Apr 262011

For some reason I just got the urge to look up videos by Fanny, an early ’70s, female-fronted blooz-rock band I’d vaguely heard about for years but never heard a lick of—nor saw. Here’s what I found:

Lord almighty, these gals, led by the sisters Millington, were Heart a few years before the Wilson sisters got their act in gear! OK, they’re lacking the delicate balance of firepower and finesse that would characterize the finest works of Ann and Nancy, but Jean, the bass-playing lead singer’s hair couldn’t be better conditioned and her crocheted vest is to die for! Harmony-singing guitarist June provides the requisite hard-rockin’ support and possibly pioneers the art of head whipping.

Drummer Alice de Buhr doesn’t get enough face time, but I like her no-nonsense approach to fills (see her work during the guitar solo at around the 2:20 mark). The unsung hero of the band, however, may be keyboardist Nickey Barclay. Her passionate organ solo on “Special Care” is the highlight of that song (it turns out she was briefly a member of Joe Cocker‘s Mad Dogs & the Englishman, if that organ part sounds familiar)—and how ’bout that hairdo?

In case you thought these ladies were 2-boogie wonder, here they are on Sonny and Cher’s show (using their drums, no less):

Nov 092010

I like Suzi Quatro, and I always have. There’s just something about her whole approach I really enjoy. She did some pretty cool sounding stuff until some treacly ballads made her label a couple of bucks, but I think by then she had decided to to be on Happy Days anyway. But this video, and a black and white one pretty much just like it, show a certain woman’s touch that most boys just couldn’t compete with. This really seems to me to be like a little sister teaching her older brothers a dance routine, and the older brothers being good sports about it, and then finding out that it was really kind of fun. I know we usually find all the flaws in videos, but there’s none in this. It’s just pure fun!

Jan 222008

Seriously, is it worth investing in a Suzi Quatro Greatest Hits? Whenever I revisit her stuff I like it much more than a lot of other “girl power” artists from the ’70s forward. Similar to my question regarding The Mars Volta, is this mainly a result of my having revisited her music via YouTube clips? Or is it that bass she’s playing? Or the matching leather jumpsuits worn by her bandmates? Or the ‘luded out audience? Fascinating.


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