visit, specifically that portion involving an interaction with Ms. Hamzy, had a profound effect on Mr. Brewer. It put him into a haze, this heavily contributed toward by Ms. Hamzy, whose act (*nudgenudgewinkwink*) was so exquisite it warranted her being called sweet not once, but twice. In fact, it was so well done, and was so devoid of artificial elements, it was said she had the whole show and that was a natural fact. Ah, youth.
Such innocence, albeit an innocence of its own peculiar fashion, crumbles when confronted with the horrors of war. A feckless, simpering, blame-shifting administration and its media sycophants bleat empty words of retribution, but there will be none. At least thus far, grieving families huddled at the airport receiving their loved ones’ remains have been spared government officials offering “comfort” by muttering they’ll be sure to avenge the family’s loss by taking swift action … against some unknown filmmaker for bringing this about by burning some misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace™’s biscuits. They’ll go the #OrangeManBad route instead.
Back to Grand Funk Railroad. Although the band hailed from Flint, Michigan, luckily for its sake before the tap water there turned into residue from Love Canal, it was very much part of the late 1960s music scene that was blossoming some sixty or so miles southeast of Flint in Detroit. Not quite the flip side of the Motown sound that burst out of Detroit in the mid-1960s, but close. This new music scene’s sound reflected the raw, snarling industrial nature of Detroit itself. Bands such as The Stooges, led by Iggy Pop, and MC5 blossomed and flourished alongside artists such as Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, and Ted Nugent. Grand Funk Railroad fit in alongside this movement of real music for real people seeking an outlet for the frustration that was beginning to take root in what would soon become the Rust Belt. It was heavy blues mixed with garage funk and the beginning of punk; intentionally abrasive, unapologetic, and critics be dammed even if they liked it. This was music by, and for, the working class.
This week, we have seen the effete elites smirk and snark at the sight of American servicemen killed and wounded due to the uncaring, incompetent bungling of an administration and “military leadership” far more interested in staying woke than saving lives. These people could care less about working people. Their sole concern is the agenda above all, and if moving the agenda up the hill includes going over mounds on the hill that cover freshly filled graves, so be it. No sacrifice is too great as long as it’s not your own.
It is the working people who are horrified at the terror in Kabul. It is the working people, the selfsame working people who once filled stadiums to hear their working-class heroes such as Grand Funk Railroad play, whose anger has been aroused against their own government. A great reckoning is coming, one that no level of media misinformation or ballot box malfeasance can stop.
Hopefully, prayerfully, somewhere along the line during her 66 years on this planet, Connie Hamzy met the Savior. (Hint: His Name isn’t Don Brewer.) Regardless, she was and always will be part of rock‘n’roll folklore. For this, she should be acknowledged. For giving the people a voice, Grand Funk Railroad should be acknowledged. Thankfully, the people themselves are now going to be acknowledged, and it is the people who will not let our military brethren’s needless deaths go unanswered and unavenged.
That’s why Connie Hamzy matters. Because the people, the real people, matter.