Status Quo and Suzi Quatro Middlesbrough Ormesby Hall 24th August 2002
My next Quo encounter was at a National Trust open air show held at Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough on 24th August 2002. I bought two tickets cheap on eBay (result! 🙂 ) and took David along, somewhat on sufferance. We made our way down to the front, right next to some hardened Quo fans who were playing their inflatable guitars (I kid you not) and pushing us around in the scrum. Great fun. One of the highlights of the gig was the support act Suzi Quatro who was on great form, as usual.
I’ve just realised that I should have written about Suzi Quatro before now; she deserves her own blog entry, so here we go.
In the early 70s there were a few bands who seemed to come back and play again and again at our local Mecca ballroom. They were all fun acts, chart toppers of the time, and you just knew you were going to have a good night if they were appearing. They were: Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Mungo Jerry, and Suzi Quatro. Oh, and possibly Geordie too. I first saw Suzi Quatro when she had just arrived in the UK; this was before she hit No 1 in the charts with “Can the Can”. It must have been late 1972. I remember this tiny lady, dressed all in leather, with this massive bass guitar slung around her, and a strong raunchy rock’n’roll performance. A few months later and she was No 1 and “Can the Can” was being played everywhere.Between “Can the Can” and her next No 1 hit single “Devil Gate Drive” which was a couple of years later, she played at the Mecca a number of times. It was probably 3 or 4 times, possibly more. The place would always be packed to the walls; I can here her screeching voice now: “Hey, you all want to go down to Devil Gate Drive? Well, come on”!
Lots of high kicking, silly choreographed dance routines, guitarist and husband-to-be Len Tuckey always at Suzi’s side and towering above her. Happy days.
Roll forward almost 30 years to 2002. Suzi still looked and sounded great, rocked as she always did, and warmed the crowd up for Quo and their fans. Suzi was a trail-blazer for many female rockers who followed her, and although she was as much pop as rock, she was still pretty cool, and those singles are still fun, and her live shows were great too.
Philip Norman (1974) said “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.”
Frank Oglesbee writes (2008) 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…”….and describes Quatro as “… a female rock pioneer, in some ways the female rock pioneer, …, a cornerstone in the archsheology of rock.”
And of course she was Leather Tuscadero, and she knew The Fonz. Now you can’t get cooler than that 🙂
A Suzi Quatro setlist: I’ve Never Been in Love; The Wild One; Tear Me Apart; She’s in Love With You; Stumblin’ In; 48 Crash; All Shook Up; Rock Hard; Can I Be Your Girl?; Leather Queen; Can the Can; Devil Gate Drive. Encore: If You Can’t Give Me Love; Sweet Little Rock & Roller; Sweet nothing
Status Quo Setlist: Caroline, The Wanderer, Softer Ride, Paper Plane, Hold You Back, Old Time Rock and Roll,4500 Times, Rain, Never Say Never, Solid Gold, Mystery Medley, Gerdundula, Big Fat Mama, Roll over lay Down, Down Down, Whatever You Want, Rockin’all over the World, In the Army Now, Anniversary Waltz/Junior’s Wailing/Rock’n Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny
“Well, at the age of five they can do their jive
Down in Devil Gate Drive
And at the age of six they’re gonna get their kicks
Down in Devil Gate Drive
Well your mama don’t know where your sister done go
She’s gone down to the Drive. She’s the start of the show
And let her move on up. Let her come let her go.”
(Devil Gate Drive, Chinn & Chapman, 1974)
Reference: Oglesbee, F. W. (1999). Suzi Quatro: A prototype in the archsheology of rock. Popular Music & Society, 23(2), 29-39.
PS Just noticed both acts have the initials S Q (not sure why I mention that)
PPS That takes me to Quo show No 25 for me…..not far to go now…