When it comes to all-girl rock and roll combos, everyone is always quick to cite late-’70s cherry bombs The Runaways. But before them was Fanny, a courageous outfit anchored by sisters Jean and June Millington, and from 1969 to 1974, these gals meant down-and-dirty business. So much so that David Bowie himself once touted them as “one of the finest f------ rock bands of their time.”
And now, believe it or not, the Millingtons are back, this time as just themselves, with a just-released new album ironically dubbed “Play Like A Girl,” and a string of tour dates that brings them to Berkeley’s Freight And Salvage on Sept. 28.
The sisters’ story didn’t begin and end with the ’70s, obviously.
They grew up strumming ukuleles in the Phillippines, moved to the states in ’61 and traded their ukes for acoustics, then electrics in Sacramento. They taught themselves production techniques while Fanny recorded at posh locations like The Beatles’ Apple Studios, skills June has applied to the nonprofit she cofounded back in ’87, the Institute For The Musical Arts — now purring along as a teaching, performing and recording facility dedicated to supporting women and girls in music and/or music-related business.
And music must be in their blood. Jean’s son Lee Madeloni also became an artist, and he serves as their rock-solid drummer throughout “Play Like A Girl.”
For more, visit www.junemillington.com and www.ima.org.