Thursday, March 02, 2023

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "Literary Notes From All Over" Edition

So as attentive readers are aware, I've decided to spend a great deal of my time this year compiling -- for publication in some format to be determined -- an anthology of my prose Greatest Hits. Here's a review I just rediscovered (from the July 1973 issue of CREEM) that will doubtless be included.

Mother's Pride

Germaine Greer once observed that what the Women's Lib movement needed most was a distaff band that could lay down "a really heavy riff." Now regardless of whether or not you agree with that statement (about which more later) I am saddened to report that only the most cant-ridden female chauvinist could make such claims for Fanny and her All Girl Orchestra, at least on the basis of this latest collection of hot numbers. Saddened because there were moments on some of their other albums where they came reasonably close; stuff like "Charity Ball" and "Ain't That Peculiar" may not have had the capacity to destroy minds, but they were at least solid, enjoyable rock and roll, played with real spunk. But Mother's Pride is pretty much of a dud, despite (or maybe because of) producer Todd Rundgren's feverish attempt at making the whole thing sound as much like Abbey Road as possible. Somebody (I forget who) once said that if Fanny were men they'd be playing in bars, and this is the album that definitively proves the truth of that. Of course, there are plenty of musical macho types that have achieved vinyl immortality these days who should be playing in bars also, but that ain't much of a consolation.

Anyway, given that the vast bulk of the record buying audience is comprised of women (you don't think adolescent boys are shelling out dough for Donny Osmond records, do ya?) it seems almost futile for a group like Fanny to try to achieve stardom merely by competing with men at their own game; what they should be doing is inventing a whole new one, and I don't mean pursuing a really heavy riff. Rock and roll is as much an attitude as a music and what we really need is a female band that projects an attitude, a lifestyle, a militant man-eating sexiness. American men being the masochists that they are, I bet four dazzlingly glamorous tough chicks playing aggressive high-energy rock could absolutely clean up. Certainly, they would do more for the Lib movement than Fanny's wistfully depressing obsession with proving they're good musicians. Imagine, if you will, a female MC5 or Rolling Stones. I mean guys would be creaming in the aisles.

Meanwhile, I have decided -- regardless of all this -- that since Fanny drummer Alice de Buhr got her hair cut, she's become one of the all-time cuties. My number is Beechwood 4-5789, Alice. You can call me up for a date any old time.

Yeah, yeah, I know -- I'd probably (and justifiably) be ridden out of town on a rail if I wrote something like that today, but what the hell -- it was the early 70s and we were all a little over the top.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who guesses its relavance to the theme of tomorrow's end-of-week essay question.


pete said...

something to do with body parts?

M. Bouffant said...

CREEM '73. Those were the days.

getawaygoober said...

Fanny was backup band on Barbra Joan Streisand album (1971).

steve simels said...

BTW, as you’ll see if you click on the actual review, I’ve done some minor editorial tweakage and removed one line that strikes even me as a bit much in a contemporary context. Author’s privilege.😉

edward said...

Rock's cutest hair cuts?
Toughest Chicks in Rock?

MJConroy said...

Woman musicians that Steve had the hots for that played for the other team?

Gummo said...

Any Excuse to Post the Runaways? said...

That was Creem Magazine looked like the old R/S paper content
Particularly read the Rory Gallagher review by DeWitt - first saw Rory and Taste as they were first on the bill for Blind Faith's first appearance in Bridgeport, CT. Delaney and Bonnie next opening for Faith.
Taste, 3 piece, was intriguing as they worked under the Cream influence -
Never the less so lmpressed I went out and bought their debut album

Alzo said...

(Any excuse for me to do the following). Interesting that your Fanny take shares a page with Rory Gallagher... which leads me to the too-adorable-for-words Dea Matrona:
Alas, drummer Mamie went back to school and will not be on their upcoming headlining tour.

MJConroy said...

Alzo - Mamie was the weak link in Dea Matrona. New guy is better, but still the weakest link.