With the buzz all, well, abuzz over the upcoming biopic about The Runaways, I felt like sending a little love to one of the original hard-rockin’ chicks, Suzi Quatro. Now, don’t get all snobby on me and ask, “What about Grace? What about Janis?” Fair question. Yes, they rocked, but they didn’t play guitars or thrust themselves out there like any big time male rock and roll guitar god. It’s one thing to be the lead singer, but to play like a guy and own the stage like a guy is a different thing. Suzi picked up her guitar and played it hard, just like the guys did.
Suzi dipped her toe into the rock wading pool in Europe in the early 70’s, chocking up a couple of hits in Europe and Australia , including Can The Can and 48 Crash, both in 1973. In 1978, she finally attained a modicum of success in her own country, in the form of a duet with Chris Norman, Stumblin’ In. That song crawled up to #4, but the disappointing thing was that it was a mid-tempo song and really didn’t showcase her talent as a guitarist. She also got some notice by appearing as Leather Tuscadero, delinquent sister of Pinky Tuscadero, in seven episodes of the classic TV show, Happy Days. Sure, it was a bit lame, as guest appearances often were back in the late 70’s (heck, that’s one thing TV still gets wrong sometimes!)
Suzi’s career never really caught fire here in the states, and she settled down an English manor with her bandmate, Len Tuckey, and had kids, but still kept working in TV and appearing live.
Hats off to Suzi, for paving the way for rock chicks like The Runaways.
UPDATE: Her song, The Wild One, is included in The Runaways soundtrack! COOL!