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

  1. #1

    FANNY! How did I miss these gals?!

    If you like this: (music starts at 1:40)



    then here's the full video it's from:



    An all-girl band in '71 and it wasn't a gimmick?! How?! How were they not widely popular? They can all obviously play their instruments at a pro level and can all sing too.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  2. #2
    Videos not available. Sigh.

    But can be found digging around on YT. Yay!
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  3. #3
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    They were fairly popular in Philly when I was in college there in the early 70s. The local FM rock station, WMMR, played them a bit. I think they were interesting but not enough for me to buy any of their albums.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  4. #4
    Great band that I knew nothing about until someone brought the long out-of-print box set for me to sell on consignment. Great stuff - lots of 'proggy' touches to their live shows (thanks to Youtube!). --Peter

  5. #5
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Great early all-girl rock. Glad you like 'em, GD. Drummer Brie Howard played with Robbie Nevil in the '80s (I'm sure you remember his videos on eMpTyVee).

    Fanny released a new self-titled album last year under the name Fanny Walked The Earth.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    I
    An all-girl band in '71 and it wasn't a gimmick?! How?! How were they not widely popular? They can all obviously play their instruments at a pro level and can all sing too.
    Interesting. Someone posted the exact same video on the Telecaster Discussion Page just a few days ago. Coincidence?

    As to why they weren't they popular? I don't know if you can talk about that without contravening the site guidelines, here, but consider to two of the band members were of Filipino descent, and well, they were women. If you accept some of the ugly truths about the music business, either one of those would have put a glass ceiling over their heads.

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    They also didn't have that big radio hit.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    They also didn't have that big radio hit.
    Well, yes, but why did they not have a radio hit?! Why didn't they get radio airplay? They did just not have any material with what executives call "top 40 potential", or was there something more sinister at work?!

    Let me ask you this question: home come the likes of Ernie Isley and Eddie Hazel have never been feature don the covers of guitar magazines, the way Clapton, Beck, Page, etc have been? I remember someone accusing Guitar Player magazine of being racist because they never featured black musicians on their covers as much as white musicians. Somewhere, I've got a poster with all the GP covers from 67-97, and there's definitely far fewer black guitarists featured than white players. You can put Bonnie Raitt on the cover, but Michael Hampton or Eddie Hazel?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Interesting. Someone posted the exact same video on the Telecaster Discussion Page just a few days ago. Coincidence?
    Wasn't me (although you just reminded me that I used to be on a Telecaster forum around 10 years ago but have long lost the link and password), but their videos have suddenly appeared in my Youtube recommendations, and many of the comments on the video have been posted within the last few days, so something in the YT algorithms has suddenly pushed these vids out there. I have been watching a few OGWT vids over the past week so maybe that had something to do with it too.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    They also didn't have that big radio hit.
    I'm talking more about why weren't they on FM radio, period. In the 70's, all the FM radio stations I had access to in the NY area were "free form". DJ's played stuff that was well outside of the current "classic rock" format alongside of the stuff that comprises classic rock today. Now maybe if I only heard them on the radio with a studio version and without the visual aspect, maybe I wouldn't have been too excited, but I certainly would have taken notice of the first all-female rock band and the DJ's certainly would have played up this point. In NY we had "the Night Bird" Allison Steele on WNEW-FM and later in the 70's, Jane Hamburger on WBAB-FM and probably another one I'm forgetting, but you would think the female DJ's would be wanting to play and promote this band. When I think of all the other "lower-tier" bands getting airplay in the 70's, there's no reason that Fanny couldn't have been included...
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  11. #11
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    Wasn't me (although you just reminded me that I used to be on a Telecaster forum around 10 years ago but have long lost the link and password), but their videos have suddenly appeared in my Youtube recommendations
    Mine too.

    I blame the Russians.

  12. #12
    It's a big deal for me to see this level of talent in 1971. All throughout the 70's, I never met one girl who played electric guitar, bass, keyboards or drums. The only ones I knew who played rock band instruments were playing acoustic guitars, usually cowboy chords in the church folk group. I was in two bands with girls, and in both cases they played acoustic guitar and sang. All four of these ladies appear very confident on their instruments.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  13. #13
    LinkMan Chain's Avatar
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    I likes me a bit of Fanny now and again
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Garden Dreamer;881454]
    I'm talking more about why weren't they on FM radio, period. In the 70's, all the FM radio stations I had access to in the NY area were "free form". DJ's played stuff that was well outside of the current "classic rock" format alongside of the stuff that comprises classic rock today.
    Now maybe if I only heard them on the radio with a studio version and without the visual aspect, maybe I wouldn't have been too excited, but I certainly would have taken notice of the first all-female rock band and the DJ's certainly would have played up this point. In NY we had "the Night Bird" Allison Steele on WNEW-FM and later in the 70's, Jane Hamburger on WBAB-FM and probably another one I'm forgetting, but you would think the female DJ's would be wanting to play and promote this band. When I think of all the other "lower-tier" bands getting airplay in the 70's, there's no reason that Fanny couldn't have been included...
    Which brings us back to the points I made in my earlier post.

  15. #15
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I saw them at the Fillmore East a long time ago and remember liking them enough to buy their first album. Since you started this thread, Pete, I went back & listened to them for the first time in years and they do age very well.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  16. #16
    I picked up the Rhino Handmade box set (all of their Reprise albums, plus rare bonuses) First Time in a Long Time and am I glad I did. Clung to my vinyl copy of Rock & Roll Survivors to complete the set. I think that Patti Quatro gets kind of a bad rap; no, she’s not June, but I like the Stones-y influence she brought to the table. That said, I thought that Nickey was the best songwriter in the band. Most of my favorite Fanny tunes are hers. “Blind Alley” for example. Man, did that ever rock! They really tore up Stephen Stills’ “Special Care” too. I way prefer their version to his original. The “hit” was “Charity Ball,” and there’s a video of them “performing” it on the Sonny & Cher Show floating around out there. Well, there was also “Butter Boy” from the Patti/Brie era, but I think they had broken up just as it was ascending the charts. D’oh!

    You may also enjoy some other female rockers of the era, like Birtha. I think their second album, Can’t Stop the Madness, is a lot more satisfying than the first, which comes across as an overly-calculated attempt at out-rocking the competition. There’s also Isis, the all-woman brass-rock band that’s an offshoot of the original all-female rock band, Goldie & the Gingerbreads. The first one is the one to get, with some holdover psych and even prog influences (it was reissued on CD as 2nd Coming). Ain’t No Backin’ Up Now is more of a funk-rock album, but it has its moments, including a side of tunes written and produced by Allen Toussaint (“Gold” is a gorgeous blues ballad that I don’t think can be found anywhere else. The late Carol MacDonald’s voice never sounded better, ditto Margo Lewis’ Hammond organ playing). Isis have a third album (Breaking Through) but you don’t want to hear it.

    There’s also the Swedish all-woman rock band NQB, but I know little about them, apart from the fact that Py Bäckman got her start singing for them, and they did a cover of the Baltik song “Long, Long Weekend” (a song also done by Monica Törnell).
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    There’s also Isis, the all-woman brass-rock band that’s an offshoot of the original all-female rock band, Goldie & the Gingerbreads. The first one is the one to get, with some holdover psych and even prog influences (it was reissued on CD as 2nd Coming).


    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.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    There’s also Isis, the all-woman brass-rock band
    I think they are the most satisfying band of the lot.
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  19. #19
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I'll have to go back and give that debut album a listen. Back in the day I always mixed them up with Fancy. And that's just wrong.

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  20. #20
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    They also didn't have that big radio hit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    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 (in 1970).[1] They achieved two top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100[2] and released five albums.
    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.

  21. #21
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    I caught them at Fillmore East with Humble Pie when the latter recorded their "live" LP there. Fanny didn't stand a chance.
    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

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    Videos not available.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Interesting. Someone posted the exact same video on the Telecaster Discussion Page just a few days ago. Coincidence?
    Possibly because for many of us of a certain age, with certain music interests, the video popped up a couple days ago as a suggested video on Youtube. ;-)

  24. #24
    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.
    I think it was Anne Bowen of the Deadly Nightshade (female country-rock/folk trio) telling the story of how she and her bandmates wanted the Isis girls to play horns on one of their songs, but the producer (Charlie Calello?) shot them down and had some male musicians lay down the horn chart. The Isis brass section eventually went on tour with Laura Nyro, as chronicled on her Season of Light live LP.

    How did I forget about MOTHER SUPERIOR, the all-woman PROG band? Sort of like a cross between Fanny and Jonesy:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  25. #25
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    No denying the Millington sisters were killer musicians though.
    And not at all too hard on the eyes, either.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

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