After her humble origins performing rock and roll alongside her sisters starting in the late 1960s. Bassist Suzi Quatro reaches solo success in the 1970s, with such hits as “Can the Can” and “Stumblin’ In”. Suzi is known as one of the first female rock stars, and stays at it at the age of 71! One of Suzi’s big moments in her career is when she guest-stares in the sitcom Happy Days. Performing a couple of songs from her rock and roll idol, Elvis Presley. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at what happened to Suzi Quatro after Happy Days. See her today at the age of 71!
Suzi Quatro broke out into the music scene as a solo artist in the early 1970s. The year was 1973, and Suzi was preparing to release her first big solo single, titled “Can the Can”. The record label wants Suzi’s image to be more modern, but Suzi’s passion is old-fashioned rock and roll. At Suzi’s insistence, she wears a leather get-up while promoting her lead single, the same as Elvis Presley. Suzi also took inspiration from Jane Fonda’s appearance in the film Barbarella.
For her rock star image, Suzi Quatro is one of the very first female rock stars. Her debut single was a massive success, reaching the top of the charts. She has released numerous other successful singles early on, such as “Devil Gate Drive”, “48 Crash” and “Stumblin’ In”. Her success makes it easier to become famous on Top of the Pops, where she reaches an audience via television.
As one of the first female rock stars, Suzi Quatro helps for such subsequent luminaries as Joan Jett. In fact, Joan Jett has credited seeing Suzi in concert with inspiring her to become a rock star herself. According to Suzi, she never intended to become a groundbreaking figure in the music industry, it just kind of happened!
Suzi Quatro was only 14 years old when she first began performing rock and roll music. Her inspiration to perform rock and roll music is when her siblings watch the Beatles playing on television. The girls’ father had been a professional musician, with him having played in several jazz bands around the Detroit area. This meant that there were plenty of instruments around the house for the girls to fool around with. When it’s time for them to perform, Suzi’s task is a bassist, a position that her older sister gives her.
Suzi and her sisters form a rock band that they dubbed “the Pleasure Seekers”. With their unique rock-star appeal, the teenage girls soon began finding themselves in high demand. They become more famous than the other girl groups and attract a lot from the audience. After the Pleasure Seekers start to become successful, Suzi drops in school and never returns. Playing rock and roll music became her and her sisters’ full-time jobs.
Growing up in the rock and roll music scene requires Suzi to become a bit tougher than the average woman. According to Suzi, she’ll always carry a knife around wherever she performs during the early days of her career. Their brother accompanied the girls during the majority of their gigs, for protection. When Suzi’s older sister marries, her husband also stuck around at concerts to keep an eye on them. However, Suzi claims she still had some negative experiences with fans early on when performing.
Suzi learned to hold her own early on while performing with her sisters. If anyone near the stage becomes rude at her while performing, she strikes them in the face with her bass. Her father, who exhibited similar behavior when he saw men mistreating his daughters, instilled much of this attitude in Suzi. Suzi recalls when she and her sisters are opening up for rock and roll legend Chuck Berry at a gig. Suzi’s father catches the musician getting a little bit too hands-on with her older sister. Suzi Quatro father proceeded to punch Chuck Berry in the face, much to Suzi and her sisters’ chagrin. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
It is in 1971 that the man that will go to make her a big star first sees Suzi Quatro. That man is English record producer Mickie Most, who sees Suzi while playing at a gig with her sisters. Mickie felt that Suzi had potential as a solo artist, and approached her with an offer to become a star. Suzi was initially hesitant to break away from her sisters, fearing that it would cause a rift in the family. However, she talks into it.
Suzi Quatro’s breakout success as a solo artist came in 1973, with the aforementioned release of “Can the Can”. Suzi’s success as a solo artist and her decision to break away from her sisters causes mild family turmoil. Though it seems that most of this bad blood is later put aside. Sticking to her guns and maintaining her rock-star image is a challenge after becoming a major success. Sadly, Suzi will continue having to deal with sexual harassment over the course of her career.
Suzi never liked to draw much attention to her womanhood, with her preferring people to focus on her music. However, she certainly drew plenty of attention on account of being a rare woman in the rock and roll scene. There is one notorious incident where Suzi gropes during a live taping of a 1970s talk show by host Russell Harty. According to Suzi, she will traditionally kick someone for doing such a thing to her, but the fact that she is on live television forces her to have to keep her cool. Still, that doesn’t stop Suzi from holding a grudge against the host!
As a female pioneer in the rock and roll scene that forces her to deal with her share of harassment and discrimination, Suzi has been a supporter of the #metoo scene in recent years. Suzi feels that it’s a long time coming and that the types of behaviors that the movement forms in reaction to having been around for too long in the entertainment industry were never okay. As a young woman in the industry, Suzi claims that she wasn’t above kneeing someone in the balls if they tried to put their hands on her. Apparently, the only celebrity figure that she has ever let get away with groping her was AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, who seemed instantly apologetic enough that she forgave him. Otherwise, he would’ve gotten a slap in the face!
After a few years of being a successful solo performer in the rock and roll scene, Suzi Quatro made a notable guest appearance on the series Happy Days. Her guest appearance came in 1977, and Suzi played a fictional rock star by the name of Leather Tuscadero. Of course, Leather Tuscadero was merely a fictionalized version of herself. In the two-part episode, Suzi could be seen performing songs made famous by her rock and roll idol, Elvis Presley.
While Suzi Quatro can no longer be found on the rock and roll charts, she is still at it today at the age of 71! Suzi has also kept healthy, and looks just as stunning today in her 70s as she did back when she first broke out onto the scene as a solo artist during the early 1970s. In late 2020, Suzi had a scare when she was diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the rock and roll legend, she caught the illness from a family member. However, perhaps as a result of Suzi’s healthy lifestyle and lifetime of exercising her lungs, she was able to recover from the virus within only a few days.
Where many of the female rock stars that came in Suzi Quatro’s pioneering wake chose to dabble in drugs and alcohol over their course of their careers, Suzi has always taken care of herself. Her latest solo album is due out in spring of 2021, and she is set to start performing live again starting in 2022. Suzi has been a consistent performer since the start of her career, and her latest album will be her 18th.
Nowadays, Suzi Quatro isn’t as often credited for her groundbreaking accomplishments in the music scene as subsequent female rock stars such as Joan Jett. Joan Jett herself has claimed that she took most of her rock-star image from Suzi Quatro after seeing the latter performing on stage at a young age. It was around the time of Suzi’s appearance on Happy Days that Joan Jett was first making waves with her band the Runaways. While Suzi had certainly started out with an edge, there are many who believe that her image became slightly watered down the more popular she got. After all, Happy Days wasn’t very rebellious!
Although Suzi Quatro doesn’t often get the credit that she deserves for it, she was one of the very first female rock and roll stars ever! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Happy Days’ Suzi Quatro was only 14 years old when she first started performing rock and roll, and that she’s still performing it to this day? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!