Fanny

ARTICLE ABOUT Fanny FROM SOUNDS, November 27, 1971

As far as I know, all the four original members of this band is still alive and kicking in 2018 – but it seems like Nickey, the organist, has disappeared out of sight for everyone. She writes a little about her reasons at this fabulous Fanny-site: http://www.fannyrocks.com/
Strange that they deny their imortant role as figures of the Women`s Lib movement at the time, but I guess they just wanted to play music and get on with it the same way as male rockers do. I think their argument in the article is solid. A very important band, lacking in record sales compared to many others, but a very good band playing great music and quite clearly an inspiration for a lot of other girls to come out and play in what was a pre-dominately male territorium.
You should check Fanny out – they rock!

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Just doing their thing

By Martin Hayman

It was a case of girding up the loins, metaphorically speaking, when we went to see Fanny.
Fanny is an all-girl American rock band, and suspecting another Warners freak-show, I was prepared to be defensive about being a male chauvinist pig. It didn`t turn out that way at all. June and Jean, who are sisters, Alice and Nickey, are friendly, co-operative and eager to tell you what the band is all about and to disclaim the Women`s Liberation banner. So eager are they to tell you about it, in fact, that they tend all to speak at once, which is rather disconcerting, like watching a doubles tennis match with two balls in play.
But at least there`s no problems with mistaken identities: they introduced themselves gracefully as Jean Millington, who plays bass; Alice de Buhr, drums; June Millington, guitar; and Nickey Barclay, piano and organ. From then on in, it was a free-for-all. They all come from L.A. now, and despite their different backgrounds – June and Jean were born in Manila in the Phillipines, Alice, Mason City, Iowa, and Nickey, Washington, D.C. -They all seem to possess a clean-cut charm which is definitely all-American.

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Was it a gimmick, when it comes down to basics? “Well we just play rock music,” said Alice, “we don`t have a gimmick.” Jean: “Well if we do have a gimmick it`s that we`re female and we can`t help that any.” Nicky: “Some people view it as one.” Jean: “That`s in everybody`s opinion. I think we play well enough to be considered valid musicians.” And so it went on, with every question bounced around the circle of four girls and turned over until some sort of a consensus was reached agreeable to all parties concerned.
How did it come about that they got into rock music, until now regarded as a male preserve? Alice: “It just evolved. We all started playing about five or six years ago in groups in the usual way, you know, losing people and asking and finding out, advertising. It just happened to click with the four of us, because we`d all played with guys before. The chemistry was right, the magic was there.” They had all played with groups before they met each other, which is a measure of their independence – musically as well as personally. This is how Jean describes the formulation of the group as an all-girl combo: “The three of us had met prior to going to L.A. where we met Nickey -” “- after they had a recording contract,” interrupts Nickey, “they were the nucleus of the group.”
So what sort of music do they play? There was a chorus of “Have you heard the album” and “You must come and see us play”, but in default of either, “It`s Fanny music,” says Alice “It`s rock and roll, it has that kind of feel to it, but there are some slower songs on the album.”

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June, perhaps the least forthcoming, adds: “We feel we`re still at the stage where we have to hit people over the head on stage to get them to sit back and give us their full attention.” Alice: “`Cos they haven`t seen us, they just don`t want to believe that girls can play anything but crap.”
How did they come to take up musical instruments at all, in the beginning? Jean: “I started when I was about nine or ten, playing ukelele and just gradually moved to the guitar and bass.” She ascribes this to a love of string instruments and a sound they produce, which is to be expected from one who was brought up in the Pacific city of Manila, where the Millingtons lived until Jean was about thirteen. “We were just into playing around with the basic chords. We didn`t start playing professionally until we were sixteen or seventeen, and that was when we started out with folk singing.” They came to rock through folk then? “I guess so, June and I anyway. Alice started playing in the school band.” Alice: “When I was a junior, which is eleventh grade. I got a full set of drums, and from there got into rock and roll and moved to the coast and met up with June and Jean and played off and on with them for a couple of years, went to L.A. then we got Nickey after about nine months.” June: “I`ve only been into rock and roll since we came to L.A. – before that I was just like a rhythm guitarist.” Nickey: “When I met June she hadn`t really heard Chuck Berry, that was what blew my head out most.”

BENEFITS

What was the response in those days to the idea of girls as a band? “I think when we first started, before we could could play well, it was cute, you know, a girl playing rock and roll, just like guys when they start out and aren`t that good. I was fifteen when I started playing, you know, things like `Oh Sweet Pea`, `Louie Louie`, `Hand On Sloopy`… but you get better as you go along.”
And the Women`s Lib thing? “They want us to wave the banner and play their benefits. We always tell them, “Listen, we`re doing more for Women`s Lib by just doing it! We got our music to consider.” For those few words, thanks.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Redbone, Frank Zappa, Redwing, Elton John, B.B. King, Bill Williams, Alice Stuart, Carl Palmer, Robbie Robertson, Lesley Duncan, Dave Burland.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

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ARTICLE ABOUT FANNY FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, November 30, 1974

One of the first all-girl rock bands I knew about were The Runaways. They were cool and I liked them just as much for their music as much as I had certain…ahem…fantasies about some of the members of the band.
What I didn`t know at the time was that there were another all-girl band way before The Runaways called Fanny. Formed as early as in 1969, they had a name that invited you to speculate and wonder if these girls were even more outrageous and sexy than Cherie Currie singing “Cherry Bomb”. The problem was that in a time before the Internet there was no concert videos to see, and because they disbanded as early as in 1975, there were no records to be bought from this band, when I discovered them 10 years later, in my local record store.
So, this article are for all of you nerdy people who know about these bands from the darkest depths of rock`n`roll history. Me, you and David Bowie (who is a fan) can, to our luck, check them out on YouTube these days. Enjoy!

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Unnnghhh! Grunt, slurp…

…goes John Ingham. Fanny just smile sweetly and go on rockin`…

Let`s be sexist for a coupla paragraphs.
You take a look at the cover of Fanny`s new album, “Rock and Roll Survivors”, and there`s Jean Millington looking very come-hither, and memories well up of when Fanny were second on the bill at the Whiskey A-Go Go and she used to prop that bass in her crotch and make it talk, and the dreams and desires would stand at attention.
Then you take an eyeful of new guitarist Patti Quatro, and…well, kids, that`s a face and pair of legs whose promises are only fulfilled in fantasies. It`s like rock and roll`s initial thrill made corporate before your gonads; true D.O.M. heaven; a breathtaking reason to forget being jaded; the—— Down, rover; give us some straight facts.
Like, if Nickey Barclay (tinkler of ivories) is leaving the group, why do a UK tour with Jethro Tull?
Over to you, Jean, in Birmingham.

“Well, Ian (Anderson) was over for dinner one night when we just had the new album, and we played it for him and he really freaked. He just stood there and played it over and over and out of that we got the tour.”
Nickey, of course, had already left in July to pursue a solo career, so rather than try and (a) find a new member fast (not the easiest task, given genetic limitations) and (b) teach her the ropes, the band asked her to return for this tour. The result, naturally, is a less than unified band, not helped by the fact that 90 per cent of the time you can`t hear the keyboards. In the middle is the diminutive Cam Davis, former Press Officer`s assistant. To either side stand Ms. Millington and Ms. Quatro,
initially in black cloaks that hide all but face and arms.
When they are dropped…ah! Jean is wearing a red skirt that is cut in an arc across the front, revealing a delectable turn of thigh. Patti`s legs never end; her costume seems to be rags held together by perspiration. Men all over the auditorium rise in appreciation.

The music is frenetic; Cam sounding like a juggernaut coming through Dover, Jean unloading great dollops of oomph in all the right holes, Patti unleashing savage steamrollers of noise and then throwing in a flurry of precise, clear notes to float on top, moving across to Jean in a guitar duel, riding her axe, stomping her feet. When this band is complete it`s going to pulverise a lot of heads.
But is there still a hangup, in these enlightened mid-70s, of you being a…”chick group”?
“It`s hard to tell,” purrs Jean. “We`ve never been men.”
Patti maintains they all took sex change operations in search of an original gimmick. Turning the other cheek: “It`s harder to get people to take what you`re doing seriously, especially if you give off that vibe. But if you`re really working and putting out, they aren`t going to say, `Oh, you play good for a chick`.”
“People thought they were giving us compliments by saying that,” interjects Jean. “But starting two years ago the papers in L.A. stopped talking about us as a female group and just reviewed us as Fanny. It will probably stop completely when we get a hit record and headline tours.”

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But couldn`t you use your feminity as an “easy” ride to rock heaven?
Jean: “We don`t really think about it, to tell you the truth. We just concentrate on the music, because if that isn`t good it doesn`t mean shit. If you can`t cut the mustard, being the prettiest girl in the world won`t help.”
Patti: “But on the other hand, we don`t hide it. A lot of women would go up there in jeans and feel ashamed and think, `Oh, they`re not going to take me seriously.` If you`ve got the confidence, you should be able to go up there nude and it shouldn`t make any difference. When I go on I want to feel like I look good, and if it`s a skirt then it`s a skirt.
“And when you sweat a lot, you don`t want to be completely covered in pants…But you don`t want to hear that…It`s all so sordid, my dear.”
No, really girls, it sounds quite clean to me.
“Oh, we`re a clean group. We come off stage smelling like a perfume bath.”

But before we leave these dabblings into matters of gender, how about groupies, especially in a country where it seems even Bryan Ferry can`t score.
“Oh, there was a boy of about 14 outside the stage door last night, who asked for a kiss,” says Jean. “And I couldn`t think of a good reason to say no, so I gave him a little kiss and he was waiting for a French one and he said (plaintive voice), `Is that all?`”
It rapidly transpires that Fanny have no trouble in the organic electric blanket department, though, Patti says, “They don`t have the nerve to say, `You want to screw,` so it`s all in terms of `Would you like a drink`.” She smiles innocently.
How about other females?
“They`re more like truck drivers,” grimaces Jean. “But we do get a lot of girls in out of the way places who have been inspired to form groups because of us. It makes you feel very responsible.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Elton John, The Crystals, Yes, John Sebastian, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rod Stewart, Johnny Winter, Frank Zappa, Magna Carta, Ray Shulman (Gentle Giant).

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.