Fanny Adams (band)

Fanny Adams was a briefly existing progressive rock super-group formed by ex-pat Australians and New Zealanders in mid-1970.[1] The quartet comprised Johnny Dick on drums (ex-Max Merritt and the Meteors, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Doug Parkinson in Focus), Vince Melouney on guitar (ex-Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Vince Maloney Sect, Bee Gees), Doug Parkinson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar (ex-Questions, In Focus) and Teddy Toi on bass guitar (ex-Max Merritt and the Meteors, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Little Sammy and the In People).[1][2] They relocated to Australia in December and broke up there after a few months. Their debut eponymous album appeared in June 1971, which Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described as "adventurous, heavy, progressive blues-rock... Melouney's crunching, multi-layered Jimmy Page-styled guitar riffs kept the whole thing together."[1]

Fanny Adams
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
GenresProgressive rock
Years active1970 (1970)–1971 (1971)
Associated actsBilly Thorpe and the Aztecs, Wild Cherries
Past members
  • Johnny Dick
  • Vince Melouney
  • Doug Parkinson
  • Teddy Toi


Fanny Adams' founder, Vince Melouney had left the Bee Gees when in London, after three-and-a-half years as their guitarist, in 1968.[1] He secured a solo album deal with MCA Records in mid-1970 and wished to form a group to play material similar to Led Zeppelin.[2] He contacted his former Aztec band mate, Toi: the ex-pat New Zealander was in London doing session work.[2] Then he asked Dick and Parkinson to relocate from Melbourne; both had been members of Doug Parkinson in Focus, which had won the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds in 1969.[1][2] Fanny Adams recorded material for their eponymous debut album.[1][2] It was produced by Melouney with all the tracks co-written by the quartet.[1][2]

The group relocated to Australia in December 1970; upon arrival Parkinson told national pop music newspaper, Go-Set, that "[we] will be the best band that ever trod this earth."[2] They performed at the Wallacia and Myponga Pop Festivals in January.[1][2] They issued Fanny Adams in June that year on MCA Records.[1] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt they had "cut an album of adventurous, heavy, progressive blues-rock. There were a couple of ponderous, over-long tracks (like the 10-minute 'In a Room'), but Melouney's crunching, multi-layered Jimmy Page-styled guitar riffs kept the whole thing together."[1] David Nichols opined that they "played heavy, bluesy, progressive rock, and its members were instantly filled with a sense of their own perfection."[3] The album had provided a single, "Got to Get a Message to You", earlier in that year.[2]

However Fanny Adams had disbanded ahead of the album due to "ill-advised boasts of their imminent success... internal dissent and high audience expectations" and had followed a fire at a Sydney discotheque, Caesar's Palace, which destroyed the band's equipment.[1][3] According to McFarlane, "The story of Fanny Adams encapsulates one of the great disasters of Australian rock music. What sounded like a brilliant idea in theory turned out to be an ill-fated and short-lived affair for all concerned."[1] Parkinson left to form another line-up of In Focus in February 1971.[1] He is cited by Nichols regarding Fanny Adams: "we got into the studio and the truth came out. In my opinion Vince just couldn't play. Personal hang-ups... It was all done for Vince's production company... There was no musical freedom. Bad vibes all the way along."[3] Melouney disputed Parkinson's assertions about his playing but felt the album was "really shithouse".[3] He was a member of a succession of groups during the 1970s.[1] In July 1971 both Dick and Toi worked for Lobby Loyde and all three were members of a reformed Wild Cherries.[1]


  • Johnny Dick – drums, percussion (1970–71)
  • Vince Melouney – lead guitar, vocals (1970–71)
  • Doug Parkinson – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1970–71)
  • Teddy Toi – bass guitar (1970–71)




  • "Got to Get a Message to You" (early 1971)


  1. McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Fanny Adams'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004.
  2. Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Fanny Adams". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 24 June 2003. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  3. Nichols, David (2016). "The Early to Mid Seventies: It's a Flash!". Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music, 1960-85. Verse Chorus Press. pp. 205–7. ISBN 978-1-89124-161-1. Retrieved 18 December 2016 via Google Books.
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