Fancy Rosy – Punksploitation anyone?

It is intriguing when a supposed punkgirl is impossible to trace. Imagine not being able to find out anything about Poly Styrene. Thankfully, there’s wikipedia, interviews, live footage and many songs to piece together who Poly Styrene was, and how she fitted into punk rock.

Today’s untraceable character – ‘Fancy Rosy’ is accused of being an example of punksploitation; someone who jumped on the punk bandwagon half-heartedly because it was an emerging trend. We know not whether the motive came from FR herself, or some manager/promotions person, but you can imagine the sort of conversation that led to Fancy Rosy’s punk transition.

Prior to her punk single, Fancy Rosy was a member of Pretty Maid Company – a German band with all the sophistication and naughty moves needed for women to make it in the mid-1970s. Check out the amateur dancing in their version of Glenn Miller’s  In The Mood.

Fancy Rosy was also the model in an immensely popular 1970s student poster ‘Toilet Terror’. Rather than post a copy here, I’ll describe it:

A young, thin black girl with Afro hair looks shocked because a hairy gorilla-arm has come out of the toilet and is pulling her panties down. 

Over 3 million copies of this poster were sold.

However, in 1977, someone decided to please two separate audiences by having Fancy Rosy release a 7″ single that was a disco song on one side, and a punk song on the other.



The question is, did ‘Fancy Rosy’ exploit punk, or did the industry exploit her? As a Puerto Rican-born girl, Fancy Rosy was one of only a very small number of girl punks of colour who released records in the later ’70s and as such, she’s an important figure. We wish we could get in touch with her and find out the true story …. watch this space!


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