A Message from Nickey

Godmothers of Chick Rock

Yes, it’s me. The mouthy one. The ‘difficult’ one. The one who’s been asked to contribute a few words to a dedicated Nickey page. See, I’m getting cooperative in my old age 😛

As usual, I’m not here to play nice, or to make false promises, or to be evasive – no surprise there! But Godmothers of Chick Rock is the only official Fanny site, the only one that guarantees to deliver the facts straight from the original four band members’ mouths, so it’s only fitting that the truth about what became of Nickey Barclay gets told here – by Nickey Barclay.

No, I won’t be reuniting with the other members of Fanny, now or ever.  I’ve moved on. I was always a very private person beneath the vivacious and often raunchy public persona, and that hasn’t changed; I’ve been well-nigh impossible to find for the better part of 25 years now, and flat-out unfindable for over fifteen of those. And that’s the way I want it. As Nickey, I did the job I came to do, and left when it was done. I left the front-line recording industry altogether at the end of the ’70s and spent the next twenty years gigging at ‘street level’ under the name I was born with (which has no connection to Nickey or the identity behind her), composing music for European television under various aliases, and mentoring several promising young musicians on a one-to-one basis.

I’m none of the following: dead (well duh), in jail, homeless, or on drugs 🙂 …and Time has been unreasonably kind to me. However, I pretty much stopped gigging after the turn of the century, due to a long-running chronic immune system disorder; that’s another reason why I won’t be joining any possible future Fanny reunions.

None of this changes the fact that I am and always will be proud of what we achieved in our history as a major label recording act. And you may as well know this, too: I was a prime mover behind the creation of this website. I suggested it last year to Byron, GoCR webmaster and Designated Keeper of the Flame, and I came up with the name Godmothers of Chick Rock; and he ran with it, digging into his own pocket to buy the domain name and create the site for sheer love of Fanny and our legacy. Alice has been there all the way, with both inspirational and real support, and has made those lovely GET BEHIND FANNY t-shirts possible. The three of us do most of the hands-on work, as it were – June and Jean are on board with us, of course, but the IMA (which I completely believe in and applaud, by the way) and other commitments mean that they’ve not yet had a chance to contribute to GoCR. I do hope they will in future, because it’s good and right that all four of us be heard from here.

A few years ago, the four of us were interviewed individually by journalist Nicole Blizzard for Technodyke online magazine. There’s a story behind that, and it goes like this: Nickey Barclay almost didn’t get interviewed at all, because no one had any idea how to find me. And in fact, I found them, by sheerest accident; a friend of mine had made a comment about ego-surfing, and in a fit of random curiosity I Googled “Nickey Barclay” – I’d been online for years, but the thought of looking up that old, long-abandoned identity simply never occurred to me – and was astonished to find pages and pages of results. Intrigued, I went for a look-see at various sites (Metal Maidens and such) and was appalled at how much incorrect or plain spurious information there was out there about Fanny… and then I came upon one interesting, intelligent fan site… yes, it was Byron’s. So I emailed him to thank him for getting it right. And he replied, telling me that Rhino Records and the other three Fanny members had been trying to find me! And the rest is history…

…but back to that interview. It came as a shock to the system for me, because I really hadn’t thought about Fanny for many, many years (apart from a bizarre and disappointing incident in London at the start of the ’90s, when Brie tracked me down and we met up briefly…urgh). And because I saw the interview as an unexpected chance to set the record straight about how it was for me as a core member of Fanny all those years ago, I held nothing back. The trouble with unvarnished truth, though, is that it can play merry hell with the rose-tinted view of fans, and I’ve discovered since that a number of fans were upset to discover – through my honest replies to Nicole’s questions – that Fanny wasn’t the big happy family we seemed to be on stage. But. But. All that proves is that 1) we were human, and 2) we were very, very good at what we did. What we showed on stage WAS NOT FAKERY. Passion like that CANNOT be faked, and all four of us gave everything we had to our audiences and played to the best of our ability, every time, in every town, on every stage. So June and I never got along? That doesn’t matter. What does matter – the truer truth, if you will – is that our music got along, and what you all saw – the smiles, the laughter, the grinning asides – was a part of it, and therefore was the real thing.

So. No reunions, no apologies, but here I am and I’ll continue to contribute to the site. And I hope Fanny’s music lives on forever…

— The Artist Formerly Known as Nickey