In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fantasy - Fantasy (1969-70 us, brilliant psychedelic rock with west coast aura and prog traces)

It was a time of peace signs, protests and tie-dye. It was 1967, the Summer of Love. Psychedelia was sweeping the globe and bands like the Vanilla Fudge, the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were on top of the world. Every major city had its own scene and in Miami the band on the rise was Fantasy.

Fantasy was formed in 1967 and was comprised of 5 teenagers, Billy Robbins (Lead Vocals). Bob Robbins (Bass). Jim DeMeo (Guitar), Mario Russo (Keyboards), and Greg Kimple (Drums). Fantasy started out playing at teen dances and graduated to performing at The Experience, a Miami underground hippie hangout. From 1967 through 1970 the band, led by its charismatic young singer Billy Robbins, was developing a following.

In 1968 The Experience closed its doors and morphed into Thee Image, a large converted bowling alley which featured the biggest artists of the day. Fantasy was chosen as the house band and every weekend they found themselves on the bill with the likes of Cream, Grateful Dead, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin to name a few. The bands regional popularity was soaring when tragedy struck. In the Summer of 1970, Fantasy's lead singer Billy Robbins disappeared.

Dates were postponed and then thirty days later, their worst fears were realized when Billy Robbins was found dead. Several months later the band began its search for a new singer, settling on a 16 year old female vocalist Jamene Miller. Where Billy Robbins was all charisma, Jamene was all talent. She got on board and the Fantasy train kept a rollin'. It was only a matter of months before the band signed a manager and hooked up with the Liberty/United Artists record label This album/CD, is the first and only true Fantasy album.

It is a pure and honest testimonial to its time. Unfortunately for Fantasy, egos, immaturity and questionable management fragmented the band. Where are they now? Fantasy lives on only in the music on this record.
by Greg Kimple

1.Happy - 5.24
2. Come - 6.11
3. Wages Of Sin - 3.37
4. Circus Of Invisible Men - 5.32
5. Stoned Cowboy - 5.55
6. Understand - 4.42
7. What's Next - 9.42
8. Painted Horse - 4.35
9. I Got The Fever - 2.07
10.Stoned Cowboy - 2.41
11.Understand - 3.20

*David Robert Robbins - Bass Guitar
*Lydia Jamene Miller - Lead Vocals
*Vincent James Demeo - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Mario Anthony Russo - Piano, Organ
*Gregory Scott Kimple - Drums

Free Text


Laurent said...

I have the original US LP press (Liberty Records LST-7643), and i'm surprised because i didn't knew that there was a CD reissue .
This is a fine prog rock record, which comprises the so beautiful Lydia Janene Miller which has also a fantastic voice, only 16 years old at that time. Thanks for sharing, Marios.

ARGS said...

Χίλια ευχαριστώ Μάριε, καταπληκτικός δίσκος!!

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Thx very much Marios! Too bad they didn't have any tracks with the original singer also (live or whatever). Would've been a nice addition given the positive comments about him.

lmelis said...

This is an excellent record and with 4 extra tracks vs the original. Thanks for sharing it Marios.

Ice said...

FANTASY was a Fantastic young band with fantastic Janenes voice.
I have Germany LP LBS 83 425 I.
This album is sincerely dedicated to all the young, positive thinking people of this small planet, without whom the evolution of mankind and the hopes of world peace would most certainly be brought to an abrupt, unfulfilled end.
Hvala, Marios

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Anonymous said...

thanks a lot !!!

Nazareth said...

Many thanks, Marios!

Remy said...

Thank-you Marios. I enjoyed this very much.
Apparently there was a related band named Year One with a single self-titled album in 1971.
There was a Repertoire reissue in 2008 that I have not yet been able to track down.

Anonymous said...

many..many...thx, Marios, this album EXCELLENT @tibor77

Anonymous said...

I am Jamene's niece. Would love to talk with someone who knew her. I had no idea she even made a record until today.

Laurent said...

@Shannon: unfortunately we knew it only by his fantastic voice on this great record.
Which she rest in peace.
go here, perhaps you will find more information

Greetings from France.

Janice said...

My brother Bobby and I worked at Pirates World on Sheridan St. in 1970. If you worked the day of the concerts, they let you in free. Imagine. I met Billy Robbins after the Fantasy show one Friday night. We went to the Janis Joplin concert June 1, 1970. My friend Kathy Koop introduced me to Janis. Backstage was behind a rope tied to fences. We watched the show from the side of the stage.
Fantasy was playing at Chaminade High School sometime after that. It was during that time I heard Billy was missing. I remember being very upset and Bobby Robbins was just trying to hold it together. Please if anyone knows anything more please post. Billy Robbins beautiful beautiful boy.

Marios said...


Ronnie M said...

WSHE Radio Station Online plays a lot of The Fantasy