My first & only Fanny lp for many years was Charity Ball which Picked up from a reminders pile at either Woolworths or Zellers in Sydney. An all girl rock band! The guys I hung with were amused then dismissive, as was the rock press at time. These were cute girls, who played their own instruments, wrote their own music but were never as good as the men. For one thing they were always ‘girls’ not women. They weren’t the Supremes.
Like the all female big bands of the 40’s & 50’s they were considered a novelty as opposed to a real musical identity. Sure Janis Joplin was a power house, Grace Slick was amazing but they also struggled to get male rock press acceptance. Fanny was a good solid bar band type of group. The music moves from hard rock, folk-rock, a bit of country & a dash of jazz. In an mp3 collection I have their 1st, Charity Ball, Fanny Hill, Mothers Pride. They never achieved success partially because they refused to be prepackaged as sluts that sing or as women run by male producers. They finally stopped because the record company felt they lacked commercial appeal. Has the industry changed that much? Kesha’s recent struggles indicates that it probably hasn’t.
The male pop world has frequently been challenged with how to respond to strong female performers & in this mp3 collection I’ve included Flora Purim: Everyday Everynight – a Latino powerhouse, creative, daring & grounded in jazz, pop & Latin she is a complete package but lacked the sexual appeal of Shakira. Here also the Pretenders: Viva El Amor!; Chrissie Hines is a force of nature who has survived in the rock world by trading on her tough girl rep. Finally Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine – another amazing voice, intensely creative, brilliant as a teenager, thwarted by an industry that wanted only a certain look & product from her – the Laura Nyro syndrome. This lp struggled in a dispute with the record company over its commercial appeal. The same sort of need for commercial appeal that plagues so many female rockers.
The Sun Serpent
‘Don’t mention it.’
Mike wanted to say more than thanks but didn’t have the words for what it was he felt. He wasn’t thanking Robert for handing him the towel but for much more. Much much more. With the sudden end of his relationship with Jack it had been almost a shock to meet up with someone else. Especially a someone who was so tender and affectionate towards him.
‘Here let me.’ Robert took the towel and began to dry Mike’s back. ‘Not too hard am I? I mean rubbing.’
‘I know what you mean.’
‘Just relax a little.’
Mike let his shoulders drop as Robert rubbed him with the towel.
‘Where did you develop this strange and delightful ability.’
‘Oh ho that’s a story for another time.’ Robert kissed him on the biceps.
Mike pushed him away playfully. ‘Oh no we can’t start that again.’
Robert tumbled Mike onto the bed and lay on top of him. ‘What makes you think that?’
‘I don’t think. Remember. You told me earlier not to think so much and now I’m not thinking at all. At all.’
‘Yeah, well, let’s see you keep that thought in mind.’
They both laughed.
Robert sat at the side of the bed. Mike ran his hand over Robert’s back, felt the ribbon of scars that ran along either side of his spine. Tribal markings Robert had explained. Markings that gave Mike no images, no flashes. In fact he saw nothing when he touched Robert. A blessing in itself. Not to be plagued by visions.
‘You looking for another way in?’
‘No no. Was it painful?’
‘I was quite young when the first incision was made. The chosen. I was called to be the Son of the Sun Serpent.’
Mike let his hand drop away. The son of the sun. Made living up to his vision seem paltry.
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