The Quatro girls shatter the '60s-era girl group archetype
Translucent pink vinyl!
The archetype for the '60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock & roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.The Quatro girls had been brought up in a musically-minded family, nurtured with classical piano and vocal lessons. As Patti recalls, "By 1964, I had been taking guitar lessons, hanging with musicians in the local music scene. We had seen a Beatles concert, and I was quite dazed and focused at the event, watching the audience cry and scream out of control. It was my epiphany moment, and I was determined to start an all-girl band."
Shortly thereafter, the first lineup of the Pleasure Seekers fell into place with Patti Quatro (lead guitar), Marylou Ball (rhythm guitar), Suzi Quatro (bass), Diane Baker (keyboards), Nan Ball (drums) and vocal duties shared by all. Around the fall of 1965 the girls dared local teen club manager Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular Hideout Club, claiming they were better than most of the other live bands there. "You're on," responded Leone, "in two weeks. Three songs!"
The Pleasure Seekers were soon a popular feature at the club, honing their skills alongside the likes of the Rationals, the Amboy Dukes and Bob Seger & the Last Heard. "In the beginning, there was a lot of skepticism," remembers Patti, "especially the first night. The boys crowded the stage, the girlfriends pulled them away with laughter, as if ‘Girls playing?! Yeah, right!' It was always satisfying to see them be silenced quickly when we began playing. We grew used to seeing slack jaws open in surprise." Next they were asked by Leone to record and release a single on his Hideout label.
That March 1966 release is now regarded as the greatest "girl garage" single of the era: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" b/w "What a Way to Die." "Dave brought lyrics, and we put the songs together quickly," remembers Patti. "We felt very legit in making this record at a small local studio. Nan was the sexy voice on ‘Never Thought You'd Leave Me,' and there was lots of laughter as Marylou added the screams on ‘What a Way to Die.'" Suzi Quatro remembers the recording as "very important and memorable."
The last four songs on the album, "White Pig Blues," "Brain Confusion," "Where Have You Gone?" and the atmospheric psychedelic mover "Mr. Power," all date from this 1968-69 period when the Pleasure Seekers were playing the Grande Ballroom alongside the MC5, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes and SRC. With this change in musical direction and the departure of Arlene and Pami, the band forged on as Cradle. Suzi Quatro departed for England in 1971, launching a successful solo career. Patti and Nancy continued with Cradle until 1973 when Patti joined another pioneering female rock group, Fanny.
The Pleasure Seekers reunited recently in April 2012 (minus Suzi) for a well-received show in their hometown, where they were inducted into Detroit's Hall of Fame. "I think all of us Quatro girls are extremely proud of our pioneering days" reflects Patti. "In a renaissance-era of music, we kicked down doors for women to rock heavy."
|1. Intro By DJ The Lord|
|2. Gotta Get Away|
|3. Never Thought You’d Leave Me|
|4. Light Of Love|
|5. Good Kind Of Hurt|
|6. What A Way To Die|
|7. Elevator Express|
|8. Locked In Your Love|
|1. White Pig Blues|
|2. Brain Confusion|
|3. Where Have You Gone|
|4. Mr. Power|