Play Like a Girl is a new studio album from Jean and June Millington, the founder members of Fanny. The sisters have been making music together since they were children playing ukuleles in the Philippines. Within a few years of coming to the U.S. in 1961 the pair traded in their ukes for acoustic and then electric guitars and formed a succession of all-girl bands in Sacramento: the culmination was ”Fanny,” one of the first all-female rock bands to sign to a major label ,Warner Brothers.
From 1969 until1974, Fanny released albums and toured internationally, sharing stages with Chicago, Dr John, the Staple Singers, Jethro Tull and many others. David Bowie said of the group: “They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time ... They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers ... They are as important as anyone else who’s ever been, ever ...” (Rolling Stone, January 2000). While recording with engineers like " Geoff Emerick (the Beatles) at EMI’s London studios, the Millingtons learned the art of recording and producing.
When June left Fanny in 1974, Jean continued with the group for one more album, Rock ‘n Roll Survivors, which yielded the Top 40 hit “Butterboy.” At the same time June became key contributor to the early Women’s Music movement, playing on Cris Williamson’s The Changer and the Changed, the seminal album in the genre and touring with Cris behind the album’s release. Jean married David Bowie’s guitarist Earl Slick in 1978 (having sung on Bowie’s “Fame”) and raised two children. June went on to pursue a solo performing career and began producing. She and Jean began playing together again in 1984.
The third key member of this outfit is Jean’s son Lee Madeloni who picked up his first album credit when he was fourteen, playing drums on the song “Welcome (to the Real World)” on June and Jean's Melting Pot album. Madeloni is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and has recently released his debut recording project, " Everything on Fire". He has also engineered and produced several album projects. He’s the drummer throughout Play Like a Girl and will be touring with his mother and aunt.
In 1987, June co-founded the non-profit Institute for the Musical Arts with her partner Ann Hackler, as a means of nurturing a new generation of female musicians. The Millington sisters played at series of benefits to raise funds and in 2001 IMA bought a site outside of Northampton, MA a year later inaugurated the “Girl's Rock Camp” pilot program. Yurts were built, a bunkhouse installed and finally their state-of-the-art recording studios were completed. Studio designer John Storyck (Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland) and his wife contributed the designs of studios and control rooms. The studios play host to a Recording Camp each August headed by Grammy-award-winning engineers Leslie Ann Jones and Roma Baran. The Institute for the Musical Arts is now a fully functioning teaching, performing, and recording facility dedicated to supporting women and girls in music and music-related business.
Play Like a Girl is a direct result of experiences over 50 years since starting an all-girl band themselves - and helping other girls learn music today, mentoring, supporting, teaching, and helping them organize themselves in the world of music.