The band Fanny was a four piece all-woman band, and the first all-women's band to get a record contract. This hard rock band got its start in California when sisters June and Jean Millington were in high school and created the all-girl band called the Svelts, which later morphed into Wild Honey with members June Millington on guitar and vocals, Jean Millington on bass, Nickey Barclay on keyboards, and Alice de Buhr on drums. When Wild Honey was signed to the label Reprise in 1969, George Harrison of the Beatles suggested the new name Fanny to the producer Richard Perry. In the US, a fanny is commonly known as a slang term for a person's rear end, but in the United Kingdom, the piece of anatomy it refers to is quite different and even a little risqué: women's genitalia.

They enjoyed moderate success, gaining positive critical reviews from Rolling Stone and other publications, and two of their songs — "Charity Ball" and "Butter Boy" — made it onto the Billboard charts. As far as June Millington is concerned, what kept them from making it bigger than they did was their gender. In an interview with Michael Molenda in Guitar Player magazine, she said,

We were held to a different standard, because we were young women. The number one job I had was to prove we could play like guys. I had to stay on top of the wave all the time, because it was assumed the girls couldn't play. Unfortunately, once we did that, I got bored with it. I wanted to be asked about my sound. My influences. My technique. But, no, it was always, "What does it feel like to be a girl guitar player?" Are you kidding me? I realized it was going to be one-dimensional forever, and I'm too creative and too smart to be locked into that position. It was like being in prison, and we knew it. All four of us were really interested in finding the strength in ourselves, and expressing ourselves lyrically in eloquent and intelligent ways—not that our songs didn't have the sex component in them. Listen to "Soul Child." But they also had a sort of fierceness before I even got turned on to feminism.

On top of that, the better the band got, the more we expected we would have success. I mean, our version of "Hey Bulldog" should have been at the top of the charts. It wasn't. We just couldn't get over that hump, because society wasn't going to give it to us. We put it together from every standpoint, and we couldn't get it. The band was getting tired. It was like, "What do we have to do for these people?"  Molenda, Michael. "STORM CROSSED: RECLAIMS & REVITALIZES HER MUSICAL LEGACY." Guitar Player, vol. 52, no. 6, June 2018, pp. 50+. Gale In Context: Accessed 5 Apr. 2024.

Fanny's first album Fanny appeared in 1970, followed by 1971's Charity Ball, 1972's Fanny Hill, 1973's Mother's Pride, and their final album, 1974's Rock n' Roll Survivors. The group then dissolved, but regrouped under the name Fanny Walked the Earth in 2016, followed by the 2018 release of an album by that name. It was around that time that the documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart became interested in making the group the subject of a documentary, resulting in the 2021 film Fanny: The Right to Rock. 


Girls Rock!

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Fanny: The Right to Rock

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First Time in A Long Time