Monday, January 28, 2013

Fanny--Butter Boy (1975)

     It has been said that the all female rock band, Fanny was the first group of it's kind to be signed to a major label. This isn't quite true with the first two being UK's, Goldie and the Gingerbreads, and Detroit's The Pleasure Seekers (featuring very young sisters Suzi and Patti Quatro). However it IS true that Fanny was the first to release an album on a major label.
     The group began as a duo. June and Jean Millington were born in the Philippines to an American Naval officer and his native wife. They moved to California in 1961 and to help relieve their homesickness began playing music together. In high school they formed a band with June on guitar, Jean on bass, and Brie Brandt (later replaced by Alice de Buhr) called The Svelts. When this group disbanded de Buhr formed a group called Wild Honey in which the Millington sisters joined.
     They moved to LA to try to make it there but after the constant struggle to get past the many barriers in a male-dominated scene, they decided to pack it in after a last open mic night at the Troubadour Club in 1969.
     It just happened that evening that producer Richard Perry was in the crowd and liked what he heard. He was looking for a female rock band to promote and produce and this filled the bill. Before going into the studio however, keyboardist Nicky Barclay was recruited and the name changed from Wild Honey to Fanny.
     Over the course of the next five years, the band released six albums and four charting singles. They band never broke through in a big way, but they were a constant presence on the charts. They did world tours opening for Slade, Jethro Tull, and Humble Pie gaining a greater popularity in the UK than at home.
    Ironically enough, the highest charting single for the band was happening as they were in the process of breaking up. "Butter Boy" was also a lot less rocking than earlier material. The remaining members of the group has continued to influence as studio musicians and producers. The real ground work for women who rock today can be found here.....


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