Suzi Quatro, the original Wild One, was the first female bass player to become a major rock star. The American musician moved to the UK in 1971, where she was signed to the RAK label, owned by music mogul Mickie Most, one of Britain’s most successful and demand producers 1960s and 1970s.
With Most at the helm, Suzi transformed into a leather catsuit-clad rocker, a look that seemed only to personify her naturally rebellious spirit. Despite her small stature, Quatro’s positively charged performances made her an instant hit.
In June 1973, she scored her first UK Official Singles Chart Number 1 with Can The Can, which turned her into a major rock star. It was the first time a female bass player had ever topped the charts and, proving it was no fluke, Quatro followed up the hit one year later with another number one single, Devil Gate Drive.
However, it was Can The Can that gave Quatro her chart debut and audiences their first glimpse of the pint-sized, powerhouse rocker, seemingly as fearless as she was talented, commanding the stage as though she was born to. Imagine being in the audience to see Suzi rock Top of the Pops in her leather jumpsuit and cropped hair, slinging a Fender P bass for the very first time. Even looking back today, this Top of the Pops performance is pretty unbeatable! Watch below.
Suzi Quatro | ‘Can The Can’ [Top of the Pops, 1973]
Suzi Quatro not only fit into the glam rock era, she cemented her place in its history with her role as ‘Leather Tuscadero’ on the US TV show Happy Days, providing a prime-time blueprint for upcoming female rockers like Joan Jett, who would also strike it big at the age of 23, with her heartfelt reworking of The Arrows' I Love Rock & Roll.
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