For 35 years, "Sweet Connie" Hamzy has loved rock stars like no other, counting among her conquests members of the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. Now 50, Arkansas' second-most famous oral-sex fan talks about why she's still with the band.
It's 10:30 A.M. on a Friday in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Connie Hamzy is sitting at the bar of the Sticky Fingerz Rock'N'Roll Chicken Shack, telling a story to a small audience of busboys and cocktail waitresses. "So I'm out on the tour bus, smokin' dope and blowing roadies," she says in a lazy Southern accent."And who comes into the back lounge? Neil fucking Diamond." A man pulls out a stool next to her. He is wearing a hat shaped like the snout of a hog."Neil looks me up and down and nods his approval," Hamzy continues. "Then he gets high with us, and disappears backstage. A few minutes later, his manager says he wants to see me in his dressing room. So I knock on the door, and there's Neil waiting for me in a blue robe. And I didn't just suck him - there was fucking, too."
At first glance, Hamzy could be any middle-aged woman half-drunk on a Friday morning. But a closer examination reveals she's different somehow, maybe even important. Customers - mostly men- begin approaching her from all directions. They seem to know her name. They say hello and want to shake her hand. The man in the pig hat buys her a drink. She is, after all, a celebrity. As Grand Funk sang in "We're an American Band," "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."
Sweet Connie is more than a two-line cameo in a 30-year-old song: She's the world's most notorious rock'n'roll groupie, with asexual resume that dates back to 1970. Her list of conquests reads like the selections on a biker-bar jukebox, including, she claims, members of the Who, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Bad Company, the Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, and the Doobie Brothers. In 1974, when Hamzy was 19, her groupie escapades were detailed in a Cosmopolitan magazine profile, and in 1992 she wrote a tell-all article for Penthouse. She's been interviewed by Geraldo Rivera and Joan Rivers, and appeared on Insomniac With Dave Attell. Though most her groupie contemporaries, like Pamela Des Barres and Bebe Buell, drifted out of the scene by the mid-'80s to raise families or cultivate book deals, Sweet Connie continued her exploits into the new millennium, and today she can be found lurking backstage at nearly every gig in central Arkansas. Connie Hamzy is 50 years old.
"She's a legend in Little Rock," says Sticky Fingerz owner Chris King as he wipes down the bar. "Whenever there's a good concert at the amphitheater, she likes to come in before the show, have a glass of chardonnay on the rocks, and tell us these wonderful stories about her life."
Though I'd spoken to Hamzy on the phone several times in preparation for my October visit, I didn't know what to expect when I met her in person. As I discovered early on, she is prone to outbursts that teeter precariously between the profane and the bizarre.During one conversation, Hamzy, upon learning that I had briefly been a roadie for Dan Fogelberg, says with a hint of amusement, "Yeah, I blew him. And his manager, too."