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Suzi Quatro, Leather Forever
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Suzi Quatro, 2006 release Back To The Drive
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Suzi Quatro

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Back to The Drive

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Suzi Quatro - A Legend

Suzi started out her life in a small suburb of Detroit called Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the 2nd youngest of 3 sisters, and one brother. Her parents were Helen And Art. Her father Art had a band called The Art Quatro Trio. When Suzi was 8 she made her musical debut in her father's band. She was also trained on classical piano but at the young age of 14 turned to Rock And Roll, and began playing in bands. Suzi was the rebel and tomboy of her family and gave herself the nick name of  "Suzi Soul

Through out the 60's she played bass in her sisters bands "The Pleasure Seekers" later known as " Cradle" they playing small clubs all over the USA. " The Pleasure Seekers" had a little fame while releasing a few singles in the late 60's. Then in 1967 they went on to entertain the troops in Vietnam. It should be noted another Detroit native Suzi worked with was Alice Cooper.

Suzi was discovered in 1971 while playing with the band "Cradle " British record producer Mikie Most was in Detroit doing some work with Jeff Beck. And while "Cradle" was slowly falling apart Mikie asked Suzi to come to England. In 1971 Suzi arrived in England with a suitcase in one hand and her bass guitar in the other. She spent 2 years songwriting and recording. Her first song "Rolling Stone" flopped everywhere except in Portugal, where it shot to to the top of the charts.

In 1972 Suzi put her band together and was ready to head out on tour. Mikie had signed two songwriters to his record label "RAK" the two writers were the famous Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. In 1973 the duo came up with Suzi's first smash hit "Can The Can " which put Suzi at number 1 on the U.K, Japanese, European, and Australian charts. In 1974 Suzi did her first tour of Australia and she was greetedby the "Hells Angels" at the airport, they escorted her to her Melbourne Hotel.

Suzi was now coming into her own as "The Leather Clad Rocker" with hits like 48 Crash, Daytona Demon, The Wild One , and her signature song "Devil Gate Drive" While her parents watched her first performance on "Top Of The Pops." They couldn't believe it was their 5 ft. tall daughter was all dressed in leather being backed by an all male band cranking out "Can the Can." Suzi even covered a song by the late great Elvis Presley who was an idol of Suzi's at the time. She covered Presley's hit "All Shook Up " and when Elvis heard Suzi's version he invited her to Graceland. But for reasons of unknown origin she declined.

In 1977 Suzi was offered an acting roll on the series "Happy Days" She interupted her tour of Japan to audition for the role. The producers liked her so much that she became "The Leather Clad Rocker" known as "Leather Tuscadero." Than in 1978 Suzi and guitar player Len Tuckey were married in England. They repeated the ceremony in Japan at the same time "The Runaways," influenced by Suzi, were touring Japan.

Through the late 70's and early 80's Suzi's music began to mature and grow. She had songs like "She's In Love With You" Mama's Boy" and a song written by one of LA's local bands "The Heaters." Finally after so much hard work and determination Suzi's first smash hit in the USA exploded on the charts,"Stumblin in' " went all the way to number 1.

Unfortunately by the early 80's Suzi's RAK years were over. But Suzi's acting ability was beginning to be recognized. It was put to use in the U.K. with guest appearances on local U.K. t.v. shows. In 1982 Suzi recorded her album "Main Attraction" being pregnant at the time this was very influential to her music. Andrew Lloyd Weber also offered Suzi a part in the stage musical "Annie Get Your Gun" The two had discussed this project several years earlier.

In 1986 "Annie Get Your Gun" finally materializes and the show moves to London's West End Theatre District. Still managing to tour and work on several different projects Suzi's recording career was put on hold. She did however manage to tour Russia in 1989 which was an incredible experience for her and her family.

Through the ninties Suzi experienced a number of personal losses, she was divorced and lost her mother and several other close family members. For Suzi this difficult time also marked a shift in the way she approached her music and so began a new era of growth for the leather clad rocker. She also spent a significant amount of time in front of the camera and in the late ninties kicked off her popular radio show, Rockin' with Suzi Q. (BBC) Than in 2004 "Sacred Dogs Entertaiment" released a DVD about Suzi called "Suzi Quatro: "Leather Forever" "The Wild One Live" This dvd shows Suzi Rockin' in the Millenium as good as she did in the 70's.

Today Suzi is still busy with multiple projects, including promoting her first studio album in almost fifteen years, the 2006 release of "Back to The Drive." In August 2007, Suzi’s autobiography titled “Unzipped,” published by Hodder & Stoughton, became available in hard back. In 2008, "Naked Under Leather," a documentary/movie on Suzi's life and amazing career will be available on DVD.

© The Cover Zone Feb 2005, revised October 2007.

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