A Castle On Top of A Hill: The True Story of Fanny
In 1999, a fan wrote a letter to Rolling Stone. He was advocating for one of his favorite bands.
He wrote: “One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers, they were just colossal and wonderful, and nobody’s ever mentioned them. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever; it just wasn’t their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.”
That fan was David Bowie. And he’s talking about a band formed by June and Jean Millington.
In the mid-1960s June and Jean were teenage Filipina sisters who felt out-of-place in their Sacramento high school. Then they discovered rock and roll. They started performing at local teen centers and school dances - and eventually formed a band that would tour all around California.
A few years later, they landed in L.A. and took the Sunset Strip by storm. From open mics to an unprecedented deal with Reprise to a lifestyle rubbing elbows with Mick Jagger, Bowie, and Bonnie Raitt. Everyone said Fanny was supposed to be the next big thing. But by 1975 they'd disbanded and faded into obscurity.
Music journalist Dylan Tupper Rupert interviews the Millington sisters for Lost Notes. They explain the price women pay for being truly ahead of their time.
June and Jean then, Credit: R Neal Izumi in Honolulu
Fanny Live, Credit: Bob Riegler
The Svelts in 1968: Jean, Brie, and June, Credit: Steve Griffith
Practicing at Fanny Hill, Credit: Linda Wolf.
Fanny at Fanny Hill in Hollywood, Courtesy of June Millington
Fanny Hill album cover, recorded at Apple Studios in 1972