Fanny on the cover of their 1972 album Fanny Hill (clockwise from left: Jean Millington, June Millington, Alice de Buhr, Nickey Barclay)
|Genres||Rock, hard rock|
|Past members||June Millington
Alice de Buhr
Fanny was an American all-female band, active in the early 1970s. They were one of the first notable rock groups to be made up entirely of women, the third to sign with a major label (after Goldie & the Gingerbreads and The Pleasure Seekers), and the first to release an album on a major label. They achieved two top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and released five albums.
Sisters June Millington (born April 14, 1948, Manila, Philippines) and Jean Millington (born May 25, 1949, Manila, Philippines) moved with their family from the Philippines to Sacramento, California in 1961. In high school they formed an all-girl band called The Svelts with June on guitar, Jean on bass, Addie Lee on guitar, and Brie Brandt on drums. Brandt was later replaced by Alice de Buhr (born 1950, Mason City, Iowa). When The Svelts disbanded, de Buhr formed another all-female group called Wild Honey. The Millington sisters later joined this band, which played Motown covers and eventually moved to Los Angeles.
Frustrated by a lack of success or respect in the male-dominated rock scene, Wild Honey decided to disband after one final open-mic appearance at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles in 1969. They were spotted at this gig by producer Richard Perry, who had been searching for an all-female rock band to mentor. Perry convinced Warner Brothers to sign the band, still known as Wild Honey, to Reprise Records. Before recording their first album, the band recruited keyboardist Nickey Barclay (born 1951, Washington, DC) who was also a member of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen touring ensemble. The band was then renamed Fanny, not with a sexual connotation but to denote a female spirit.
Perry produced the band's first three albums: Fanny (1970), Charity Ball (1971), and Fanny Hill (1972). The title track "Charity Ball" from the second album reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The members of the band also worked as session musicians, most notably on Barbra Streisand's 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand. Their fourth album, Mother's Pride (1973), was produced by Todd Rundgren. With young engineer Leslie Ann Jones as their road manager and live sound mixer, Fanny toured worldwide, opening for Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, gaining widespread popularity in the United Kingdom. A 1971 article in Sounds remarked of the group, "seems that they are the support group to everyone these days".
After Mother's Pride, June Millington and Alice de Buhr left the band. Patti Quatro (sister of Suzi Quatro) joined on guitar, and Brie Brandt (who had played with the Millingtons in their early band The Svelts) returned on drums. This lineup signed with Casablanca Records and released the final Fanny album, Rock and Roll Survivors, in 1974. Brandt was briefly replaced by Cam Davis, but the band soon disintegrated even as "Butter Boy" became their biggest single, reaching #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1975.
One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest... rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary... they're as important as anybody else who's ever been, ever; it just wasn't their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.
— David Bowie
After the breakup, in 1975 the Millington sisters put together a new line-up of Fanny for a short tour, though no older Fanny material was played. This group ultimately morphed into a new all-women band called the L.A. All-Stars, which generated some interest from record labels, but with the stipulation that the band tour as Fanny and play only old Fanny songs, which June Millington opposed. June, described by Guitar Player as the hottest female guitar player in the music industry, has had a career as a producer for artists including Holly Near, Cris Williamson and Bitch and Animal. June also operates a music camp for young girls. Jean has done studio work for many artists, including Keith Moon, David Bowie, and Roderick Taylor. Jean also married Bowie's guitarist Earl Slick and is presently an herbalist. The Millingtons continued to record together after Fanny as well, most recently on the 2011 album Play Like a Girl on June's label Fabulous Records.
Patti Quatro continued to work as a session musician for her sister Suzi Quatro as well as Electric Light Orchestra, Keith Moon, and France Gall, and recently has been involved in the reissue of material by the Quatro sisters' early band The Pleasure Seekers. Brie Brandt, now known as Brie Howard-Darling, had an active post-Fanny career, touring and recording with Carole King, Jimmy Buffett, Elton John, Robbie Nevil, and Jack Wagner. She fronted the bands American Girls, which released one album in 1986; and Boxing Gandhis, which has released four albums since the mid-1990s.
In 2002, Rhino Records released the deluxe, limited edition 4-CD box set First Time in a Long Time, which collects Fanny's first four studio albums plus live recordings, outtakes, and promotional items. A classic lineup reunion concert featuring the Millington sisters and Alice de Buhr (Nickey Barclay declined to appear for health reasons) was held at Berklee College of Music on April 20, 2007, where the band members received the Rockrgrl Women of Valor award for their achievements.
- Jean Millington: bass guitar, vocals
- June Millington: guitar, vocals
- Nickey Barclay: keyboards, vocals
- Alice de Buhr: drums, vocals
- Patti Quatro: guitar, vocals
- Brie Brandt: drums, vocals
- Cam Davis: drums
- Wendy Haas: keyboards, vocals
- Padi Moschetta: percussion, vocals
- Fanny (1970; Reprise Records)
- Charity Ball (1971; Reprise Records)
- Fanny Hill (1972; Reprise Records)
- Fanny Live (1972; Slick Music)
- Mother's Pride (1973; Reprise Records)
- Rock and Roll Survivors (1974; Casablanca Records; re-released by Cherry Red Records, 2009)
- First Time in a Long Time (box set, 2002; Rhino Records)
- "Chart Awards: Fanny". Allmusic. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- FannyRocks.com: How It Began
- Anderman, Joan (20 April 2007). "Rocking the Boat". The Boston Globe.
- "Barbara Joan Streisand: Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Gaar, Gillian G. (2002). She's a rebel: the history of women in rock & roll (2 ed.). Seal Press. p. 142. ISBN 1-58005-078-6.
- "Military Madness". Sounds (Spotlight Publications). 28 August 1971. p. 3.
- The Guitar Player Book: 40 Years of Interviews, Gear, and Lessons from the World's Most Celebrated Guitar Magazine, p. 61.
- MTV Iggy, Aug. 8, 2011, http://www.mtviggy.com/reviews/play-like-a-girl-by-june-and-jean-millington/
- Official website
- Kickstarter Project: Play Like A Girl
- Fan forum and portal: Fanny Seven Roads (F7R)
- Metalmaidens' general history on the band
- F7R on MySpace
- The Flamekeepers: Fanny fans group on YouTube
- Boston Herald article touching on 2007 reunion
- Berklee press release announcing the Rockrgrl award
- NY Daily News article on new album Play Like a Girl