LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-JULY 15, 2019…IT WAS ON THIS DATE IN 1973 GRAND FUNK RELEASED THE SINGLE ‘WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND’. THE SONG CAME AT A CRITICAL TIME FOR THE BAND. IN 1972, THEY LEFT THEIR MANAGER, WERE EMBROILED IN LAWSUITS, AND REALIZED THEY NEEDED A HIT RECORD OR THEIR CAREER WAS “GOING TO GO INTO THE TOILET.” THEIR NEW MANAGER TOLD THEM,
‘Why don’t you just write songs about what you do: you’re out here on the road, you’re going to this hotel, you go to different places, there’s people, you come into town…’
GRAND FUNK’S DRUMMER THEN WROTE A SONG ABOUT ALL THE LITTLE THINGS THAT WERE HAPPENING TO THE BAND WHILE THEY WERE ON THE ROAD, AND THEY WERE ALL TRUE. DON BREWER EXPLAINED
“Up all night with Freddie King, I’ve got to tell you, poker’s his thing. Freddie King was the opening act for us, the great Blues guitar player from Texas. It always struck me as funny that he would make his band play poker with him every night. We used to sit in on some of the poker games, and that’s where that line came from. His band, he’d pay them, and then he’d go win all the money back so they were broke and they’d have to keep playing for him – it was a great deal. A lot of people don’t understand the Freddie King part because they don’t know who Freddie King is. Anybody who knows about Freddie King immediately picks it up. People who don’t say, ‘What are you saying, that Focus can’t sing?'”
REGARDING THE LINE, “FOUR CHIQUITAS IN OMAHA,” DON BREWER SAID IT WAS A SITUATION THAT TRANSPIRED WHEN THEY CHECKED INTO A HOTEL IN OMAHA, NEBRASKA:
“There were four groupies in the lobby waiting to see the band, Four young chiquitas’ sounded a lot better than ‘four young groupies’ or ‘four young girls.'”
The line, “Sweet Sweet Connie was doing her act” is about Connie Hamzy, a famous groupie known as “Sweet Connie.” Some of her rumored conquests include Brewer, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Huey Lewis, Peter Criss, and Bill Clinton (when he was governor of Arkansas). This song made her famous, and in 2010 VH1 ran a special about her life. According to Hamzy, she didn’t have “the whole band,” as stated in the lyrics, but she came pretty close – Mark Farner was a holdout.
HERE’S GRAND FUNK AND ‘WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND’