Tales of Rock: Suzi Quatro

The Queen of Rock n’ Roll

Susan Kay Quatro (born June 3, 1950) is an American rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actress. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star.[2]:1–3[3]

In the 1970s, Quatro scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland. She reached no. 1 in the UK and other European countries and Australia with her singles “Can the Can” (1973) and “Devil Gate Drive” (1974). Following a recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on the popular American sitcom Happy Days, her duet “Stumblin’ In” with Smokie’s lead singer Chris Norman reached No. 4 in the US.

Quatro released her eponymous debut album in 1973. Since then, she has released fifteen studio albums, ten compilation albums, and one live album. Her other solo hits include “48 Crash”, “Daytona Demon”, “The Wild One”, and “Your Mama Won’t Like Me”.

Between 1973 and 1980, Quatro was awarded six Bravo Ottos. In 2010, she was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame. Quatro has sold over 50 million albums[4] and continues to perform live, worldwide. Her most recent studio album was released in 2019 and she also continues to present new radio programs.

Early life and family

Quatro was born and raised in Detroit. Her paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant to the US. His family name of “Quattrocchi” was shortened by the immigration authorities to Quatro. Quatro’s family were living in Detroit when she was born. She has three sisters, a brother, and one older half sister. Her parents fostered several other children while she was growing up. Her father, Art, was a semi-professional musician and worked at General Motors and was of Italian descent. Her mother, Helen, was Hungarian. In this environment, Quatro grew to be “extrovert but solitary”, according to Philip Norman of The Sunday Times, and she only became close to her mother after leaving the U.S. for Britain.

Her sister Arlene is the mother of actress Sherilyn Fenn. Her sister Patti joined Fanny, one of the earliest all-female rock bands to gain national attention. Quatro has a brother, Michael Quatro, who is also a musician.

She was influenced at the age of six by seeing Elvis Presley perform on television. She has said that she had no direct female role models in music but was inspired by Billie Holiday and liked the dress sense of Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las “because she wore tight trousers and a waistcoat on top – she looked hot”.

Quatro received formal training in playing classical piano and percussion. She taught herself how to play the bass and guitar. Her father gave her a 1957 Fender Precision bass guitar in 1964, which she still possessed in 2007.

In 1976, Quatro married Len Tuckey. They had two children together (Laura in 1982 and Richard Leonard in 1984) and divorced in 1992.


Early career and the Art Quatro Trio

Quatro played drums or percussion from an early age as part of her father’s jazz band, the Art Quatro Trio. Sources vary regarding whether her playing in the band began at the age of seven or eight, and whether the instrument she played was a drum kit or percussion (bongo or congas). Subsequently, she appeared on local television as a go-go dancer in a pop music series.

The Pleasure Seekers and Cradle

Quatro, at far right, pictured, along with two of her sisters, Patti and Arlene, and Eileen Biddlingmeier (centre), in the Pleasure Seekers, 1966

In 1964, after seeing a television performance by the Beatles, Quatro’s older sister, Patti, had formed an all-female garage rock band called the Pleasure Seekers with two friends.[15] Quatro joined too and assumed the stage name of Suzi Soul; Patti Quatro was known as Patti Pleasure. Suzi would sing and play bass in the band. The band also later featured another sister, Arlene.[14] Many of their performances were in cabaret, where attention was (initially) focused more on their physical looks than their actual music. They sometimes had to wear miniskirts and hair wigs, which Quatro later considered to be necessary evils in the pursuit of success.[8] However, they would become well-known fixtures in the burgeoning and exploding Detroit music community.[16]

The Pleasure Seekers recorded three singles and released two of these: “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” / “What a Way to Die” (1966) and “Light of Love” / “Good Kind of Hurt” (1968). The second of these was released by Mercury Records, with whom they briefly had a contract before breaking away due to differences of opinion regarding their future direction. They changed their name to Cradle in late 1969, not long after another Quatro sister, Nancy, had joined the band and Arlene had left following the birth of her child.[17]

Work with Mickie Most[edit]

A black and white photograph of Quatro and her unnamed backing band. Quatro is holding her bass guitar, standing, and wearing a black leather jacket; her three taller and long-haired male band members are standing behind her wearing dark tee shirts.

Quatro and her supporting band in AVRO‘s TopPop, a Dutch television show, on December 7, 1973 (Left to right: Len Tuckey, guitar; Suzi Quatro, bass guitar; Alastair MacKenzie, keyboards; Dave Neal, drums)

Quatro moved to England in 1971, after being spotted by the record producer Mickie Most, who had by that time founded his own label, Rak Records. Most had been persuaded to see Cradle by Michael, the brother of the Quatro sisters who had assumed a managerial role for the band.[15] In common with many in the record industry at the time, Most was seeking a female rock singer who could fill the void that the death of Janis Joplin had created.[8] According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, his attention to Quatro was drawn by “her comeliness and skills as bass guitarist, singer and chief show-off in Cradle.”[14] She had also been attracting attention from Elektra Records and subsequently explained that “According to the Elektra president, I could become the new Janis Joplin. Mickie Most offered to take me to England and make me the first Suzi Quatro – I didn’t want to be the new anybody.”[15] Most had no interest in the other band members[17] and he had no idea at that time of how he might market Quatro. She spent a year living in a hotel while being nurtured by Most, developing her skills and maturing. Most later said that the outcome was a reflection of her own personality.[8]

Quatro’s first single, “Rolling Stone“, was successful only in Portugal, where it reached No. 1 on the charts.[15] This was a solo effort, although aided by people such as Duncan BrownePeter Frampton and Alan White. Subsequently, with the approval of Most, she auditioned for a band to accompany her.[8][18] It was also after this record[19] that Most introduced her to the songwriting and production team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote songs specifically to accord with her image. She agreed with Most’s assessment of her image, saying that his influence, at which some of his artists – such as Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart – balked, did not extend to manufacture and that “If he tried to build me into a Lulu, I wouldn’t have it. I’d say ‘go to hell’ and walk out.”[20] This was the height of the glam rock period of the 1970s and Quatro, who wore leather clothes, portrayed a wild androgynous image while playing music that “hinged mostly on a hard rock chug beneath lyrics in which scansion overruled meaning.”[14][a]

In 1972, Quatro embarked as a support act on a UK tour with Thin Lizzy and headliners Slade. Rak arranged for her to use Thin Lizzy’s newly acquired PA systemduring this, incurring a charge of £300 per week that enabled the Irish band to effectively purchase it at no cost to themselves.[21] In May 1973, her second single “Can the Can” (1973) – which Philip Auslander describes as having “seemingly nonsensical and virtually unintelligible lyrics”[2]:1 – was a No. 1 hit in parts of Europe and in Australia.[22]

“Can the Can” was followed by three further hits: “48 Crash” (1973), “Daytona Demon” (1973) and “Devil Gate Drive” (1974). “Can the Can”, “48 Crash” and “Devil Gate Drive” each sold over one million copies and were awarded gold discs,[22] although they met with little success in her native United States, where she had toured as a support act for Alice Cooper.[23] Rak artists had generally not succeeded in the US and her first album, Suzi Quatro, was criticised by Alan Betrock for its lack of variety, for its Quatro-written “second-rate fillers” and for her voice, described as “often too high and shrill, lacking punch or distinctive phrasing.”[18] Writing for Rolling StoneGreg Shaw was also downbeat, saying that the album “may be a necessary beginning”.[24]

In 1973, Quatro played on the Cozy Powell hit “Dance With the Devil“, a track written by Mickie Most while Cozy Powell was part of the Rak roster.

Musicians who acted as her backing band around this period included Alastair McKenzie, Dave Neal and Len Tuckey,[8] with Robbie Blunt also being listed by some sources.[25] Tuckey’s brother, Bill, acted as tour manager.[8]

With the exception of Australia, her chart success faltered thereafter, as proven with her 1975 hit “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me”, which proved to be a moderate success in the UK. Further singles “I Bit off More I Could Chew” and “I May Be Too Young”, both failed to reach the UK Top 50. Quatro recorded an album in 1976 and released a new single in 1977 called “Tear Me Apart” which reached the UK Top 30, her first hit to have done so in three years. It would take another year for another big hit, this time with a change to a more mellow style[14] giving Quatro a 1978 single “If You Can’t Give Me Love” that became a hit there and in the United Kingdom. Later that year, “Stumblin’ In“, a duet with Chris Norman of the band Smokie, reached No. 4 in the US[23] Both tracks were featured on the If You Knew Suzi… album. A year later, Quatro released Suzi … and Other Four Letter Words, but none of her other work had much US success. This featured the hits “She’s in Love with You”, which made No. 11 in Britain, “Mama’s Boy” (number 34), and “I’ve Never Been in Love” (number 56).[26]

Mike Chapman and Dreamland records[edit]

In 1980, after Quatro’s contract with Mickie Most had expired, she signed with Chapman’s Dreamland Records.[27]:4

In the same year, she released the album Rock Hard; both the album and title single went platinum in Australia. Rock Hard was also used in the cult film Times Square and was included on the soundtrack album. The single reached No. 11 in Australia, but only 68 in the UK due to distribution problems. It was clear at this point that the hit single career was beginning to wane. A second single from the Rock Hardalbum, titled “Lipstick”, was released in February 1981, but radio refused to play it as they claimed it sounded too much like Gloria by ThemSuzi Quatro’s Greatest Hits, which was released in 1980, peaked at No. 4 in the UK charts, becoming her highest-charting album there.[23]


After Chapman’s Dreamland Records folded 1981, Quatro was left without a record label.[28]

Her last UK hit for some time was “Heart of Stone” in late 1982. In 1983 another single “Main Attraction” was released. It failed to chart but did become a moderate airplay hit.[23] She commented in an article for Kerrang! in 1983, after playing a successful show at Reading Festival on August 27, that she did not care about being in the charts, but was more interested releasing what she wanted to; commenting that she started in 1964, and did not become famous for nine years “I would never accept having my career moulded by other people … I’ve kept working consistently even though I’ve not been in the charts.” Around this time Quatro recorded a new album that was shelved until 1997, when it was released under Unreleased Emotion Quatro briefly returned to recording for two more singles “I Go Wild” in 1984 and in 1985, her “Tonight I Could Fall in Love“/”Good Girl (Looking for a Bad Time)” single reached No. 140 in the UK charts.[29] Quatro also collaborated with Bronski Beat and members of the KinksEddie and the Hot Rods and Dr. Feelgood on the Mark Cunningham-produced cover version of David Bowie‘s “Heroes“, released the following year as the 1986 BBC Children in Need single. Quatro also released a cover version of “Wild Thing” in November 1986, as a duet with The Troggs singer Reg Presley. “Can the Can”/”Devil Gate Drive” were re-released in 1987 as a single and reached number 87 in the UK charts.[29] She was also part of the Ferry Aid charity single “Let It Be“, which was a UK No. 1, 13 years and 26 days after Quatro’s last UK No. 1. In 1989 Quatro released a prerecorded backing track single “Baby You’re a Star”, and was released in the UK though it failed to chart. By the late 80’s it was clear that Quatro’s hit making days were over, though she still recorded persistently despite lack of chart success. During the 1990s, Quatro released four new albums though Unreleased Emotion had been recorded several years previously. What Goes Around – Greatest & Latest was released in 1995 and consisted of mainly older hits rerecorded, this proved a success in Denmark. Except for 1999’s Free the Butterfly self-help album it would take a further 11 years for Quatro to release a new album. Back to the Drive in 2006 showed a return to Quatro’s harder rock roots rather than the smoother sounds of her previous albums. Back to the Drive also returned Quatro to the worldwide charts her first album to do so since 1980’s Rock HardBack to the Drive also produced a download only single “I’ll Walk Through the Fire with You”. Quatro released In the Spotlight in 2011 with the lead single, “Whatever Love Is”. Quatro marked her 50th anniversary in the music industry with an anthology, Girl from Detroit, in 2014 with two new tracks.[30][31]

Around 2005, a documentary chronicling Quatro’s life, Naked Under Leather, named after a 1975 bootleg album recorded in Japan, directed by a former member of the RunawaysVictory Tischler-Blue, was made, but this has never been released.[32][33] In February 2006, Quatro released Back to the Drive, produced by Sweet guitarist Andy Scott. The album’s title track was written by her former collaborator, Chapman.[34] In March 2007, Quatro released a cover version of the Eagles song “Desperado“, followed by the publication of her autobiography, Unzipped.[35] By this time, Quatro had sold 50 million records.[12]

On June 11, 2010, she headlined the ‘Girls Night Out’ at the Isle of Wight Festival.[36] Quatro was also inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010, following an on-line vote.[17]

In August 2011, Quatro released her fifteenth studio album, In the Spotlight (and its single, “Spotlight”). This album is a mixture of new songs written by Mike Chapman and by herself, along with some cover versions. A second single from the album, “Whatever Love Is”, was subsequently released.[37][38] On November 16, 2011, a music video (by Tischler-Blue) for the track “Strict Machine” was released onto the Suzi Quatro Official YouTube channel. The track is a cover of Goldfrapp‘s “Strict Machine”, but Quatro’s version contains two lines from “Can the Can”, referencing the similarity of the tunes for the two songs.[39][40]

In April 2013, she performed in America for the first time in over 30 years, at the Detroit Music Awards where she received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to her by her sister, Patti.

In 2017 Quatro released her sixteenth studio album backed by Andy Scott from Sweet on guitar and Don Powell from Slade on drums.[5]

Acting and radio hosting[edit]

Quatro is possibly best known in the United States for her role as the bass player Leather Tuscadero on the television show Happy Days. The show’s producer, Garry Marshall, had offered her the role without having an audition after seeing a photograph of her on his daughter’s bedroom wall. Toby Mamis, who was acting as her U.S. representative at that time, helped effectuate the deal and generate enormous media attention to it, elevating Quatro’s profile in her home country. Leather was the younger sister of Fonzie’s former girlfriend, hot-rod driver Pinky Tuscadero. Leather fronted a rock band joined by principal character Joanie Cunningham. The character returned in other guest roles, including once for a date to a fraternity formal with Ralph Malph. Marshall offered Quatro a Leather Tuscadero spin-off, but she declined the offer, saying she did not want to be typecast.[41]

Other acting roles include a 1982 episode of the British comedy-drama series Minder (called “Dead Men Do Tell Tales”) as Nancy, the singer girlfriend of Terry (Dennis Waterman).[42] In 1985, she starred as a mentally disturbed ex-MI5 operative in Dempsey and Makepeace – “Love you to Death”.[43] In 1994, she made a cameo appearance as a nurse in the “Hospital” episode of the comedy Absolutely Fabulous.[44]She also was filmed in the 1990 Clive Barker horror film Nightbreed, but the studio cut out her character.[citation needed] In 2006, Quatro performed the voice of Rio in the Bob the Builder film Built to Be Wild,[45]and appeared in an episode of the second season of Rock School, in Lowestoft. She has also appeared in the episode “The Axeman Cometh” of Midsomer Murders in the role of Mimi Clifton.

Quatro has also performed in theatre. In 1986, she appeared as Annie Oakley in a London production of Annie Get Your Gun[29] and in 1991 she performed the title role in a musical about the life of actress Tallulah Bankhead. Titled Tallulah Who?, this musical was co-written by her and Shirlie Roden, adapted from a book by Willie Rushton. It ran from February 14 to March 9 at Hornchurch, England, where it was billed as “You’ll be amazed how Tallulah did it, and to whom – and how often!” The show received favourable reviews from the majority of critics.[46][47]

In more recent times, Quatro has hosted weekly rock and roll programmes on BBC Radio 2. The first one was titled Rockin’ with Suzi Q, while her second programme was given the title Wake Up Little Suzi.[48]


She started writing songs alone, then collaborated with other songwriters (such as Len Tuckey, Rhiannon Wolfe and Shirley Roden), and now once again mainly writes songs alone.

Quatro’s early recorded songwriting was deliberately limited to album tracks and the B-sides of singles. She said in late 1973, that “…  [the] album tracks are a very different story from [the] singles. The two-minute lo-and-behold commercial single will not come out of my brain, but ain’t I gonna worry about it.”[49]

She describes creating a new song: “From sitting at my piano in my front room, writing down a title (always first), picking up my bass, figuring out the groove, going back to the piano … working on the lyrics, playing electric guitar … and finally I type out the lyrics. Only then is it officially a song. Next it goes down on my tiny 8-track, [with] me playing everything … this is the version all muso’s use to get into the tune … then into the studio and we go from there.”[50]:2

Personal life[edit]

Quatro married her long-time guitarist, Len Tuckey, in 1976. They had two children together (Laura in 1982 and Richard Leonard in 1984) and divorced in 1992. Before 1993, Quatro lived with her two children in a manor house in Essex that she and Tuckey bought in 1980.

She married German concert promoter Rainer Haas in 1993. In 2006, her daughter and grandchild moved into the manor house again.[1] Towards the end of 2008, Quatro’s children moved out of the house and she temporarily put it up for sale, stating that she had empty nest syndrome. Quatro continues to live in Essex, (sometimes in Detroit) and Hamburg.[51]

Since 2011 she publishes music videos on YouTube.[52] On March 31, 2012, Quatro broke her right knee and left wrist while boarding an aircraft in KievUkraine, where she had performed the night before. She had to cancel her appearance at the Detroit Music Awards, where she was to be inducted into the Detroit Hall of Fame along with her sisters, scheduled for April 27. This would have been her first performance in America in over 30 years. Quatro also had to reschedule other concert dates, while some were cancelled altogether.[53]


In a 2012 interview, Quatro was asked what she thought she had achieved for female rockers in general. She replied:

Before I did what I did, we didn’t have a place in rock ‘n’ roll. Not really. You had your Grace Slick and all that, but that’s not what I did. I was the first to be taken seriously as a female rock ‘n’ roll musician and singer. That hadn’t been done before. I played the boys at their own game. For everybody that came afterward, it was a little bit easier, which is good. I’m proud of that. If I have a legacy, that’s what it is. It’s nothing I take lightly. It was gonna happen sooner or later. In 2014, I will have done my job 50 years. It was gonna be done by somebody, and I think it fell to me to do because I don’t look at gender. I never have. It doesn’t occur to me if a 6-foot-tall guy has pissed me off not to square up to him. That’s just the way I am. If I wanted to play a bass solo, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t. When I saw Elvis for the first time when I was 5, I decided I wanted to be him, and it didn’t occur to me that he was a guy. That’s why it had to fall to somebody like me.[3][b]

In a 1973 interview, Quatro sympathised with many of the opinions voiced by the women’s liberation movement while distancing herself from it because she considered that the participants were

… completely hypocritical. Their leaders stand up there and say, ‘We’re individuals blab blab blab,’ and yet they’re all in a group following like sheep. For me, I cannot put the two together … I’m talking about the masses that follow [the movement’s leaders who get press attention] and who have nothing at all to say. It gives it all a very phoney light. I hope they can find a way to apply it to their own lives, because grouping together takes away the whole idea of Women’s Lib.[49]

The interviewer, Charles Shaar Murray, considered her viewpoint to be “… somewhat anomalous, because unless the woman in question happens to be well known, she has no way of letting people hear her unless she unites with other women and then elects a spokesman.” He also noted the apparent contradiction that Quatro seemed proud that girls were writing to her saying that they were emulating her look and her attitude.[49] In 1974, Quatro believed that, unlike men, women were burdened with emotional responses and that it was more difficult for them to succeed in the music industry because they are more prone to jealousy and thus female audiences tend not to buy the recordings of female artists.[54] Her unusually free use of swear words in conversation was often picked upon by interviewers in the 1970s,[54] as have been her diminutive stature and boy-ish nature. In 1974, Philip Norman said that

Of all female rock singers, she appears the most emancipated: a small girl leading an all-man group in which she herself plays bass guitar. The image is of a tomboy, lank-haired, tight-bottomed and (twice) tattooed; a rocker, a brooder, a loner, a knife-carrier; a hell-cat, a wild cat, a storm child, refugee from the frightened city of Detroit.[8][c]

Awards and honors[edit]

In October 2016, it was announced[55] that Quatro had received an honorary doctorate in music from Anglia Ruskin University along with Dr. Feelgood‘s Wilko Johnson.[55]

In 2011, Quatro was inducted to the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.[56]

Legacy and influence[edit]

Views of journalists and reviewers[edit]

In August 1974, Simon Frith spotted a problem with the formula that was working outside the US, saying that

Suzi’s facing a bit of a [commercial] crisis: Chinn and Chapman, having proved their point, are losing interest in her. She’s never had their best material (they don’t play many games with her) and each of her singles has been less gripping than the one before. Unless they suddenly imagine a new joke, she’s in danger of petering out and she lacks the resources to fight back. None of her own musical talents has been needed and so they’ve been ignored (except on the throwaway B-sides) and while Sweet and Mud have their histories and themselves to draw on for support, Suzi’s present has nothing to do with her past and her group was formed only to play Chinnichap music. Mud may become a top cabaret act and Sweet a respected rock group, but Suzi will only be a memory. Mickie Most’s skill in the ’60s was to make pop music out of British blues and R&B and folk; Chinn and Chapman’s skill in the ’70s has been to make pop music out of an audience. As this audience ages and changes, so will its music and Suzi Quatro will have been just an affectionate part of growing up.[19]

In 1983, journalist Tom Hibbert wrote that Quatro may have overstated her role as a leading light among female rock musicians. He said that

… it was in the wake of the 1977 punk revolution that the traditions of rock were turned upside down and female musicians truly came to the fore. But Suzi Quatro, with her tomboy sneers, her bass guitar and her stompingly persuasive teen-tunes, had at least laid down a challenge to the male-dominated rock orthodoxy. On stage in the Eighties, Quatro was still conveying energy and excitement – and she still lacked class.”[57]

Views of scholars[edit]

In his 2008 paper Suzi Quatro: A prototype in the archsheology [sic] of rock, Frank Oglesbee writes that “The rebellion of rock music was largely a male rebellion; the women—often, in the 1950s and ’60s, girls in their teens—in rock usually sang songs as personæ utterly dependent on their macho boyfriends”. He describes Quatro as “a female rock pioneer, in some ways the female rock pioneer … a cornerstone in the archsheology of rock.” He said she grew up to become “the first female lead singer and bassist, an electric ax-woman, who sang and played as freely as the males, inspiring other females.”[58]

Philip Auslander says that “Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music”. Though some women (like Quatro herself) played instruments in American all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they “did not provide viable templates for women’s on-going participation in rock”.[2]:2–3 When Quatro emerged in 1973, “no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader”.[2]:2 Auslander adds that in 2000 Quatro saw herself as “kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female musician … and this is a point I am extremely concerned about … could play as well if not better than the boys”.[2]:3

People and bands influenced by Quatro[edit]

Quatro has influenced various female musicians. Musician Tina Weymouth, who played bass guitar in Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, among other bands, first learned to play bass by listening to Quatro albums.[59]

Quatro had a direct influence on the Runaways[60] and Joan Jett[60] and Girlschool and Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.[61]

Mid-1990s American indie rock band Tuscadero was named after Quatro’s Happy Days character Leather Tuscadero, and their song “Leather Idol”, from their 1994 album The Pink Album, was an ode to both Quatro and her TV character.[62]

On the cover of Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall‘s 2007 album Drastic Fantastic, Tunstall is dressed like Quatro, as a deliberate homage.[63][d]

On October 24, 2013, Quatro received the Woman of Valor Award from the organisation Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women (MEOW) for her role inspiring and influencing generations of female musicians.[65] The award was bestowed by Kathy Valentine (formerly of The Go-Go’s) at a dinner in her honour in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Renaissance Hotel. Quatro performed five songs with a local band that included her sister Patti and Tony Scalzo of the band Fastball on “Stumblin In”.


A Danish band called Suzi & Quadratrødderne released two albums: Glimrende (Excellent) and Absolut Nødvendigt..! (Absolutely Necessary ..!). Quatro was played by Ricky Rocket. Unlike Quatro and her band, Suzi & Quadratrødderne dressed in glam rock style.[66]

Musical style[edit]

Quatro’s music covers several genres. Her primary genres are hard rock,[67] glam rock[68][69] and female cock rock. (Auslander analysed Quatro’s live performances of “Can the Can” plus “Breakdown” and concluded that she performed as a cock-rocker.[2]:1–2 He writes that “she has appeared on occasion just as a bass player, not a singer, and [also] demonstrates her instrumental prowess with an extended bass guitar solo during her own concerts. By foregrounding her status as a rock player, not just a singer, Quatro declares ownership of the symbolic rock cock.”)[2]:3

With the Pleasure Seekers, their musical styles and genres included power pop,[70] garage rock[71] and Motown.[72] Quatro also performs musicals.[73]


Studio albums[edit]


Live albums[edit]

  • Live and Kickin’ (1977) – Japan & Australia only live album; re-released as double CD in 1990 in Australia

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Suzi Quatro Story – 12 Golden Hits (1975) – No. 33 Sweden[23]
  • Suzi Quatro’s Greatest Hits (1980) – No. 4 UK, No. 38 Sweden[23]
  • The Best of… (1984) – limited to RSO years[23]
  • Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 6 (1984), AIP – The Pleasure Seekers
  • The Wild One – the Greatest Hits (1990)[23]
  • The Gold Collection (1996)[23]
  • Greatest Hits (1999)
  • The Best of the 70’s (2000)
  • Rough and Tough (2002)
  • A’s, B’s and Rarities (2004)
  • The Best Of Suzi Quatro (2009)
  • The History (2010), Cradle – distributed by CD Baby[82]
  • What a Way to Die (2011), The Pleasure Seekers – distributed by CD Baby[83]
  • The Essential (2011)
  • A Little Taste of Suzi – Greatest Hits EP (2012)
  • The Girl from Detroit City (2014) 4 cd box set
  • The Very Best Of (DigiPack) (2015)
  • Legend (2017)[5]


Year Title
1966 “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” (in The Pleasure Seekers) “What a Way to Die”
1968 “Light of Love” (in The Pleasure Seekers) “Good Kind of Hurt”
1972 Rolling Stone
(Phil Dennys, Errol Brown, Suzi Quatro )
“Brain Confusion” 1
1973 Can the Can
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Ain’t Ya Something Honey” / “Don’t Mess Around” (US) 1 1 56 5 1
48 Crash
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Little Bitch Blue” 3 1 2
Daytona Demon
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Roman Fingers” 14 4 2
1974 All Shook Up
(Otis BlackwellElvis Presley)
“Glycerine Queen”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
Devil Gate Drive
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“In the Morning” 1 1 1 2
“Too Big”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“I Wanna Be Free” 14 13 12 6
“The Wild One”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Shake My Sugar”(Aust B Side – “The Wild One (slow)”) 7 2 11 15
1975 “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Peter, Peter”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
31 14 27
“I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Red Hot Rosie”
(Quatro, Tuckey)(Aust B Side – “Michael”
(Quatro, Tuckey))
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Savage Silk”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“I May Be Too Young”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Don’t Mess Around”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
1977 “Tear Me Apart”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Same as I Do (UK – YRAK RAK 248B)”
(Quatro, Tuckey) / “Close Enough to Rock ‘n’ Roll”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
27 25 17
Make Me Smile
(Steve Harley)
“Same as I Do”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Roxy Roller”
(Nick GilderJames McCulloch)
“I’ll Grow on You”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
1978 If You Can’t Give Me Love
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Cream Dream” / “Non-Citizen” (US) 4 10 45 2 5 3
“The Race Is On”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
(Quatro, Tuckey)
43 28 11 15 8
Stumblin’ In” (with Chris Norman)
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“A Stranger with You”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
41 2 4 13 2 2
1979 “Don’t Change My Luck”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Wiser Than You”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“She’s in Love with You”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Space Cadets”
(Quatro, Tuckey) / “Starlight Lady”
(Quatro, Tuckey) (US)
11 30 41 5 8 1
1980 “Mama’s Boy”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Mind Demons”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
34 27 19 12
“I’ve Never Been in Love”
(Melissa A. Connell)
“Starlight Lady” / “Space Cadets” (US) 56 44 38
“Rock Hard”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“State of Mind”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
68 9 26 12
1981 Glad All Over
(Dave ClarkMike Smith)
“Ego in the Night”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Woman Cry”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
46 51
1982 Heart of Stone
(Chris Andrews, Suzi Quatro)
“Remote Control”
Suzi Quatro and Len Tuckey
60 99
1983 “Down at the Superstore” “Half Day Closing (Down at the Superstore) “
“Main Attraction” “Transparent”
1984 “I Go Wild”
(Nicky Chinn,S. Glen, M. Burns)
“I’m a Rocker”
1985 Tonight I Could Fall in Love
(Richard Gower)
“Good Girl (Looking for a Bad Time)”
1986 Heroes
(David Bowie / Brian Eno)
“A Long Way to Go”/”The County Line”
I Got Lost in His Arms
(Irving Berlin)
You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun
(Irving Berlin)
Wild Thing” (with Reg Presley)
(Chip Taylor)
“I Don’t Want You”
1988 “We Found Love”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“We Found Love” (Instrumental)
1989 “Baby You’re a Star”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“Baby You’re a Star” (Instrumental)
1991 “Kiss Me Goodbye” “Kiss Me Goodbye” (Instrumental)
“The Great Midnight Rock ‘n’ Roll House Party” “Intimate Strangers”
1992 “Love Touch”
Love Touch
(Gene Black, Mike ChapmanHolly Knight
(Single Version)
“We Found Love”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“I Need Your Love”
(with Chris Norman)
(Chris Norman, Suzi Quatro) [2]
“The Growing Years”
(with Chris Norman)
(Chris Norman))
“Hey Charly”
1993 “Fear of the Unknown” (Radio Version) “And So to Bed”
1994 “If I Get Lucky” (Radio Version) “If I Get Lucky” (Long version)
Peace on Earth” (Radio edit)
“Peace on Earth” (Album Version)
“Frosty the Snowman”
1995 “What Goes Round” (Radio Edit)
“What Goes Round” (Album Version)
“Four Letter Words” (Remix version)
1996 “If You Can’t Give Me Love (remix)” “Empty Rooms”
2006 “I’ll Walk Through the Fire with You”
2010 “Singing with Angels” (with James Burton and The Jordanaires) (Australian September tour limited edition)
2011 “Whatever Love Is”
2014 “The Girl from Detroit City”
2019 “No Soul/No Control”

Some info in this table was taken from The Great Rock Discography.[23]

List of Songs[edit]

see: List of songs by Suzi Quatro



Guest appearances


Honors and awards[edit]

Bravo Otto[edit]

Bravo is the largest magazine for teenagers in German-speaking Europe. Each year, the readers of this magazine select the Bravo Otto award winners.

Quatro has won the following Bravo Otto awards:[91]

  • 1973 Gold for female singer
  • 1974 Gold for female singer
  • 1975 Bronze for female singer
  • 1978 Bronze for female singer
  • 1979 Bronze for female singer
  • 1980 Silver for female singer

Queens of British Pop[edit]

In April 2009, BBC TV selected Quatro as one of twelve Queens of British Pop.[92]

Awarded honorary doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK on October 19, 2016.

See also[edit]


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6 thoughts on “Tales of Rock: Suzi Quatro”

  1. What an interesting question TG posed. Who would have thought that? I don’t think men are as stupid as women that way, or at least if they are they are probably less obvious. I’m obviously not a groupie type. Never was.
    I couldn’t resist saying “Suzi Quatro” out loud and my husband, in the other room, immediately starts naming her songs and other trivia. He’s practicing his bass right now (without the amps – never mind, he just turned them on). I love testing his rock knowledge. I didn’t know who she was.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The band he was in will be doing a reunion in April or something like that. At first it was just going to be a reunion gig, since the band has new members and hubby hasn’t played since he left nearly thirty years ago, but the lead guy thought it would be fun to have the original members do a show. Now it’s several gigs. It’s punk rock. I’ve already got my earplugs. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love that! I have recently connected with a couple of guys I was in a band with 40 years ago! It was great to chat and who knows, maybe a jam will happen in the future. You never cease to amaze me, Jolie!

        Liked by 1 person

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