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July 29, 2023

30 Amazing Vintage Photographs of Fanny on the Stage in the 1970s

Fanny was the first all-female rock band signed to a major record label with a multi-album deal. The group put out five albums in the 1970s and counted David Bowie and Bonnie Raitt as fans.

In 1999, Bowie hailed Fanny as one of the finest rock bands of its time in Rolling Stone. He also lamented that “nobody’s ever mentioned them.”

Kathy Valentine, the bassist of the Go-Go’s, a later all-female band, wished more people had spread the word about Fanny. “If their visibility had been higher,” she said in an interview, “we would have seen a lot more women in the rock landscape.” Valentine didn’t hear about Fanny until 1982, she said, by which time the Go-Go’s were making their second album.

The group was founded by guitarist June Millington and her sister, bassist Jean, who had been playing music together since they moved from the Philippines to California in the early 1960s. After playing through several variations of the band, they attracted the interest of producer Richard Perry who signed them to Reprise Records in 1969 as Fanny. The band recorded four albums together before June Millington quit the group, leading to the original line-up splitting. Following a final album, Fanny disbanded in 1975. The Millington sisters have continued to play music together since the split, and with a former drummer, Brie Howard-Darling, formed the spin-off group Fanny Walked the Earth in 2018.

The group had attracted critical acclaim for rejecting typical girl group styles and expectations of women in the rock industry, and emphasizing their musical skills. Later groups such as the Go-Go’s, the Bangles, and the Runaways cited Fanny as a key influence.


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