Fanny Founders Back w/New Album

 

The
ladies who beat the Runaways to the distaff-rocking table also plan to tour.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Way back when BLURT was known as Harp magazine we featured a story on the
great ‘70s female rock band Fanny (see below), founded by sisters Jean and June
Millington, pictured above. From 1969 until1974, Fanny released albums and
toured internationally, sharing stages with Chicago, Dr John, the Staple
Singers, Jethro Tull and many others.  David Bowie said of the group:
“They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time …  They
were extraordinary:  They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers
… They are as important as anyone else who’s ever been, ever …”

 

 

Hype, sure – but pretty damn close
to the truth. Now the Millingtons are set to return with a new album, Play Like A Girl, due August 23 on the
Fabulous label. They are joined by Jean’s son Lee Madeloni, who  picked up his first album credit when he was
fourteen, playing drums on the song “Welcome (to the Real World)” on June and
Jean’s Melting Pot. (Lee also recently
released his debut recording project, Everything
on Fire.
) He will be touring with his mother and aunt on the promotional
tour for the new album.

 

To backtrack: the Millington sisters
had been making music together since they were children playing ukuleles in the
Philippines. Within a few years of coming to the U.S. in 1961 the pair traded
in their ukes for acoustic and then electric guitars and formed a succession of
all-girl bands in Sacramento: the culmination was “Fanny,” one of the first all-female
rock bands to sign to a major label ,Warner Brothers.

 

This was well before the Runaways.

 

While recording with engineers like
Geoff Emerick at the Beatles’ Apple Studios, the Millingtons learned the art of
recording and producing. When June left Fanny in 1974, Jean continued with the
group for one more album, Rock ‘n Roll
Survivors
, which yielded the Top 40 hit “Butterboy.” At the same time June became a key
contributor to the early Women’s Music movement, playing on and touring behind
Cris Williamson’s The Changer and the
Changed
, the definitive album in the genre.  Jean married David Bowie’s
guitarist Earl Slick in 1978 (having sung on Bowie’s “Fame”) and raised two children. June went on to
pursue a solo performing career and began
producing. She and Jean began playing together again in 1984.

 

In 1987, June co-founded the
non-profit Institute for the Musical Arts with her partner Ann Hackler, as a
means of nurturing a new generation of female musicians.  In 2001 IMA bought a site outside of
Northampton, MA, and a year later inaugurated the “Girl’s Rock Camp” pilot
program. Yurts were built, a bunkhouse installed and finally their
state-of-the-art recording studios were completed. Studio designer John Storyck
(Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland) and his wife Beth Walters contributed the designs
of the studios and control rooms. The studios play host to a Recording Camp
each August headed by Grammy-award-winning engineers Leslie Ann Jones and Roma Baran. The
Institute for the Musical Arts is now a fully functioning teaching, performing,
and recording facility dedicated to supporting women and girls in music and
music-related business.

 

According to the Millingtons,, “Play Like a Girl  is a direct
result of experiences of over 45 years since starting an all-girl band
themselves – and helping other girls learn music today; mentoring, supporting,
teaching, and helping them organize themselves in the world of music.”

 

More details: www.junemillington.com

 

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