Toronto Hot Docs 2021: “Fanny: The Right to Rock”

Being honest with you as I must I watch several past prime female rockers in their late sixties recording what you might want to call a “comeback album”. I think in many cases The Beatles had it right and that is bow out in your prime. Those of you who have recently see the Rolling Stones or The Who you note they are parodies of their past. No creativity or new music. They are in it to embarrass themselves and rake in the cash.

This is the impression I had with a bunch of granny rockers in the band Fanny that start the film recording a “comeback album”. Perhaps I am right on it my observations as I am a rocker in their 1970-75 niche. Perhaps I am still right. They should have packed it in when they folded in 1975.However in the comeback album “Fanny Walked the Earth” there is original material.

But forget the present and enjoy the rich delve into their history as the first recorded girl rock band. Filipina and one member a gay in that 70’s period. They were ahead of their time long before the Go-Go’s or the Bangles.

Heavily praised in the media but seen as a “female” band in a macho male rock world they made it ito # 29 in Billboard with “Butter Boy” in 1975. They partied with the elite of rock n roll at the time smoking hash with Jagger then heroin with him.

They never crashed into stardom and was it because they were “women of colour”? On the cusp of “Butter Boy” they disbanded. Exhausting road schedules and money that disappeared with their management.

A history of discrimination on sexism and racism. Yet praised by rock n rollers and rock journalists and particularly loved in the UK. Admired by many prominent musicians including David Bowie their comeback album is speared by a stroke of one of their members but they regroup for a performance hoping that their stroke bound member recovers so they can go on the road again.

A great trip back into mid seventies rock studded by tributes of American and British rockers and journalists.

Is rock n roll a young person’s realm or is their room for seniors? Your choice.

Whatever your opinion a nostalgic romp in the hay for 70’s American rock.

Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart and will be a world premiere at Toronto Hot Docs 2021 film festival.

Available to stream April 29th-May 9th in Canada only. See

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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