Head Of The Q
The catsuit. The big attitude. The glam rock tunes. The rockabilly radio show. Joel McIver meets a revived SUZI QUATRO.
Seventies glam rock, eh? What a ridiculous sight it was, with Bolan doing his pouty thing, Bowie’s radioactive mullet, The Sweet and Slade and the rest of them camping it up under a mountain of glitter and platform heels. Not to mention the men in leotards. It sounded good, though, and for years, no teenager’s bedroom wall was complete without a poster of thee blokes who should have known better.
Much easier on the eye was Suzi Quatro, a diminutive waif-like creature with bubblegum tunes that sold in droves, a catsuit that left many younger chaps feeling ‘confused’ and a bass that always seemed way too big for her. Scooped up in 1970 from the Detroit club circuit by ‘pop producer and Svengali’™ Mickie Most, on a night off from recording Jeff Beck at Motown (Beck apparently said, ‘Forget those other chicks – look at that bass player!’), Quatro moved to the UK and launched a formidable solo career with a single, Can The Can.
Assisted by the songwriting team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, who had composed songs for The Sweet and other pop fops of the day, Quatro had scored 10 hit singles before the 70s were out, and become a pioneering brand in the UK. Although her home country almost entirely ignored her for most of the decade, a long-running stint as Leather Tuscadero in the chirpy 50s homage Happy …
by Joel McIver
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- ALBUM REVIEW: If You Knew Suzi/Suzi & Other Four Letter Words by Suzi Quatro
- ALBUM REVIEW: In The Spotlight by Suzi Quatro
- BOOK REVIEW: Unzipped by Suzi Quatro
- ARTICLE: YES CAN