|Who is it?||Soundtrack, Actress, Composer|
|Birth Day||June 03, 1950|
|Birth Place||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Age||70 YEARS OLD|
|Birth name||Susan Kay Quatro|
|Genres||Rock hard rock glam rock pop rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist record producer actress radio presenter|
|Instruments||Vocals bass guitar|
|Labels||Mercury Rak Arista EMI Int'l EMI BGO Disky Razor & Tie RSO AIP First Night CD Baby Cherry Red|
|Associated acts||The Pleasure Seekers Cradle Chris Norman|
Before I did what I did, we didn't have a place in rock 'n' roll. Not really. You had your Grace Slicks and all that, but that's not what I did. I was the first to be taken seriously as a female rock 'n' roll musician and singer. That hadn't been done before. I played the boys at their own game. For everybody that came afterward, it was a little bit easier, which is good. I'm proud of that. If I have a legacy, that's what it is. It's nothing I take lightly. It was gonna happen sooner or later. In 2014, I will have done my job 50 years. It was gonna be done by somebody, and I think it fell to me to do because I don't look at gender. I never have. It doesn't occur to me if a 6-foot-tall guy has pissed me off not to square up to him. That's just the way I am. If I wanted to play a bass solo, it never occurred to me that I couldn't. When I saw Elvis for the first time when I was 5, I decided I wanted to be him, and it didn't occur to me that he was a guy. That's why it had to fall to somebody like me.
On October 20, 2016, it was announced through Cambridge online news, that Quatro received an honorary doctorate in music, along with Dr. Feelgood's Wilko Johnson. Anglia Ruskin University presented the honorary music doctorates to Quatro and Johnson, In 2011, Quatro was inducted to the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.
Quatro received formal training in playing classical piano and percussion. She taught herself how to play the bass and guitar. Her father gave her a 1957 Fender Precision bass guitar in 1964, which she still possessed in 2007.
Philip Auslander says that "Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as Singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music". Though some women (like Quatro herself) played instruments in American all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they "did not provide viable templates for women's on-going participation in rock". When Quatro emerged in 1973, "no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, Songwriter, and bandleader". Auslander adds that in 2000 Quatro saw herself as "kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female musician ... and this is a point I am extremely concerned about ... could play as well if not better than the boys".
In 1964, after seeing a television performance by the Beatles, Quatro's older sister, Patti, had formed an all-female garage rock band called the Pleasure Seekers with two friends. Quatro joined too and assumed the stage name of Suzi Soul; Patti Quatro was known as Patti Pleasure. Suzi would sing and play bass in the band. The band also later featured another sister, Arlene. Many of their performances were in cabaret, where attention was (initially) focused more on their physical looks than their actual music. They sometimes had to wear miniskirts and hair wigs, which Quatro later considered to be necessary evils in the pursuit of success. However, they would become well-known fixtures in the burgeoning and exploding Detroit music community.
The Pleasure Seekers recorded three singles and released two of these: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" / "What a Way to Die" (1966) and "Light of Love" / "Good Kind of Hurt" (1968). The second of these was released by Mercury Records, with whom they briefly had a contract before breaking away due to differences of opinion regarding their Future direction. They changed their name to Cradle in late 1969, not long after another Quatro sister, Nancy, had joined the band and Arlene had left following the birth of her child.
In the 1970s, Quatro scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland. She reached no. 1 in the UK and other European countries and Australia with her singles "Can the Can" (1973) and "Devil Gate Drive" (1974). Following a recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on the popular American sitcom Happy Days, her duet "Stumblin' In" with Smokie's lead singer Chris Norman reached No. 4 in the US.
Quatro moved to England in 1971, after being spotted by the record Producer Mickie Most, who had by that time founded his own label, Rak Records. Most had been persuaded to see Cradle by Michael, the brother of the Quatro sisters who had assumed a managerial role for the band. In Common with many in the record industry at the time, Most was seeking a female rock singer who could fill the void that the death of Janis Joplin had created. According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, his attention to Quatro was drawn by "her comeliness and skills as bass Guitarist, singer and chief show-off in Cradle." She had also been attracting attention from Elektra Records and subsequently explained that "According to the Elektra President, I could become the new Janis Joplin. Mickie Most offered to take me to England and make me the first Suzi Quatro – I didn't want to be the new anybody." Most had no interest in the other band members and he had no idea at that time of how he might market Quatro. She spent a year living in a hotel while being nurtured by Most, developing her skills and maturing. Most later said that the outcome was a reflection of her own personality.
In 1972, Quatro embarked as a support act on a UK tour with Thin Lizzy and headliners Slade. Rak arranged for her to use Thin Lizzy's newly acquired PA system during this, incurring a charge of £300 per week that enabled the Irish band to effectively purchase it at no cost to themselves. In May 1973, her second single "Can the Can" (1973) – which Philip Auslander describes as having "seemingly nonsensical and virtually unintelligible lyrics" – was a No. 1 hit in parts of Europe and in Australia.
By October 1973, she had featured as a centerfold for Penthouse. Unusually for that role, she was fully clothed, although the feature did include risqué anecdotal captions. Frith noted that while any publicity was a bonus, "Tit-talent spotters don't buy many singles and record buyers aren't yet that frustrated."
In August 1974, Simon Frith spotted a Problem with the formula that was working outside the US, saying that
With the exception of Australia, her chart success faltered thereafter, as proven with her 1975 hit "Your Mamma Won't Like Me", which proved to be a moderate success in the UK. Further singles "I Bit off More I Could Chew" and "I May Be Too Young", both failed to reach the UK Top 50. Quatro recorded an album in 1976 and released a new single in 1977 called "Tear Me Apart" which reached the UK Top 30, her first hit to have done so in three years. It would take another year for another big hit, this time with a change to a more mellow style giving Quatro a 1978 single "If You Can't Give Me Love" that became a hit there and in the United Kingdom. Later that year, "Stumblin' In", a duet with Chris Norman of the band Smokie, reached No. 4 in the US Both tracks were featured on the If You Knew Suzi... album. A year later, Quatro released Suzi ... and Other Four Letter Words, but none of her other work had much US success. This featured the hits "She's in Love with You", which made No. 11 in Britain, "Mama's Boy" (number 34), and "I've Never Been in Love" (number 56).
Quatro married her long-time Guitarist, Len Tuckey, in 1976. They had two children together (Laura in 1982 and Richard Leonard in 1984) and divorced in 1992. Before 1993, Quatro lived with her two children in a manor house in Essex that she and Tuckey bought in 1980.
In 1980, after Quatro's contract with Mickie Most had expired, she signed with Chapman's Dreamland Records.
In that same year, she released the album Rock Hard; both the album and title single went platinum in Australia. "Rock Hard" was also used in the cult film Times Square and appeared on the Soundtrack album. The single reached No. 11 in Australia, but only 68 in the U.K. due to distribution problems. It was clear at this point that the hit single career was beginning to wane. However, a second single from the Rock Hard album released in February 1981 titled Lipstick but radio refused to play it as they claimed it sounded too much like Gloria by Van Morrison. Back in 1980, Suzi Quatro's Greatest Hits was released which peaked at No. 4 in the U.K. charts, becoming her highest-charting album there.
Other acting roles include a 1982 episode of the British comedy-drama series Minder (called "Dead Men Do Tell Tales") as Nancy, the singer girlfriend of Terry (Dennis Waterman). In 1985, she starred as a mentally disturbed ex-MI5 operative in Dempsey and Makepeace – "Love you to Death". In 1994, she made a cameo appearance as a nurse in the "Hospital" episode of the comedy Absolutely Fabulous. She also was filmed in the 1990 Clive Barker horror film Nightbreed, but the studio cut out her character. In 2006, Quatro performed the voice of Rio in the Bob the Builder film Built to Be Wild, and appeared in an episode of the second season of Rock School, in Lowestoft. She has also appeared in the episode "The Axeman Cometh" of Midsomer Murders in the role of Mimi Clifton.
Quatro has also performed in theatre. In 1986, she appeared as Annie Oakley in a London production of Annie Get Your Gun and in 1991 she performed the title role in a musical about the life of Actress Tallulah Bankhead. Titled Tallulah Who?, this musical was co-written by her and Shirlie Roden, adapted from a book by Willie Rushton. It ran from February 14 to March 9 at Hornchurch, England, where it was billed as "You'll be amazed how Tallulah did it, and to whom – and how often!" The show received favourable reviews from the majority of critics.
Mid-1990s American indie rock band Tuscadero was named after Quatro's Happy Days character Leather Tuscadero, and their song "Leather Idol", from their 1994 album The Pink Album, was an ode to both Quatro and her TV character.
She married German concert promoter Rainer Haas in 1993. In 2006, her daughter and grandchild moved into the manor house again. Towards the end of 2008, Quatro's children moved out of the house and she temporarily put it up for sale, stating that she had empty nest syndrome. Quatro continues to live in Essex.
Around 2005, a documentary chronicling Quatro's life, Naked Under Leather, named after a 1975 bootleg album recorded in Japan, directed by a former member of the Runaways, Victory Tischler-Blue, was made, but this has never been released. In February 2006, Quatro released Back to the Drive, produced by Sweet Guitarist Andy Scott. The album's title track was written by her former collaborator, Chapman. In March 2007, Quatro released a cover version of the Eagles song "Desperado", followed by the publication of her autobiography, Unzipped. By this time, Quatro had sold 50 million records.
A Spanish rock band called Suzy & los Quattro released two studio albums on the label No Tomorrow in 2006 and 2008; in the tradition of Ramones and the Donnas, all of the band members except for Suzy Chain listed their last name as Quattro.
On the cover of Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall's 2007 album Drastic Fantastic, Tunstall is dressed like Quatro, as a deliberate homage.
In his 2008 paper Suzi Quatro: A prototype in the archsheology [sic] of rock, Frank Oglesbee writes that "The rebellion of rock music was largely a male rebellion; the women—often, in the 1950s and '60s, girls in their teens—in rock usually sang songs as personæ utterly dependent on their macho boyfriends ...". He describes Quatro as "... a female rock pioneer, in some ways the female rock pioneer, ... a cornerstone in the archsheology of rock." He said she grew up to become "the first female lead singer and Bassist, an electric ax-woman, who sang and played as freely as the males, inspiring other females."
In April 2009, BBC TV selected Quatro as one of twelve Queens of British Pop.
On June 11, 2010, she headlined the 'Girls Night Out' at the Isle of Wight Festival. Quatro was also inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010, following an on-line vote.
In August 2011, Quatro released her fifteenth studio album, In the Spotlight (and its single, "Spotlight"). This album is a mixture of new songs written by Mike Chapman and by herself, along with some cover versions. A second single from the album, "Whatever Love Is", was subsequently released. On November 16, 2011, a music video (by Tischler-Blue) for the track "Strict Machine" was released onto the Suzi Quatro Official YouTube channel. The track is a cover of Goldfrapp's "Strict Machine", but Quatro's version contains two lines from "Can the Can", referencing the similarity of the tunes for the two songs.
In a 2012 interview, Quatro was asked what she thought she had achieved for female rockers in general. She replied:
On October 24, 2013, Quatro received the Woman of Valor Award from the organisation Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women (MEOW) for her role inspiring and influencing generations of female Musicians. The award was bestowed by Kathy Valentine (formerly of The Go-Go's) at a dinner in her honour in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Renaissance Hotel. Quatro performed five songs with a local band that included her sister Patti and Tony Scalzo of the band Fastball on "Stumblin In".
Awarded honorary doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK on 19 October 2016.