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Thread: FANNY! How did I miss these gals?!

  1. #51
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Their studio stuff was decent at best, but live they were a kick-ass hard-rock act.



    I guess they would have fared better if they had transmitted the stage energy into their regular albums, just like Humble Pie did on Rocking the Fillmore. Without a smoking live album any band like this was in trouble, but there's still hope for a rectification of this error. Nickey Barclay, their keyboards player, has a small collection of live tapes and there are various recordings circulating made by European TV/radio broadcasters.

    http://www.technodyke.com/dykerock/i...ort.asp?page=4

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay.Dee View Post
    Their studio stuff was decent at best, but live they were a kick-ass hard-rock act.

    Nickey Barclay, their keyboards player, has a small collection of live tapes and there are various recordings circulating made by European TV/radio broadcasters.

    http://www.technodyke.com/dykerock/i...ort.asp?page=4
    The long version of this is fascinating. http://www.technodyke.com/dykerock/i...ong.asp?page=1 Nickey is smart, cranky, opinionated as hell, takes no guff from anyone, and remembers everything.

  3. #53
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    The long version of this is fascinating. http://www.technodyke.com/dykerock/i...ong.asp?page=1 Nickey is smart, cranky, opinionated as hell, takes no guff from anyone, and remembers everything.
    Yeah, she must have been the key ingredient in the band that drove them into that powerful live sound caught on the Beat Club and French TV tapes.

    It looks that the clash of personalities and tastes, Nickey's penchant for gritty blues and soul vs the sisters' preference for songwriting and lush pop sound, yielded some great results away from the watchful eyes of studio producers and management.

    The earliest music I latched onto was Bach, followed by the 'Impressionist' orchestral composers like Tchaikovsky and Ravel. Next were Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, plus a bit of Patsy Kline…I have to say that Floyd Kramer's legendary piano style was quite an influence. Then came the important part: my Dad was a fan of Black music [...] and brought home the most wonderful stuff - Gospel, New Orleans Trad jazz, and most important of all, Ray Charles. Listening to Ray changed my life. [...]

    The next wonderful things my Dad did for me included The Franklin Sisters (before Aretha went solo!…and it was either Erma or Caroline who originally sang 'Piece Of My Heart', which is why I've never had the least time for Janis Joplin), early Gladys Knight, the Staples Singers, remember to ask me about them later as there's an amusing and significant story in it, and best of all, both James Brown and Etta James. I'd also have to give a special mention to my big brother, who turned me on to the first two Taj Mahal albums, The Nat'ch'l Blues and Taj Mahal, when they first came out; the moment I heard 'Good Morning Miss Brown', it was like I'd always been there.

    I loved all the Atlantic/Atco stuff, and especially the Stax/Volt stuff, and was very, very lucky because I got to see all these people live. Ironically, the one type of soul that revolted me was Motown (with the exception of Stevie). I found it unspeakably vanilla, especially the Supremes, and when I first met Wild Honey, it was seven strikes against them in my book because they were Supremes fans. Uggh.

    Some other influential tracks from back then were 'Cissy Strut' by the Meters, 'Soulfinger' by the Bar-Kays,'99 and a Half' by Wilson Pickett, and oddly enough, a record by a non-musician: Bill Cosby's 'Basketball Jones'! In the early 70s I got bitten by the funk bug, too…Sly, Bootsy, the Georges, Ohio Players, Johnny Watson...but by then my inner style was already set from the previous, so these were more an affirmation than an influence. [...]

    Our musical backgrounds were galaxies apart. When I went to meet and audition for Alice, Jean and June for the first time, and we were about to have a first experimental jam, I said, "I don't know if we're into the same kinds of music, so why don't we just try a simple 1-4-5 blues, you know, a 12-bar jam," and I was answered by three totally blank looks. I remember thinking "Oh shit, I'm in trouble here already, they don't even know what a blues progression is!" and being freaked by that. So I asked what music they were into, and was equally appalled by the answer. They liked the Beatles - I had no problem with that - but they seemed to know most of the vanilla Motown girl-group songs, and that did *not* go down well with me. And so it went, pretty much ever after.

    June and I were butting heads constantly from the off because she was into softer music. I felt then - and still feel - that that was a tragedy, because she could play the most delicious dirty rock lead and was a decent rock rhythm player too, but getting her to do these styles was like pulling teeth. We were the bane of each others' existence! In a mixed or male band, that would have been easily solved by walking, but there we were signed to a major label and, as much of an I'm-all-right-Jack as I was, I wouldn't have walked out on Alice and Jean again because I knew they wouldn't be able to replace me...don't forget that young rock keyboard players with tits were just about nonexistent back then.

    In all fairness, Jean and Alice were much more tractable and willing to explore styles that were foreign to them. I was particularly hard on Alice in a musical sense, always working on her to do the 'impossible' parts I wanted to hear. It was a great relief to find out very recently, after almost 30 years, that she appreciated it!

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay.Dee View Post
    I guess they would have fared better if they had transmitted the stage energy into their regular albums, just like Humble Pie did on Rocking the Fillmore. Without a smoking live album any band like this was in trouble, but there's still hope for a rectification of this error. Nickey Barclay, their keyboards player, has a small collection of live tapes and there are various recordings circulating made by European TV/radio broadcasters.
    One of the Millington sisters (I think it was Jean) mentioned in an interview that producer Richard Perry was always “pop-ifying” their sound, which frustrated them to no end. Some harder-edged stuff leaked through (“Seven Roads,” “Special Care,” “Blind Alley”) but in all, I can hear what she means. They sought out Todd Rundgren to produce Mother’s Pride, figuring “he’s a fellow musician, he’ll get us,” only to be locked out of the studio when Todd mixed the album!
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  5. #55
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Wow, two weeks without noticing this thread... better check out my sight.



    I've always thought of Fanny as the older sisters of the Runaways and Four Non Blonde's moms and also the Millington sister being Heart's Wilson sister moms. Birtha was also quite cool, if memory serves...

    However in that French TV, I've never heard of the other girl band called Girlfriend (supposedly from Sacramento as well)

    Checking them out on RYM, I see they're pigeonholed as "glam", but I don't detect any (or much) "glitter" in them.

    Didn't know Suzy Quatro's sister Patty played with Fanny in their later days.
    Last edited by Trane; 03-02-2019 at 06:37 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  6. #56
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Fanny were a 'gimmick' group -- like it or not, being "all-female" was a gimmick in 1971 -- and the depth of their catalog was not great. Once you get past the 8 or 10 great songs they did -- most of which were covers -- you find that most everything else they did was pretty dire. Plus, I think there was a lot of tension in the band and they weren't able to maintain a stable band personnel.

    No denying the Millington sisters were killer musicians though.
    You're being a bit too harsh, here, IMHO... Personally, I don't think they were worse musically (they seem better or more virtuoso at their respective instrument) than say... Status Quo.
    But they never developped a good stage presence, if I judge by the TV shows they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post


    They had constant personnel shifts, and wound up functioning almost as an academy for up-and-coming female jazz, rock, Broadway pit band, and studio musicians in NYC.
    They were on my "to-check-out"list for years, but I don't know how I never got to actually do s

    Thx for the reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    How did I forget about MOTHER SUPERIOR, the all-woman PROG band? Sort of like a cross between Fanny and Jonesy:

    Wow, they certainly excaped my radar too.

    Thx
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

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