Honoring women’s rock ‘n roll pioneer June Millington in music and words

June Millington (l) in 1969, at Fanny Hill, and 2010 (r).

June Millington (l) in 1969, at Fanny Hill, and 2010 (r).

Women in rock are joining together on February 21st for an extraordinary afternoon of performances as as they pay tribute to music pioneer. June Millington’s life is celebrated and honored as a Filipina immigrant, rock ‘n roll pioneer, catalyst in the women’s music movement, impassioned educator and godmother to the next generation of women in the music business.

Beginning with her childhood in Manila, the retrospective weaves narrative, video, photos and performances into a rich musical tapestry that will take you on a journey through June’s life, culminating in a rare performance by members of Fanny. The evening will conclude with a tribute by students and alumni from the Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA), a non profit teaching organization co-founded by June and her partner, Ann Hackler.

June Millington and her partner, Ann Hackler

June Millington and her sister Jean

The lineup is almost overwhelming, and features an incredible array of performers including Holly Near, Jill Sobule, Toshi Reagon, Gail Ann Dorsey, Christine Ohlman and Sonya Kitchell. Attendees can look forward to live appearances by members of Fanny along with virtual appearances by the legendary Bonnie Raitt, Earl Slick and Cris Williamson.

The lifetime tribute comes on the heels June’s biography ‘Land of a Thousand Bridges’, published earlier this year along with articles in Pitchfork, NPR and a BBC short – all of which underscore the historical importance of June’s career while identifying gender discrimination as having kept Fanny from being more widely recognized.

June co-founded IMA in 1986 with her partner, Ann Hackler, in Bodega, California’s historic Old Creamery. In 2001 they moved the institute to a sprawling 200-year-old farm in Goshen, Massachusetts, where the largest barn was expanded and converted into a performance space, teaching facility and world-class recording studio. As illustrated in this brief documentary video, IMA has nurtured and ignited the creative talents of numerous young women including Sonya Kitchell, Naia Kete and Kristen Ford.

One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace, and that is Fanny. They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers, they were just colossal and wonderful, and nobody’s ever mentioned them. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever – it just wasn’t their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.” ~ David Bowie (Rolling Stone interview, 1999)

The tribute is co-presented by Laudable Productions and the Northampton Arts Council as part of ‘Four Sundays in February’, an annual series that highlights the vibrant arts community in Western Massachusetts. Smith College is a sponsor as are a host of other Pioneer Valley companies and organizations. Proceeds from the series help fund the Arts Council Grant Programs, which directly assist the creative efforts of local artists, schools, and cultural organizations.

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Ticket and Venue Details

When: Sunday, February 21st – 3:00 PM Showtime, Doors Open at 2:30 PM
Where: Academy of Music Theatre – Google Maps Link
How Much:
ADVANCE: $15 General Admission, $25 Premium Reserved Seating, $35 VIP Reserved Seating
DAY AT DOOR: $17 General, $27 Premium Reserved Seating, $37 VIP Reserved Seating
Ticket Outlets: Academy of Music Theatre Box Office, State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, A.J. Hastings in Amherst

Exhibition: Play Like a Girl!

Step into our time machine and journey back to the formative years of Rock ‘N Roll, where you can walk in the shoes of musical icon June Millington. The exhibition follows the arc of June’s remarkable career from the early days of Fanny, the first all female rock band to release an album on a major label, up through her current work empowering young musicians at the The Institute for the Musical Arts.

Visitors will have a chance to join the band: play guitar through a vintage amp, spin vinyl on the turntable, turn on a PA that Fanny purchased from the Doors and travel back in time with June as she recounts her adventures through interactive audio and video installations. The Exhibition runs from February 12th through February 28th, open daily from noon to 6PM with extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights until 9PM and is located at 177 Main Street in downtown Northampton, formerly the Hempest storefront.

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