(Photo: Leather Tuscadero and The Fonz. Source: SuziQMovie.com)
If you only know Suzi Quatro from her turn as Leather Tuscadero on seven episodes of Happy Days, you might be surprised to learn that the Detroit native was already a bonafide rock star – particularly in Europe — before joining the hit sitcom in 1977.
But you’d hardly be alone in lack of Quatro knowledge. Suzi Quatro’s role in shattering rock gender stereotypes has long gone unrecognized in the US, a situation the makers of Suzi Q, a 2 1/2-hour documentary premiering this week, hope to rectify.
This profile of the pioneering female hard-rocking singer/bass guitarist features archival clips, plus new interviews with the likes of Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, KT Tunstall, Blondie’s Deborah Harry, Talking Head’s Tina Weymouth, L7’s Donita Sparks…and Happy Days’ Henry Winkler.
In the following compilation from the show, you can see that Winkler – as the Fonz – and Quatro as Leather share a special relationship. And Ron Howard – as Richie Cunningham— plays a mean sax.
Suzi Q is scheduled to debut on numerous rental platforms this Friday, July 3, but you can visit altavod.com/movies/suzi-q now to buy a $9.99 ticket for a special 24-hour rental tomorrow, July 1 — which will include a Q&A session with Quatro and two rockers she influenced: The Runaways’ Cherie Currie and The Go’Gos’ Kathy Valentine. Ten percent of proceeds will benefit MusiCares.
Suzi Quatro’s musical career began in the mid-60s with a teen sister group called The Pleasure Seekers, and the movie explores Suzi’s often turbulent relationship with her sisters through the years. The following video, though, is from Quatrorock in 2011:
Now, some 55 years later, another young sister group, who probably never heard of Suzi Quatro, are following in the Pleasure Seekers footsteps. They’re called Hello Sister and they just released the pilot episode of Pop Through the Decades on YouTube. In the series, the three tweens “find hit songs from the past and present to learn about the artist who made the song popular.” Then, they play the songs themselves and even recreate the original music videos
Episode one explores “1999” by Prince:
Now, let’s leave Hello Sister’s 2020 recreation of Prince’s 1982 song “1999” to see Leather & the Suedes on a 1978 episode of Happy Days, set in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s, doing Chuck Berry’s 1958 song “Johnny B. Goode”:
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