Wednesday, October 30, 2013

40 Year Itch : Birth of a Glam Queen

She hasn't owned a dress in years
-Offical Suzi Quatro Bio

    In 1973 Detroit native Suzi Quatrocchio became a household name in the UK--as Suzi Quatro --thanks to a string of huge hits written by the songwriting powerhouses Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. "Can the Can", a two-million seller topped the UK charts in June of 1973. "48 Crash" peaked at #3 in the UK consolidating her position as a big new--if somewhat androgynous, bass playing--star. ( She was quoted in a German magazine saying "Before long, I'll be a guy").  Next came "Daytona Demon" which stalled at #14.

The 1973 debut album Can the Can is a bit of a chore to get through. Chinn-Chapman found a sound for Quatro and they never let up on it . So expect a lot of pounding drums and guitars and a lot of high pitched yowling from Suzi.

   In 1974 Suzi tried to repeat her UK /Australian fame by touring the US where she opened for Alice Cooper. She achieved a few minor US hits with "Can the Can" and "All Shook Up" ( which led to Elvis inviting Suzi to Graceland. She declined.)

Unfortunately, while courting the US, Suzi lost her UK fans. She'd gain fame again as Leather Tuscadero on the hit TV show Happy Days and with her 1979 #4 hit "Stumblin In", recorded as a duet with Chris Norman of Smokie.

   Though a footnote in the history of US rock and roll, Suzi inspired a host of female rockers, most notably Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, The Runaways, L7, The Donnas ...and the list goes on.

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