Award Winning Documentary “FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK” Gets Broadcast Premiere Starting May 22 ON PBS.
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)and PBS announced the May 22nd broadcast premiere and streaming launch for the critically-acclaimed documentary FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK. The film, directed by Bobbi Jo Hart and winner of the coveted Hot Docs Audience Choice Award, chronicles the life and revival of this groundbreaking all-female rock group in 1970s America, revealing the fascinating untold story of a phenomenal band that were dubbed the “female Beatles”. FANNY THE RIGHT TO ROCK will premiere on PBS nationally Monday, May 22,10 p.m. ET, and stream on PBS.org and the PBS App.
Sometime in the late 1960s, in sunny Sacramento, two Filipina American sisters got together with other teenage girls to play music. Little did they know their garage band would evolve into the groundbreaking rock group Fanny, the first all-women band to release an LP with a major record label (Warner/Reprise w/ Grammy winning producer Richard Perry). Yet, despite releasing five critically acclaimed albums over five years, touring with famed bands from SLADE to CHICAGO and amassing a dedicated fan base of music legends including David Bowie, Fanny's groundbreaking impact in music was written out of history…until now.
With incredible archival footage of the band's rocking past, intercut with its revival with a new rock record deal, the film includes interviews with a large cadre of music icons, including Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Bonnie Raitt, The Go-Go's Kathy Valentine, Todd Rundgren, The Runaways' Cherie Currie, Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian, The B-52s’ Kate Pierson, Charles Neville and David Bowie guitarist and bassist Earl Slick and Gail Ann Dorsey. Fighting early barriers of race, gender and sexuality in the music industry, and now ageism, the incredible women of Fanny are ready to claim their hallowed place in the halls of rock 'n' roll fame.
Dennis Harvey of VARIETY hailed the film in his review writing: “FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK remains thoroughly engaging thanks to the demonstrable talent and brassy forthrightness of its central personalities. There’s no whiff of “nostalgia act” to their current music — these women are born rock lifers who clearly never stopped evolving creatively, even if the hoped-for commercial rewards never quite arrived."
“I am honored to celebrate the untold story of Fanny’s vital – yet buried – contributions to Rock & Roll with the public,” says the award-winning director Bobbi Jo Hart. “Just like Sister Rosetta Tharpe inspired ELVIS, Fanny shattered the glass ceiling of the genre to lay crucial groundwork for future bands of women to succeed, from The Runaways to The Go Go’s, and continue to do so today. Fanny deserves nothing less than to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2024.”
Leading up to the May 22 PBS premiere, a series of special events with Fanny will be taking place in Los Angeles and across California. The highlight event will feature the reunion of Fanny bandmates at the famed Whisky A Go-Go nightclub on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles for a 50th Anniversary concert on May 17. Special guests will join bandmates June Millington, Jean Millington, Brie Darling, Alice de Buhr and Patti Quatro on stage for this special night.
The night before on May 16, the Grammy Museum will host an exclusive screening of the film in the Clive Davis Theater, followed by a Q/A discussion with filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart and Fanny bandmates.
The 50th anniversary concert at Whisky A Go-Go is made possible in part with support from AARP.
In the December 1999 Millennial issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, David Bowie hailed Fanny: “One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without trace: Fanny. They were one of the finest rock bands of their time... They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever.... Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.”
On May 22 through the film FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK, audiences will discover one of the most important rock groups you’ve never heard of and Fanny will be revivified!
FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK will premiere in May during Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, along with a new AMERICAN MASTERS film “Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV” premiering May 16, at 9 p.m. ET. Throughout May, PBS will also encore other great films that shine a light on AAPI experiences and filmmakers including RISING AGAINST ASIAN HATE, INDEPENDENT LENS "Free Chol Soo Lee”, INDEPENDENT LENS "Hidden Letters”, AMERICAN MASTERS "Waterman - Duke: Ambassador of Aloha”, AMERICAN MASTERS "Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir”, INDEPENDENT LENS "The Donut King" and additional titles streaming on PBS.org.