I bought a buncha records last Saturday morning from independent record outlets, but I was concerned that with it being Independent Record Store Losers Day or whatever, that my purchases would be construed as a political action in support of the survival of independent record stores. So after lunch I hot-footed it to good ol' Tesco Metro where I bought the entire Motown Chartbusters series on CD for £2, downloaded Can's back cat illegally on my Blackberry and then got the train to London and burnt down Rough Trade just to be sure that nobody got the wrong idea. The best thing I bought on Saturday was Suzi Quatro's 'Greatest Hits'. I've been a casual Suzi Q fan fer years, dug 'Can The Can' and 'Devil Gate Drive' as a kid, thought she was pretty hot in Happy Days, and this sleeve was just too good to refuse. Suzi was Class A Cool. Here's for why.
Top 5 Reasons Why Suzi Quatro Is Really Really Cool
.1. Her Dad was resident organist for the Detroit Red Wings. Coolest. Job. Ever.
.2. Her first band was all-girl garage outfit The Pleasure Seekers, who churned out typically trashy Detroit girl-pop records with names like 'Never Thought You'd Leave Me' and 'What A Way To Die' during the mid 60s. The songs are OK, but I bet they were an absolute blast live. The band featured four Quatro sisters at one point, Suzi played bass, and they looked like this, ie: Girls Aloud From Outer Space.
.3. In 1969 The Pleasure Seekers sound was gettin' sorta played out, so they changed thei name to Cradle and went Heavy Rock. Their sound has to be heard to be believed; something like Tina Turner fronting Black Sabbath, a ton of Deetroit funk-rock riffs 'n' breaks, a garage-rock Power Of Zeus. I mean, really, really awesome. I can't even find out if they ever put out an LP. You can hear 'Living Machine' and 'Last Laugh', which I've been playing non-stop for the past 48 hours, here. And they looked like this:
.4. Suzi has one of the all-time great rock voices. She's double-live gonzo, intensity in ten cities, live at Budakon. I mean, she really wails. And screams. And screeches. Check out her run of mid 70s solo hits. Biker-booted mondo-stompo rock and roll killers across the board, real bad-ass chick raunch, pop in the best possible way. 'Can The Can', 'Devil Gate Drive' and 'The Wild One' are songs any contemporary UK glam rock band woulda sold their silver spandex for. And when she cut 'em, she looked like this:
.5. She played biker-chick-with-a-heart Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days. This might be the coolest thing of all. Suzi was so cool in this role that she inspired both the name of a Weezerish mid-90s slacker-pop band (Tuscadero, who put out a great LP called 'The Pink Album' ), and a whole psychological disorder listed at urbandictionary.com, 'The Leather Tuscadero Fetish': "noun: feelings of a man toward a woman who is very knowledgeable about cars and wears black leather." She appeared in seven episodes between 1977 and 1979, and when she did, she looked like this: