Leather Tuscadero Turns 61
Remember recording artist Suzi Quatro? Most of us remember her from one of the greatest shows ever!
Suzi Quatro wasn’t looking to be a TV star. She just wanted to play, sing and be a rock star. Garry Marshall the brain behind Happy Days got her the quick start. Suzi went on to have quite a career in TV and film. Here is an exerpt from Wikipedia about what she has been doing.
“She is known in the United States for her role as Leather Tuscadero on the TV show Happy Days. Show producer Garry Marshall offered the role without an audition after seeing her on his daughter’s bedroom wall. Leather was the younger sister of Fonzie’s girlfriend, hot-rod driver Pinky Tuscadero. Leather fronted an all-girl rock band joined by principal character Joanie Cunningham. The character returned in other cameo roles, including once for a date to a fraternity formal with Ralph Malph. Marshall offered Quatro a Leather Tuscadero spin-off, but she refused, saying she did not want to be typecast. The indie rock band, Tuscadero, was named after her character.
Other acting roles include a 1982 episode of British comedy-drama series Minder called “Dead Men Do Tell Tales”, as the singer girlfriend of Terry’s (Dennis Waterman). In 1985, she starred as a mentally disturbed ex-MI5 operative in Dempsey and Makepeace – “Love you to Death”. In 1986, Quatro appeared as Annie Oakley in a London production of Annie Get Your Gun.
In 1991, Quatro wrote and performed in a musical about the life of actress Tallulah Bankhead. Entitled “Tallulah who?” it was adapted from a book by Willie Rushton and ran from 15 February – 19 March at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch (Greater London – Essex). Suzi co-wrote the music and adapted the book with Shirlie Roden.
In 2006, Quatro performed the voice of Rio in the Bob the Builder film Built To Be Wild, and appeared in an episode of the second season of Rock School, in Lowestoft. She also appeared in the episode “The Axeman Cometh” of Midsomer Murders alongside Phil Grainger in the role of Mimi Clifton.
In addition to touring, Quatro has hosted weekly rock and roll programmes on BBC Radio 2. The first one was Rockin’ with Suzi Q. Her second programme called “Wake Up Little Suzi”. It aired on Thursdays.
She will always have a fond place in my heart as Leather. I really like her music too. “Stumblin’ In” is a great song. The duet with Chris Norman reached number 4 on the charts and is still played on many radio station to this day. Happy Birthday Suzi, and many more!