California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Karen – Old Western Style – Part 2

STOP! THE REST OF THIS STORY IS NSFW. 

But you can read it here:

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=983

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Karen – Old Western Style – Part 1

It all began when I walked into the Rainbow Bar & Grille on Sunset Strip to watch TV and grab a drink. (We couldn’t afford a TV back in those days.) I heard Lemmy from Motorhead drinks here so I figured I’d stop in. Every time I went there I was always hoping to see him there, sitting at the end of the bar drinking whiskey and playing the poker machine.

I had just come from working in the studio nailing down some tracks for a demo my band and I were working on. I wasn’t happy with the production and knew I had to clean up my lyrics.

I walked in to this bar and I saw one of the most beautiful women I had ever had the fortune to lay my eyes on; she was a tall, slender blonde sitting at one of the often empty tables laughing and smiling with her friends. During the day?

Naturally, from the moment I sat down I couldn’t stop looking in her direction. My eyes kept wondering, and my mind kept telling me that I should get up and introduce myself to her. As I watched the game I continued to muster up the courage to go talk to her. I’m 19 and even though I’m in a band, I suck.

Still no Lemmy.

After 4 innings of the baseball game on TV, I finally mustered up the courage to talk to her. Then, as I turned to get up from my seat I noticed that she was absent and her friends had also gone. My heart immediately sank to the depths of my stomach. I had missed my chance, and I probably would never see this woman again.

Then the most amazing thing happened.

As I returned my gaze, and saddened heart to the television behind the bar, I felt the sensation of soft hands on my face, and then immediately thereafter the softer lips. My eyes had closed at the touch of her hands to my face, so I couldn’t see her, but somehow I just knew it was her. I went with it, and kissed her as passionately as a man could kiss a woman he had never spoken to, and to my delight when I opened my eyes it indeed was her. I couldn’t believe this was happening! I’m blinking my eyes, my mind trying to process this impossible moment.

“What’s your name, dear?”

“Karen.” she whispered.

“You’re the guy with the black guitar in that band that played at the Troubadour last friday night, Right?”

“Umm… yea. I’m Chaz.”

After the kiss, I asked the young lady if she’d like a drink. She declined the offer to my amazement, and to paraphrase her response, she didn’t want me to buy drinks because she wanted me to know that what happened later was a result of her choice, and not because I bought her drinks.

“Okay…. Okay.”

We sat at the bar talking for a while. By the time we decided to leave the bar we had indulged in a several shots of whiskey, and a few hours of banter.

I had walked to the bar that day, so we decided to head to her house in her car. By this point, we were both pretty intoxicated so being the chivalrous man I am I offered to drive. (Idiot)

I was driving down Sunset when I saw the ominous glow of red and blue lights approaching from the rear. Was my time with this woman going to be cut to a short end by the officers in that car? I quickly decided that I was going to beat this case right here and right now. I pulled the car over to a gradual stop, rolled my window down about half an inch, and waited for the police officer to approach.

He came to the window and asked for my license and registration. This smoking hot baby fumbled through her glove compartment and retrieved the registration. She then handed it to me, and I offered it and my license through the crack in the window

“Here you go officer.”

He left to do what cops do, and it was then that I noticed that the girl had a glass of beer between her legs. I quickly instructed her to drink the entire beer and put the glass under her seat. (I didn’t even realize she had a drink in her hand when we left the bar!)

When the officer returned he told me that he suspected I was drinking, and asked me to get out of the vehicle. I did as commanded, and soon I was a competitor in several olympic events that nobody ever wants to participate in.

After the competition had ended, and I ended up winning the gold in the foot lift and count, the closed eyed nose touch, and the night light follow the officer told me that I was free to go. I don’t think I had ever been happier! Well except for about two hours before when that girl sitting in the passenger seat of the car I had been driving first laid hands on me.

But, before I got back in the car, the officer asked me to do a breathalyzer test without consequence to determine if I should get back in the car. I was skeptical, but I did the test. I blew a .09, and the officer was amazed, but he let us leave on foot after we locked the car up.

We began walking and once we had made it around the corner we broke up into hysterical laugh and started running towards her home.

To be continued in a couple of hours…

 

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Tales of Rock – The 6 Most (Certifiably) Insane Tales of Rock Star Behavior

We expect our rock stars to be a little crazy. Sex, drugs and trashed hotel rooms are all part of the rocking package.

But even in the crazy-ass world these artists live in, sometimes there’s an incident that makes everybody stop and say, “Dude.”

For instance…

Prince Assaults Sinead O’Connor … For Cursing

 

In the early 90s, Sinead O’Connor scored a massive hit with her cover of the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares To You.” Sorry, that should probably read “Nothing Compares 2 U.” We are talking about Prince after all. At any rate, according to O’Connor, His Purpleness was less than thrilled with her decision to cover the song since he was already planning to give it to a female protege of his, perhaps in exchange for a series of unthinkable sex acts.

When he met with Sinead to discuss the situation, things got a bit out of hand. And by “out of hand” we mean “they got in a goddamned fistfight.”

It started with Prince berating the shorn-locked singer for, of all things, cursing in interviews. She replied with a diplomatic and sympathetic “go fuck yourself.” At that point, O’Connor claims Prince became physically threatening, or at least to the extent Prince can physically threaten anyone.

At that point the two went at it, in what was probably the most effeminate fistfight of all time. Prince used his fists, O’Connor used loogies. “All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit,” she said. Classy! Not that beating women is any classier, but seriously, how would you feel if you were robbed of the chance to pass one of your most enduring tunes onto one of your talented proteges? Imagine the possibilities!

Oh, shit!

Ozzy Osbourne Impresses Record Execs… By Biting the Head Off a Dove

 

That Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off a bat is old news. To the credit of his sanity, he apparently didn’t know it was a real bat. Plus, he was in Des Moines, Iowa at the time. When you’re spending an evening in a place like Iowa, you find your fun however you can.

A slightly less famous incident happened at CBS Records’ Los Angeles office shortly after Ozzy left Black Sabbath to embark on a solo career. Sensing that CBS was not overly interested in her husband or his music, Sharon Osbourne decided it would be a good idea for Ozzy to show up at a meeting with CBS executives with a couple of live doves in pockets. The idea was that he would release them into the air when he walked in. And who wouldn’t be impressed by having a couple of albino birds hurled into the air at their place of employment?

But Ozzy, ever the showman, decided that instead of releasing the doves, he would take one out of his pocket and delightfully bite its head off as CBS employees looked on in horror. According to an eyewitness, the reaction was an understandably stunned silence followed by Ozzy being hastily removed from the room, presumably while little spurts of blood shot from the bird’s ragged neck stump.

This is the kind of story that, over the years, becomes so shrouded in legend that people start to question whether it is even true, us included. But, admittedly, this picture of Ozzy Osbourne biting off the head of a dove while shocked record execs look on is pretty damning evidence.

Carlos Santana Gives All Glory to… Metatron?

 

It’s not unusual these days for an artist to score a huge album and, in later interviews, give all the credit for their success to God. Ok, it’s not unusual for rappers and R&B singers at least. But in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone, Carlos Santana awesomely took things a step further.

Those skeptics among us would be tempted to credit the success of the album largely to the fact that it consisted mostly of Carlos playing guitar on songs that, otherwise, didn’t resemble Santana songs in the least. But when asked about the inspiration for his comeback album Supernatural (of course) Carlos credited a mystical spirit named Metatron.

In Carlos’ own words:

“I know it sounds New Age… but in my meditation, this entity – which is called Metatron – he said, ‘we want to hook you back to the radio airwave frequency. We want you to reach junior high schools, high schools and universities. Once you reach them – because we are going to connect you with the best artists of the day, then we want you to present them a new menu. Let them know that they are themselves, multidimensional spirits with enormous possibilities and opportunities. We want you to present them with a new form of existence that transcends religion, politics or the modus operandi of education today'”

Alrighty then!

He also went on to say, “Metatron is the architect of physical life. Because of him, we can French-kiss, we can hug, we can get a hot dog, wiggle our toe.” Well, we do certainly dig hot dogs. And we like a god who may possibly be a Transformer. Then again … Metatron claimed the album would feature “the best artists of the day.” This would be an album that featured both Rob Thomas and Everlast.

We’d have to say we’re non-believers, Santana.

Serge Gainsbourg Sings About Incest… With His Daughter

 

Legendary (to French people) pop singer Serge Gainsbourg was never any stranger to odd behavio(u)r. But the line between strange and crazy is a fine one. Take, for example, the time he appeared with Whitney Houston on what amounted to the European version of The View and said, and we quote, “I want to fuck you.” Strange? Sure. Crazy? No, it was 1985, who didn’t want to nail Whitney Houston in 1985?

No, the Whitney incident was downright boring compared to Gainsbourg’s single “Lemon Incest.” There is nothing inherently strange about singing about incest, we suppose. Aerosmith had a huge hit that was about incest (“Janie’s Got A Gun”). But it’s not like anyone thought any differently about Steven Tyler because of the song.

OK, bad example

But to sing about incest with Joe Perry on lead guitar is one thing. To sing about it with your daughter on co-lead vocals, that’s some whole other shit altogether.

And that’s exactly what Gainsbourg did on “Lemon Incest,” a duet with his quite young daughter Charlotte. It’s at this point that our European readers will scold us for being “dumb Americans” who “misunderstood” the song. And hey, that may be. Or maybe Europeans just have hotter kids than we do. Whatever the case, it’s hard to read these lyrics without getting a bit of the heebie jeebies:

The love that we will never together,

Is the most beautiful, the most violent, the purest, the most intoxicating,

Exquisite outline, delicious child, my flesh and my blood,

Oh my baby my soul,

Incest lemon, lemon incest

But surely, seeing the video for the song will dispel any misunderstandings about the meaning of the song, right? What father doesn’t croon about incest over sleazy electronic music while laying shirtless in bed with his kid? In a perfect world, fucking all of them.

Whitney Houston Gets the Christmas Spirit… By Joining a Cult

 

Speaking of Whitney …

It takes a lot to out-crazy Bobby Brown. But time and again, Whitney rises to the occasion. In a stunt that Bobby couldn’t dream up in a hundred crack-filled years, Houston traveled to Israel in 2003 to spend time with a cult group known as the Black Hebrews. Her reasoning for the trip? To find inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album.

Hanging out with Jews to get inspired for Christmas? Hey, why the hell not? But the group, on the surface just a run-of-the-mill religious group, is purported by some to be more like a cult. Given their unorthodox policies of polygamy (men are allowed seven wives) and, much more ominously, strict vegetarianism, it’s not much of a stretch.

“Crack is vegetarian, right?”

According to some former members, the group believes so heavily in discipline that, not only have children died while being beaten by their parents, but adults are also beaten for failing to abide by the laws of the group’s settlement. Adults who have fallen ill due to the strict diet imposed on them have refused medical attention due to their refusal to visit “heathen doctors” in Europe and American.

Needless to say, Houston was sold. By the time she left, Whitney was referring to Israel as “my land.” And Bobby was probably on the hunt for six more wives. What a bunch of lucky ladies!

Phil Spector Kidnaps The Ramones

 

Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is one of those guys who is batshit insane, but you’d never know it from his calm, reassuring exterior.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.

The above photo is what he looked like when he showed up to his trial for murder charges, looking as sane as possible to impress the jury. Anyway, what is so surprising is how successful he managed to become while spewing the crazy on damn near everyone around him.

Like the time he put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen’s head. Or that one time when he fired a shot in the studio while he was working with John Lennon. Or all of the other times he allegedly pulled guns on the artists he worked with. But if one incident takes the cake over all of them, it would be the time when Phil allegedly held The Ramones at gunpoint, while working on their End of the Century album.

According to bassist Dee Dee Ramone, while in the studio Phil pulled Joey Ramone away for a private meeting. Dee Dee went off in search of the pair, at which point he says Spector emerged at the top of a staircase, waving a pistol around.

After Dee Dee objected to, you know, having a gun pulled on him and shit, he told Phil he was leaving. That he did this instead of, say, diving behind a piece of furniture while screaming, indicates that the sight of Spector with a gun wasn’t all that uncommon.

At that point, Spector allegedly pointed the gun at Dee Dee’s chest and motioned for the rest of the band to return to the piano room. Then, with the band captive in the locked room, he sat at a piano and made the band listen to him sing “Baby, I Love You.”

Repeatedly.

Until 4:30 in the morning.

But on the bright side, at least nobody got shot in the face!

 

 

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Party in the Front

Me on the left. (F# Major)

This was early ’80s, in L.A. We were a five piece rock/pop group, and I played guitar. The bar was rather large, with guest/band rooms upstairs and a “special event” room behind the main bar. There’d be comedians, male & female “dancers” and such back there. This particular week the bar had female dancers in that room. We were playing our regular, routine show on a pretty dead Wednesday night. Big difference that night was most if not all the girls from that back room were sitting there watching us. Nothing better to do, I guess. I could always pull talent from that willing pool of women.

Like a lot of bars, this one also held drawings for various door prizes. This night was no different.

We’d played a couple sets, and our singer (Later left the band. Too much into nose candy) announced that anybody holding a ticket should get ready for the drawing. He’s standing there, holding the glass jar with the tickets in one hand, and his mic in the other, when the bass player, Frank nonchalantly walked behind him. Frank suddenly turned, grabbed the singer’s spandex pants and yanked them down to his knees. No undies. The singer, standing there with his junk hanging out, looked down, slowly turned, and kind of shuffled off stage, behind the mains, where he put down the glass jar and his mic, then pulled his pants back up. The girls out front were dying. Indeed, the entire room was laughing so hard even the bartender had tears in his eyes.

The singer came back on stage with his mic, and said “okay, that was different…” He looked at Frank, the bass player and told him “…I’ll kill you later…” and we proceeded to finish the set, and the rest of the night. The singer was a really funny guy (I say “was” because he’s dead now) and an incredibly good sport. Interestingly, he slept with most of those girls as a direct, or indirect, result of that “incident”. (Well done, sir!)

This one’s for you, buddy. 40 years on, and we still talk about, laugh at, and miss you.

 

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Bulletboys

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – The Night We Opened For Y & T

Clothes start coming off, and it is a glorious tangle of sex and desire.

Warning! This post is not safe for work! NSFW!

This hot waitress Melanie comes up to me at the kitchen at Merlin McFlys in Santa Monica. I’m working as a cook, while trying to make it as a metal god in L.A. I’m a total loser and struggling, but loving life because I’m surrounded by moist women and nothing else but California sunshine.

Merlin McFly’s was a cool place to work. The people who owned them had a chain of them and each one had a different theme. The great part about this one is it was all about magic. (See: California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Merlin McFly’s)

It was a crazy time but when I look back on it an incredibly eye-opening and exhilarating.

This cute waifish blonde waitress Melanie approached me one night. I was balls deep in chicken fingers and zucchini sticks .

“Hey, I like your band and you like my band Glider, right?”

“Oh course. You guys are so good.” ( A bold faced lie) I fucking hated her Blondie rip off piece of shit band. I love her, because she is a buttery sweet blonde, and I hate her boyfriend because I made $500 putting a floor into a furniture store in Hollywood with this prick and he’s a beat up call.

But it was extra money so I did it but he’s an asshole and I’m sure he’s a bully to this sweetie.

“We have a chance to open for Y&T at the Troubadour on Friday but we need a little harder band to go on after us to open for them.

“Mel… is that my band? Because if that’s true I’m rock hard right mow.”

“Yea. That’s the gig despite your hard on.”

“Stop it. we’re in.”

I go home that night and tell the band. They’re ecstatic. It seems like the rest of the week takes forever but Friday finally arrives and we’re ready to do load in.

The band gets there and I’m a little nervous.

Frank: “How are you feeling there, Chaz?”

Me: “I’m a little scared.”

Frank: “I’d rather be scared, than bored…. Let’s go.”

And off we went. We played the Troubadour. Glyder came out and they did their sweet Blondie set. Who cares. We came out and killed it in a club that John Lennon was thrown out of for heckling the Smothers Brothers.

We crushed our set and Y&T comes out and is so much louder and more powerful than our little band. I feel that. I feel that what we did was solid and the audience liked it but we’re no one. They’re here to see Y&T. I don’t even give a shit who these fuckers are other that my friend Melanie got us here and we’re nobody.

The people are here to see Y&T play Lipstick and Leather.

I’m hanging at the bar getting free 151 and cokes with Frank and the boys and this girl walks up to me.

She’s wearing a beautiful white dress. She looks like Christie Brinkley with a voice like Marilyn Monroe. WTF?

This is a mixed crowd but mostly hair metal. It’s 1983 and we are in full swing. This little girl seems out of place. She comes up to me and immediately starts hitting on me. That was a luxury back then. It was easy when you were a musician in L.A. and pretty.

“Hey. I’m Chaz what’s your deal?”

“I’m Patty. I just wanted to meet you. I work at a restaurant and I came with some co-workers. One of the busboys likes me and I’m not into him. I’m into you.”

I’m taken by this pure beauty. Oh, the ease of the power of rock back then…

“You’re a lovely girl, Patty.”

“Come home with me, Chaz.”

It was that easy. I had gone from a pimple faced loser in middle school with braces and glasses to a guy that just had to show up and the ladies flocked. I still didn’t know who the hell I was or what I was doing but loved the attention.

I talked to my buddy Tim who came with us to the show without his wife Donna. (See: California Dreamin’ – Tim’s Wife Donna) He said we should pull a train on her but I told her it wasn’t like that this time and I wanted to be with this sweet baby alone.

We got back to her apartment in West Hollywood and we fall to the floor through the transom. Her record collection comes out and it’s scattered across the floor. We’re on the floor amidst her records rolling around and making out.

Clothes start coming off, and it’s a glorious tangle of sex and desire.

We end up in her bedroom, and she starts asking me about a girlfriend and/or a wife. I tell her I have neither. In this moment I’m telling the truth.

She lets it go. We’re getting into it and we’re both pretty drunk. I don’t know why I used to drink 151 and cokes back then. But like any stupid kid I guess you just want what’s strong and fast.

I almost don’t know how to describe what happens next with out being too graphic. It was over 35 years ago so just know that it was a one time thing. Even as jaded as I had become being in a band and living in L.A., this blew my mind.

She asks me to get her started with my digits. Okay, seems a little juvenile but I’ll do whatever she wants at this point. One, two, then three… then four. That seems a bit much and I’m surprised about this. I ask her if she’s okay and she says she loves it. She tell me to keep going.

Okay at this point I remember removing my fingers from her and then and taking off my  LED watch and dropping it into my shoe so I wouldn’t lose it or forget it.

Patty tells me to go in with my whole hand. I’m super turned on at this point because I’ve never experienced anything like this and didn’t know a woman could accommodate this sort of thing.

But she did. I was wrist deep in this girl. She was in her twenties. How was she able to do this? She liked it. I’m a little freaked out but in my drunken mind I can handle it.

This is called fisting. I never thought I’d ever be engaged in this sort of situation. As crazy as our adventures have been out here this seems over the top. I actually thought child birth for this woman may not even hurt. But it was still bizarre.

If someone told me my night after opening for Y&T would end like this. I would have just looked at them in mute protest.

Then she asks me to open the top drawer of her dresser. I do as I’m told and that’s when I see the biggest dildo I’ve ever seen on Earth. I’m still a little wet behind the ears and it’s all a new world to me.

She asks me to give it to her with this monster dildo. At this point I’m having a little fuselage envy. How can my little band go on after Fist and Hammer of the Gods? If I have intercourse with her after this episode, it’ll be like throwing a hotdog down a hallway, right?

But Patty’s loving it and is happy she’s opened toyland to me. I never expected this.

After the crazy monster insertion play she wants me to go on stage. Surprisingly it went well. I always carried condoms with me in those days because I was deathly afraid of catching an STD. Like… terrified. Scared of drugs and venereal disease.

We get it on and it’s fire. She was so beautiful I would never have known she was such a sexual dynamo when I met this waitress.

I tell her I’m going home and she gets back on the, “You’ve got a girlfriend or a wife.” I tell her no but she doesn’t believe me.

I walk out onto Hollywood Boulevard. I don’t even know what time it is. I hail a taxi and he takes me back to Santa Monica. At the time I think it was expensive. Funny how it was only $11 and a tip.

I’m happy to be back to the apartment and in my own bed.

She calls me the next day and tells me she wants to have a threesome with me and her girlfriend.

I tell her I’ll think about it.

 

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie’s ex-wife Angie reveals she was drugged and raped in the 70s but never told him

DAVID Bowie’s ex-wife Angie has revealed she was drugged and raped in the 1970s – but she never told him.

Angie, 69, was married to the late rocker for 10 years from 1970 until their divorce in 1980.

 

David Bowie’s ex-wife Angie has revealed she was drugged and raped in the 1970s – but she never told him.

However Angie never told her husband she was raped by two men while in New York at the height of the Starman’s fame.

Speaking to The Sunday Mirror, Angie revealed she woke up after her drink was spiked to find herself covered in blood on a bed with two men looming over her.

Despite the terrifying situation, Angie lashed out at her attackers, punching them numerous times before leaving the room.

She revealed for the first time: “I never told David. I never gave him bad news. That wasn’t my job.

 The couple were married for 10 years from 1970 until their divorce in 1980

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The couple were married for 10 years from 1970 until their divorce in 1980.

 Angie pictured with David in 1974 - the year she was raped by two men in a New York hotel room

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Angie pictured with David in 1974 – the year she was raped by two men in a New York hotel room.

“He wouldn’t have been able to deal with that kind of thing. I just learned to block it all out. I ignored it.

“I’m not a survivor. I’m a warrior because that’s what you have to be.”

The incident took place in 1974 when she was 24 and while David was in Philadelphia recording.

Angie headed out to 82 Club with some of her husband’s business associates, but revealed to the publication she never drank or did drugs.

 Angie's drink was spiked in a club, and when she woke up, two men were looming over her and she was covered in blood on a bed

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Angie’s drink was spiked in a club, and when she woke up, two men were looming over her and she was covered in blood on a bed.

She recalled: “I had a Coca-Cola sitting at the bar and I was about to go and sit with them. I didn’t notice two South Americans putting a date rape drug in my drink.”

Angie collapsed and the men took her to the Seville Hotel in New York and raped her.

Of the moment she came round, she said: “My dress, which was see-through silk, organza yellow, was covered in blood.”

 Angie helped David get his first record deal and worked with him on his iconic looks

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Angie helped David get his first record deal and worked with him on his iconic looks.

But of her reasons for not telling David, who died in January 2016 aged 69, she said: “David wasn’t in touch with his emotions when it bordered on intimacy and relationships.”

Angie reveals all about her marriage to Ziggy Stardust in a new book called Lipstick Legends.

 

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Shark Island

Every time…..

I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

1979–1982: Early History and Sharks formation[edit]

Shark Island was started in 1979 by singer Richard Black, whose name then was Rick Czerny, and lead guitarist Spencer Sercombe, under the name of ‘Sharks’. Czerny and Sercombe met in high school and began writing original material and began playing music together. Sercombe, played and worked for B.C. Rich guitars. While working at B.C. Rich, Spencer has a hand in the designing of one their most popular guitars, The Warlock. The band practiced out of a small home in a commercial area in Arcadia on Santa Clara Street. The walls of the studio were lined with empty Mickey’s Big Mouth bottles (the official Shark beer) and the inspiration behind the band’s original logo.[2] The band was completed by drummer Dave Bishop and bassist Jim Volpicelli.

The original band of Czerny, Sercombe, Volpicelli and Bishop released an independent album called Altar Ego in 1982. This album was produced by Jerry Tolman, and featured organist Mike “The Fin” Finnegan. Both had done work with Stephen Stills. Executive producer was Jeff Willmitt. It was recorded at That Studio in North Hollywood.

As well as Altar Ego, Sharks released three singles. The first was a unique “triple fin” shaped 45, that when inserted into the jacket, cut through the ocean image on the cover. Side A was “Kid Sister” and side B was “Your Car or Mine”. Both were recorded at Mystic Studios in Hollywood. “Hey” was a live single recorded on May 10, 1981 at The Ice House in Pasadena, Sharks’ home town. On the flip side was Mark Bolan‘s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)“. Executive producer for both 45s was Jeff Willmitt. The artwork of “Hey” featured a black 45 rpm sleeve with ‘Live Sharks’ across the top in bold red letters with three USDA stamps saying, “Guaranteed Live” on the top of the stamp. “Packed in Its Own Juice” was on the bottom of the stamp. In the middle of the stamp it said, “U.S.D.A. Shark Meat choice” looking like an actual stamp from the U.S.D.A. The other single was “I’m Electric” which featured a drum machine rather than Bishop playing the real drums. On the backside of that single is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town“. The lyrics are substituted and recorded to the tune of the Judas Priest song, “Heading Out to the Highway“. No artwork was created for this second single. This was considered a souvenir and was given out to the fans when Sharks headlined. Oftentimes Sharks made themselves available after their performances to the many fans wanted and somewhat demanded autographs to these same “souvenirs”.

During these years, the Sharks became one of the most popular bands to emerge from the Los Angeles rock scene. American Heroes/Mondo Cane was an act that either opened for Sharks or had Sharks opening for them during the numerous performances. There were multiple occasions when both bands played in the same venues such as The Whiskey, The Icehouse, The Roxy or The Troubadour. It was at that time that Lanny Cordola, American Heroes/Mondo Cane’s guitarist and songwriter, began noticing the unique and riveting stage persona of Sharks vocalist, Richard Czerny. Lanny seriously entertained the idea of Czerny being the frontman for American Heroes/Mondo Cane but both bands continued to perform separately never discussing the idea. Richard Black’s (Czerny later changed his name to Black) signature stage moves and dancing were influential to Axl Rose.[citation needed] When Axl Rose has been asked about this “influence”, Rose either avoids answering those questions altogether or immediately changes the subject.[3]

Dave Bishop was the drummer of Sharks while they were enjoying the height of their popularity in Hollywood. Bishop used various shapes of cowbell-like instruments in his drumming giving him his unique sound and along with his unusual style of playing. His drum kit had a shark’s jaws permanently fastened to the outer drum head of his bass drum facing the crowd.

Jim Volcipelli was handling the duties of the bass guitar for Sharks. One of Volcipelli’s bass guitars was custom-designed and had an air-brushed shark’s head and teeth painted at the end near the volume/tone knobs. Much like Michael Anthony of Van Halen, Volcipelli’s vocals were strong and melodic bringing a very different sound to Hollywood’s rock scene. Many bands, at that time, only had the vocals of the lead singer with no background vocals. Clearly, this set Sharks apart from almost all of the current-playing rock bands at that time.

1985–1986: Name change and S’cool Buss[edit]

In 1985, Sharks changed their name to Shark Island. In the tradition of Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and other Los Angeles bands, Shark Island became the house band at Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip. Owner Bill Gazzari helped produce a cover of the Frank Sinatra song “New York, New York”[3] which appeared on the band’s independently released album, S’cool Buss, in 1986. The line-up now included Richard Black on lead vocals, Spencer “Burner” Sercombe on guitar/vocals, Walt Woodward III (ex-Rachel, Americade) on drums/vocals, Tom Rucci on bass/vocals/keyboards and Michael Guy on guitar/bass. Rick Derringer produced most of the album and there were 1,200 copies made (200 in a red cover and 1,000 in a turquoise color). “Palace of Pleasure” was the unofficial single of this album. The former Sharks’ rhythm section, Jim Volpicelli (bass) and Dave Bishop (drums) are credited with co-writing four of its nine songs.

Sharks Island were able to secure a record development deal. They were signed by A&M Records for one year with no promise of being permanently signed to an official record contract. During this time, the line-up continued to shift with drummer Walt Woodward III leaving to join The Scream and on-and-off guitarist K.K. Martin parting ways due to “artistic differences”. Rob Pace, from Chicago, filled in on drums during this time. Sercombe also did studio work with Sparks, playing guitar on the band’s 1988 Interior Design album.[4]

1989–1994: Law of the OrderBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Point Break[edit]

Chris Heilman and drummer Greg Ellis joined in 1989 to record and release the band’s only official album, at that time, entitled, Law of the Order.[5] The official single of that “debut” album, “Paris Calling” had an elaborate music video. Randy Nicklaus was the producer for Shark Island on that album on Epic Records.[6] It’s generally speculated that Randy was not familiar enough with Sharks/Shark Island’s high-energy and bombastic live performances, and therefore not being able to fully capture Shark Island as they truly performed live.[3]

With the disappointing CD sales of the album and no promotion from Epic Records, the band vanished from the scene with most of its members joining other projects. Law of the Order was re-issued in 2004 by French independent label, Bad Reputation, as a double CD. That included bonus tracks culled from the July 14, 1989 Bastille Day – Alive At The Whiskey EP, “Father Time” and “Dangerous” from the 1989 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure[7] soundtrack, “My City” from the 1991 Point Break soundtrack, and LOTO era live cuts, “Spellbound’ and “Sanctuary”.[8]

In 1994, the band attempted to re-form with the new line-up of Ricky Ricardo on bass, Eric Ragno (TakaraSeven Witches) – keyboards, Richard Black – vocals, Simon Wright (AC/DCDio) – drums and Damir Simic Shine on guitar.

1991–2012: Break-up and solo projects[edit]

  • Richard Black went on to join short-lived supergroup Contraband in 1991, with Michael Schenker and Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Share Pedersen (Vixen) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns). Black started a band called Black 13 in the mid-1990s but never released any albums. In late 2000, it was announced that Black would front Bourgeois Pigs, a band put together by guitarist Michael Guy (ex-Shark Island, Fire, House of Lords) and also featuring Jake E. Lee (ex-Ozzy OsbourneBadlands) on lead guitar and Tony Franklin (ex-The FirmBlue Murder) on bass. Ultimately, the band disbanded without releasing an album.
  • Spencer Sercombe teamed up with German guitar legend Michael Schenker and appeared on the 1992 MSG acoustic album Unplugged Live. In 1993, he recorded the Love Revolution EP with Jamie Rio And Newmatic Slam. He joined the Riverdogs for a European tour in 1994 and collaborated with the band’s vocalist Rob Lamothe on his 1996 debut solo album, Gravity. Sercombe and Riverdogs drummer Ronnie Ciago both joined former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward‘s solo band although only Ciago appears on the 1997 When the Bough Breaks album. Sercombe also played in a ZZ Top tribute band called Fandango. He later moved to Germany, guesting on Gigantor’s 2001 album, ‘Back to the Rockets, and singer/guitarist Eddie St. James’ 2013 release, Streets Cry Freedom, with whom he has also done shows as an acoustic guitar duo.
  • Greg Ellis left the band and played in Michael Monroe‘s band and in Jerusalem Slim, featuring Monroe and guitarist Steve Stevens. They released one self-titled album in 1992. Ellis went on to form world music duo Vas with Iranian born vocalist Azam Ali, releasing a total of 4 albums between 1997 and 2004. He guested on Steve Stevens’ 1999 solo album, Flamenco A Go-Go. Ellis has also recorded with Psytrance act Juno Reactor and his own ambient group, Biomusique, who issued 10,000 Steps in 2008.
  • Chris Heilman has previously been in Tormé and went on to play guitar with Chromosapien with Doni Castello from Burning Tree on vocals, bassist Dan Rothchild, formerly of Tonic, guitarist Craig McCloskey, and LA session drummer Dan Potruch.
  • Walt Woodward III joined The Scream and appeared on their Let It Scream debut album before doing a stint with surf guitar legend Dick Dale. Returning to his native New Jersey, he played in various local bands, including The Painkillers. Woodward died June 8, 2010 from liver failure.

2005–2013: Gathering of the Faithful and new line-up[edit]

In 2005, Shark Island reunited to re-record various previously-written and demoed songs for the album Gathering of the Faithful, produced by guitarist Spencer Sercombe with additional production from German Villacorta and vocalist Richard Black. The line-up featured Black on vocals, Sercombe on guitars, piano, synthesizer and vocals, Christian Heilman on bass and new drummer, Glen Sobel, now with Alice Cooper. The album was released in Europe on Frontiers Records in 2006[9] and via Manifest Music in the U.S. in 2007.

In 2013, Black put together a new line-up of Shark Island and played classic era material in Europe including a show in Zagreb, Croatia [10]

2019–present: New studio album[edit]

In 2019, the band released a new studio album, Bloodline. The album was limited to a worldwide print of only 1111 copies.[1] The Shark Island family now consists of Richard Black (vocals), Damir Simic (guitar), Alen Frjlak (drums) and returning Shark Island member Christian Heilmann (bass). Credit is also given to Marko Karacic (bass). Bloodline was produced by Alex Kane mixed by Sylvia Massy. The collection has ten original songs and one cover of “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode.

Personnel[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • S’cool Buss (1986)[11]
  • Law of the Order (1989)[1]
  • Gathering of the Faithful (2006)[1]
  • Bloodline (2019)[1]

Promotional EPs[edit]

  • July 14, 1989 Bastille Day – Alive at the Whiskey (1989)[11]

Singles[edit]

  • “Kid Sister” b/w “Your Car or Mine” (1980)
  • “Hey” b/w “Get It On” (1981)
  • “Altar Ego” (1982)
  • “I’m Electric” b/w “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1983)

 

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Tales of Rock: Suzi Quatro

The Queen of Rock n’ Roll

Susan Kay Quatro (born June 3, 1950) is an American rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actress. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star.[2]:1–3[3]

In the 1970s, Quatro scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland. She reached no. 1 in the UK and other European countries and Australia with her singles “Can the Can” (1973) and “Devil Gate Drive” (1974). Following a recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on the popular American sitcom Happy Days, her duet “Stumblin’ In” with Smokie’s lead singer Chris Norman reached No. 4 in the US.

Quatro released her eponymous debut album in 1973. Since then, she has released fifteen studio albums, ten compilation albums, and one live album. Her other solo hits include “48 Crash”, “Daytona Demon”, “The Wild One”, and “Your Mama Won’t Like Me”.

Between 1973 and 1980, Quatro was awarded six Bravo Ottos. In 2010, she was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame. Quatro has sold over 50 million albums[4] and continues to perform live, worldwide. Her most recent studio album was released in 2019 and she also continues to present new radio programs.

Early life and family

Quatro was born and raised in Detroit. Her paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant to the US. His family name of “Quattrocchi” was shortened by the immigration authorities to Quatro. Quatro’s family were living in Detroit when she was born. She has three sisters, a brother, and one older half sister. Her parents fostered several other children while she was growing up. Her father, Art, was a semi-professional musician and worked at General Motors and was of Italian descent. Her mother, Helen, was Hungarian. In this environment, Quatro grew to be “extrovert but solitary”, according to Philip Norman of The Sunday Times, and she only became close to her mother after leaving the U.S. for Britain.

Her sister Arlene is the mother of actress Sherilyn Fenn. Her sister Patti joined Fanny, one of the earliest all-female rock bands to gain national attention. Quatro has a brother, Michael Quatro, who is also a musician.

She was influenced at the age of six by seeing Elvis Presley perform on television. She has said that she had no direct female role models in music but was inspired by Billie Holiday and liked the dress sense of Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las “because she wore tight trousers and a waistcoat on top – she looked hot”.

Quatro received formal training in playing classical piano and percussion. She taught herself how to play the bass and guitar. Her father gave her a 1957 Fender Precision bass guitar in 1964, which she still possessed in 2007.

In 1976, Quatro married Len Tuckey. They had two children together (Laura in 1982 and Richard Leonard in 1984) and divorced in 1992.

Career

Early career and the Art Quatro Trio

Quatro played drums or percussion from an early age as part of her father’s jazz band, the Art Quatro Trio. Sources vary regarding whether her playing in the band began at the age of seven or eight, and whether the instrument she played was a drum kit or percussion (bongo or congas). Subsequently, she appeared on local television as a go-go dancer in a pop music series.

The Pleasure Seekers and Cradle

Quatro, at far right, pictured, along with two of her sisters, Patti and Arlene, and Eileen Biddlingmeier (centre), in the Pleasure Seekers, 1966

In 1964, after seeing a television performance by the Beatles, Quatro’s older sister, Patti, had formed an all-female garage rock band called the Pleasure Seekers with two friends.[15] Quatro joined too and assumed the stage name of Suzi Soul; Patti Quatro was known as Patti Pleasure. Suzi would sing and play bass in the band. The band also later featured another sister, Arlene.[14] Many of their performances were in cabaret, where attention was (initially) focused more on their physical looks than their actual music. They sometimes had to wear miniskirts and hair wigs, which Quatro later considered to be necessary evils in the pursuit of success.[8] However, they would become well-known fixtures in the burgeoning and exploding Detroit music community.[16]

The Pleasure Seekers recorded three singles and released two of these: “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” / “What a Way to Die” (1966) and “Light of Love” / “Good Kind of Hurt” (1968). The second of these was released by Mercury Records, with whom they briefly had a contract before breaking away due to differences of opinion regarding their future direction. They changed their name to Cradle in late 1969, not long after another Quatro sister, Nancy, had joined the band and Arlene had left following the birth of her child.[17]

Work with Mickie Most[edit]

A black and white photograph of Quatro and her unnamed backing band. Quatro is holding her bass guitar, standing, and wearing a black leather jacket; her three taller and long-haired male band members are standing behind her wearing dark tee shirts.

Quatro and her supporting band in AVRO‘s TopPop, a Dutch television show, on December 7, 1973 (Left to right: Len Tuckey, guitar; Suzi Quatro, bass guitar; Alastair MacKenzie, keyboards; Dave Neal, drums)

Quatro moved to England in 1971, after being spotted by the record producer Mickie Most, who had by that time founded his own label, Rak Records. Most had been persuaded to see Cradle by Michael, the brother of the Quatro sisters who had assumed a managerial role for the band.[15] In common with many in the record industry at the time, Most was seeking a female rock singer who could fill the void that the death of Janis Joplin had created.[8] According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, his attention to Quatro was drawn by “her comeliness and skills as bass guitarist, singer and chief show-off in Cradle.”[14] She had also been attracting attention from Elektra Records and subsequently explained that “According to the Elektra president, I could become the new Janis Joplin. Mickie Most offered to take me to England and make me the first Suzi Quatro – I didn’t want to be the new anybody.”[15] Most had no interest in the other band members[17] and he had no idea at that time of how he might market Quatro. She spent a year living in a hotel while being nurtured by Most, developing her skills and maturing. Most later said that the outcome was a reflection of her own personality.[8]

Quatro’s first single, “Rolling Stone“, was successful only in Portugal, where it reached No. 1 on the charts.[15] This was a solo effort, although aided by people such as Duncan BrownePeter Frampton and Alan White. Subsequently, with the approval of Most, she auditioned for a band to accompany her.[8][18] It was also after this record[19] that Most introduced her to the songwriting and production team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote songs specifically to accord with her image. She agreed with Most’s assessment of her image, saying that his influence, at which some of his artists – such as Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart – balked, did not extend to manufacture and that “If he tried to build me into a Lulu, I wouldn’t have it. I’d say ‘go to hell’ and walk out.”[20] This was the height of the glam rock period of the 1970s and Quatro, who wore leather clothes, portrayed a wild androgynous image while playing music that “hinged mostly on a hard rock chug beneath lyrics in which scansion overruled meaning.”[14][a]

In 1972, Quatro embarked as a support act on a UK tour with Thin Lizzy and headliners Slade. Rak arranged for her to use Thin Lizzy’s newly acquired PA systemduring this, incurring a charge of £300 per week that enabled the Irish band to effectively purchase it at no cost to themselves.[21] In May 1973, her second single “Can the Can” (1973) – which Philip Auslander describes as having “seemingly nonsensical and virtually unintelligible lyrics”[2]:1 – was a No. 1 hit in parts of Europe and in Australia.[22]

“Can the Can” was followed by three further hits: “48 Crash” (1973), “Daytona Demon” (1973) and “Devil Gate Drive” (1974). “Can the Can”, “48 Crash” and “Devil Gate Drive” each sold over one million copies and were awarded gold discs,[22] although they met with little success in her native United States, where she had toured as a support act for Alice Cooper.[23] Rak artists had generally not succeeded in the US and her first album, Suzi Quatro, was criticised by Alan Betrock for its lack of variety, for its Quatro-written “second-rate fillers” and for her voice, described as “often too high and shrill, lacking punch or distinctive phrasing.”[18] Writing for Rolling StoneGreg Shaw was also downbeat, saying that the album “may be a necessary beginning”.[24]

In 1973, Quatro played on the Cozy Powell hit “Dance With the Devil“, a track written by Mickie Most while Cozy Powell was part of the Rak roster.

Musicians who acted as her backing band around this period included Alastair McKenzie, Dave Neal and Len Tuckey,[8] with Robbie Blunt also being listed by some sources.[25] Tuckey’s brother, Bill, acted as tour manager.[8]

With the exception of Australia, her chart success faltered thereafter, as proven with her 1975 hit “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me”, which proved to be a moderate success in the UK. Further singles “I Bit off More I Could Chew” and “I May Be Too Young”, both failed to reach the UK Top 50. Quatro recorded an album in 1976 and released a new single in 1977 called “Tear Me Apart” which reached the UK Top 30, her first hit to have done so in three years. It would take another year for another big hit, this time with a change to a more mellow style[14] giving Quatro a 1978 single “If You Can’t Give Me Love” that became a hit there and in the United Kingdom. Later that year, “Stumblin’ In“, a duet with Chris Norman of the band Smokie, reached No. 4 in the US[23] Both tracks were featured on the If You Knew Suzi… album. A year later, Quatro released Suzi … and Other Four Letter Words, but none of her other work had much US success. This featured the hits “She’s in Love with You”, which made No. 11 in Britain, “Mama’s Boy” (number 34), and “I’ve Never Been in Love” (number 56).[26]

Mike Chapman and Dreamland records[edit]

In 1980, after Quatro’s contract with Mickie Most had expired, she signed with Chapman’s Dreamland Records.[27]:4

In the same year, she released the album Rock Hard; both the album and title single went platinum in Australia. Rock Hard was also used in the cult film Times Square and was included on the soundtrack album. The single reached No. 11 in Australia, but only 68 in the UK due to distribution problems. It was clear at this point that the hit single career was beginning to wane. A second single from the Rock Hardalbum, titled “Lipstick”, was released in February 1981, but radio refused to play it as they claimed it sounded too much like Gloria by ThemSuzi Quatro’s Greatest Hits, which was released in 1980, peaked at No. 4 in the UK charts, becoming her highest-charting album there.[23]

Independence[edit]

After Chapman’s Dreamland Records folded 1981, Quatro was left without a record label.[28]

Her last UK hit for some time was “Heart of Stone” in late 1982. In 1983 another single “Main Attraction” was released. It failed to chart but did become a moderate airplay hit.[23] She commented in an article for Kerrang! in 1983, after playing a successful show at Reading Festival on August 27, that she did not care about being in the charts, but was more interested releasing what she wanted to; commenting that she started in 1964, and did not become famous for nine years “I would never accept having my career moulded by other people … I’ve kept working consistently even though I’ve not been in the charts.” Around this time Quatro recorded a new album that was shelved until 1997, when it was released under Unreleased Emotion Quatro briefly returned to recording for two more singles “I Go Wild” in 1984 and in 1985, her “Tonight I Could Fall in Love“/”Good Girl (Looking for a Bad Time)” single reached No. 140 in the UK charts.[29] Quatro also collaborated with Bronski Beat and members of the KinksEddie and the Hot Rods and Dr. Feelgood on the Mark Cunningham-produced cover version of David Bowie‘s “Heroes“, released the following year as the 1986 BBC Children in Need single. Quatro also released a cover version of “Wild Thing” in November 1986, as a duet with The Troggs singer Reg Presley. “Can the Can”/”Devil Gate Drive” were re-released in 1987 as a single and reached number 87 in the UK charts.[29] She was also part of the Ferry Aid charity single “Let It Be“, which was a UK No. 1, 13 years and 26 days after Quatro’s last UK No. 1. In 1989 Quatro released a prerecorded backing track single “Baby You’re a Star”, and was released in the UK though it failed to chart. By the late 80’s it was clear that Quatro’s hit making days were over, though she still recorded persistently despite lack of chart success. During the 1990s, Quatro released four new albums though Unreleased Emotion had been recorded several years previously. What Goes Around – Greatest & Latest was released in 1995 and consisted of mainly older hits rerecorded, this proved a success in Denmark. Except for 1999’s Free the Butterfly self-help album it would take a further 11 years for Quatro to release a new album. Back to the Drive in 2006 showed a return to Quatro’s harder rock roots rather than the smoother sounds of her previous albums. Back to the Drive also returned Quatro to the worldwide charts her first album to do so since 1980’s Rock HardBack to the Drive also produced a download only single “I’ll Walk Through the Fire with You”. Quatro released In the Spotlight in 2011 with the lead single, “Whatever Love Is”. Quatro marked her 50th anniversary in the music industry with an anthology, Girl from Detroit, in 2014 with two new tracks.[30][31]

Around 2005, a documentary chronicling Quatro’s life, Naked Under Leather, named after a 1975 bootleg album recorded in Japan, directed by a former member of the RunawaysVictory Tischler-Blue, was made, but this has never been released.[32][33] In February 2006, Quatro released Back to the Drive, produced by Sweet guitarist Andy Scott. The album’s title track was written by her former collaborator, Chapman.[34] In March 2007, Quatro released a cover version of the Eagles song “Desperado“, followed by the publication of her autobiography, Unzipped.[35] By this time, Quatro had sold 50 million records.[12]

On June 11, 2010, she headlined the ‘Girls Night Out’ at the Isle of Wight Festival.[36] Quatro was also inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010, following an on-line vote.[17]

In August 2011, Quatro released her fifteenth studio album, In the Spotlight (and its single, “Spotlight”). This album is a mixture of new songs written by Mike Chapman and by herself, along with some cover versions. A second single from the album, “Whatever Love Is”, was subsequently released.[37][38] On November 16, 2011, a music video (by Tischler-Blue) for the track “Strict Machine” was released onto the Suzi Quatro Official YouTube channel. The track is a cover of Goldfrapp‘s “Strict Machine”, but Quatro’s version contains two lines from “Can the Can”, referencing the similarity of the tunes for the two songs.[39][40]

In April 2013, she performed in America for the first time in over 30 years, at the Detroit Music Awards where she received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to her by her sister, Patti.

In 2017 Quatro released her sixteenth studio album backed by Andy Scott from Sweet on guitar and Don Powell from Slade on drums.[5]

Acting and radio hosting[edit]

Quatro is possibly best known in the United States for her role as the bass player Leather Tuscadero on the television show Happy Days. The show’s producer, Garry Marshall, had offered her the role without having an audition after seeing a photograph of her on his daughter’s bedroom wall. Toby Mamis, who was acting as her U.S. representative at that time, helped effectuate the deal and generate enormous media attention to it, elevating Quatro’s profile in her home country. Leather was the younger sister of Fonzie’s former girlfriend, hot-rod driver Pinky Tuscadero. Leather fronted a rock band joined by principal character Joanie Cunningham. The character returned in other guest roles, including once for a date to a fraternity formal with Ralph Malph. Marshall offered Quatro a Leather Tuscadero spin-off, but she declined the offer, saying she did not want to be typecast.[41]

Other acting roles include a 1982 episode of the British comedy-drama series Minder (called “Dead Men Do Tell Tales”) as Nancy, the singer girlfriend of Terry (Dennis Waterman).[42] In 1985, she starred as a mentally disturbed ex-MI5 operative in Dempsey and Makepeace – “Love you to Death”.[43] In 1994, she made a cameo appearance as a nurse in the “Hospital” episode of the comedy Absolutely Fabulous.[44]She also was filmed in the 1990 Clive Barker horror film Nightbreed, but the studio cut out her character.[citation needed] In 2006, Quatro performed the voice of Rio in the Bob the Builder film Built to Be Wild,[45]and appeared in an episode of the second season of Rock School, in Lowestoft. She has also appeared in the episode “The Axeman Cometh” of Midsomer Murders in the role of Mimi Clifton.

Quatro has also performed in theatre. In 1986, she appeared as Annie Oakley in a London production of Annie Get Your Gun[29] and in 1991 she performed the title role in a musical about the life of actress Tallulah Bankhead. Titled Tallulah Who?, this musical was co-written by her and Shirlie Roden, adapted from a book by Willie Rushton. It ran from February 14 to March 9 at Hornchurch, England, where it was billed as “You’ll be amazed how Tallulah did it, and to whom – and how often!” The show received favourable reviews from the majority of critics.[46][47]

In more recent times, Quatro has hosted weekly rock and roll programmes on BBC Radio 2. The first one was titled Rockin’ with Suzi Q, while her second programme was given the title Wake Up Little Suzi.[48]

Songwriting[edit]

She started writing songs alone, then collaborated with other songwriters (such as Len Tuckey, Rhiannon Wolfe and Shirley Roden), and now once again mainly writes songs alone.

Quatro’s early recorded songwriting was deliberately limited to album tracks and the B-sides of singles. She said in late 1973, that “…  [the] album tracks are a very different story from [the] singles. The two-minute lo-and-behold commercial single will not come out of my brain, but ain’t I gonna worry about it.”[49]

She describes creating a new song: “From sitting at my piano in my front room, writing down a title (always first), picking up my bass, figuring out the groove, going back to the piano … working on the lyrics, playing electric guitar … and finally I type out the lyrics. Only then is it officially a song. Next it goes down on my tiny 8-track, [with] me playing everything … this is the version all muso’s use to get into the tune … then into the studio and we go from there.”[50]:2

Personal life[edit]

Quatro married her long-time guitarist, Len Tuckey, in 1976. They had two children together (Laura in 1982 and Richard Leonard in 1984) and divorced in 1992. Before 1993, Quatro lived with her two children in a manor house in Essex that she and Tuckey bought in 1980.

She married German concert promoter Rainer Haas in 1993. In 2006, her daughter and grandchild moved into the manor house again.[1] Towards the end of 2008, Quatro’s children moved out of the house and she temporarily put it up for sale, stating that she had empty nest syndrome. Quatro continues to live in Essex, (sometimes in Detroit) and Hamburg.[51]

Since 2011 she publishes music videos on YouTube.[52] On March 31, 2012, Quatro broke her right knee and left wrist while boarding an aircraft in KievUkraine, where she had performed the night before. She had to cancel her appearance at the Detroit Music Awards, where she was to be inducted into the Detroit Hall of Fame along with her sisters, scheduled for April 27. This would have been her first performance in America in over 30 years. Quatro also had to reschedule other concert dates, while some were cancelled altogether.[53]

Attitude[edit]

In a 2012 interview, Quatro was asked what she thought she had achieved for female rockers in general. She replied:

Before I did what I did, we didn’t have a place in rock ‘n’ roll. Not really. You had your Grace Slick and all that, but that’s not what I did. I was the first to be taken seriously as a female rock ‘n’ roll musician and singer. That hadn’t been done before. I played the boys at their own game. For everybody that came afterward, it was a little bit easier, which is good. I’m proud of that. If I have a legacy, that’s what it is. It’s nothing I take lightly. It was gonna happen sooner or later. In 2014, I will have done my job 50 years. It was gonna be done by somebody, and I think it fell to me to do because I don’t look at gender. I never have. It doesn’t occur to me if a 6-foot-tall guy has pissed me off not to square up to him. That’s just the way I am. If I wanted to play a bass solo, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t. When I saw Elvis for the first time when I was 5, I decided I wanted to be him, and it didn’t occur to me that he was a guy. That’s why it had to fall to somebody like me.[3][b]

In a 1973 interview, Quatro sympathised with many of the opinions voiced by the women’s liberation movement while distancing herself from it because she considered that the participants were

… completely hypocritical. Their leaders stand up there and say, ‘We’re individuals blab blab blab,’ and yet they’re all in a group following like sheep. For me, I cannot put the two together … I’m talking about the masses that follow [the movement’s leaders who get press attention] and who have nothing at all to say. It gives it all a very phoney light. I hope they can find a way to apply it to their own lives, because grouping together takes away the whole idea of Women’s Lib.[49]

The interviewer, Charles Shaar Murray, considered her viewpoint to be “… somewhat anomalous, because unless the woman in question happens to be well known, she has no way of letting people hear her unless she unites with other women and then elects a spokesman.” He also noted the apparent contradiction that Quatro seemed proud that girls were writing to her saying that they were emulating her look and her attitude.[49] In 1974, Quatro believed that, unlike men, women were burdened with emotional responses and that it was more difficult for them to succeed in the music industry because they are more prone to jealousy and thus female audiences tend not to buy the recordings of female artists.[54] Her unusually free use of swear words in conversation was often picked upon by interviewers in the 1970s,[54] as have been her diminutive stature and boy-ish nature. In 1974, Philip Norman said that

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.[8][c]

Awards and honors[edit]

In October 2016, it was announced[55] that Quatro had received an honorary doctorate in music from Anglia Ruskin University along with Dr. Feelgood‘s Wilko Johnson.[55]

In 2011, Quatro was inducted to the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.[56]

Legacy and influence[edit]

Views of journalists and reviewers[edit]

In August 1974, Simon Frith spotted a problem with the formula that was working outside the US, saying that

Suzi’s facing a bit of a [commercial] crisis: Chinn and Chapman, having proved their point, are losing interest in her. She’s never had their best material (they don’t play many games with her) and each of her singles has been less gripping than the one before. Unless they suddenly imagine a new joke, she’s in danger of petering out and she lacks the resources to fight back. None of her own musical talents has been needed and so they’ve been ignored (except on the throwaway B-sides) and while Sweet and Mud have their histories and themselves to draw on for support, Suzi’s present has nothing to do with her past and her group was formed only to play Chinnichap music. Mud may become a top cabaret act and Sweet a respected rock group, but Suzi will only be a memory. Mickie Most’s skill in the ’60s was to make pop music out of British blues and R&B and folk; Chinn and Chapman’s skill in the ’70s has been to make pop music out of an audience. As this audience ages and changes, so will its music and Suzi Quatro will have been just an affectionate part of growing up.[19]

In 1983, journalist Tom Hibbert wrote that Quatro may have overstated her role as a leading light among female rock musicians. He said that

… it was in the wake of the 1977 punk revolution that the traditions of rock were turned upside down and female musicians truly came to the fore. But Suzi Quatro, with her tomboy sneers, her bass guitar and her stompingly persuasive teen-tunes, had at least laid down a challenge to the male-dominated rock orthodoxy. On stage in the Eighties, Quatro was still conveying energy and excitement – and she still lacked class.”[57]

Views of scholars[edit]

In his 2008 paper Suzi Quatro: A prototype in the archsheology [sic] of rock, Frank Oglesbee writes 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”. He describes Quatro as “a female rock pioneer, in some ways the female rock pioneer … a cornerstone in the archsheology of rock.” He said she grew up to become “the first female lead singer and bassist, an electric ax-woman, who sang and played as freely as the males, inspiring other females.”[58]

Philip Auslander says that “Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music”. Though some women (like Quatro herself) played instruments in American all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they “did not provide viable templates for women’s on-going participation in rock”.[2]:2–3 When Quatro emerged in 1973, “no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader”.[2]:2 Auslander adds that in 2000 Quatro saw herself as “kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female musician … and this is a point I am extremely concerned about … could play as well if not better than the boys”.[2]:3

People and bands influenced by Quatro[edit]

Quatro has influenced various female musicians. Musician Tina Weymouth, who played bass guitar in Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, among other bands, first learned to play bass by listening to Quatro albums.[59]

Quatro had a direct influence on the Runaways[60] and Joan Jett[60] and Girlschool and Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.[61]

Mid-1990s American indie rock band Tuscadero was named after Quatro’s Happy Days character Leather Tuscadero, and their song “Leather Idol”, from their 1994 album The Pink Album, was an ode to both Quatro and her TV character.[62]

On the cover of Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall‘s 2007 album Drastic Fantastic, Tunstall is dressed like Quatro, as a deliberate homage.[63][d]

On October 24, 2013, Quatro received the Woman of Valor Award from the organisation Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women (MEOW) for her role inspiring and influencing generations of female musicians.[65] The award was bestowed by Kathy Valentine (formerly of The Go-Go’s) at a dinner in her honour in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Renaissance Hotel. Quatro performed five songs with a local band that included her sister Patti and Tony Scalzo of the band Fastball on “Stumblin In”.

Satire[edit]

A Danish band called Suzi & Quadratrødderne released two albums: Glimrende (Excellent) and Absolut Nødvendigt..! (Absolutely Necessary ..!). Quatro was played by Ricky Rocket. Unlike Quatro and her band, Suzi & Quadratrødderne dressed in glam rock style.[66]

Musical style[edit]

Quatro’s music covers several genres. Her primary genres are hard rock,[67] glam rock[68][69] and female cock rock. (Auslander analysed Quatro’s live performances of “Can the Can” plus “Breakdown” and concluded that she performed as a cock-rocker.[2]:1–2 He writes that “she has appeared on occasion just as a bass player, not a singer, and [also] demonstrates her instrumental prowess with an extended bass guitar solo during her own concerts. By foregrounding her status as a rock player, not just a singer, Quatro declares ownership of the symbolic rock cock.”)[2]:3

With the Pleasure Seekers, their musical styles and genres included power pop,[70] garage rock[71] and Motown.[72] Quatro also performs musicals.[73]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

[23]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live and Kickin’ (1977) – Japan & Australia only live album; re-released as double CD in 1990 in Australia

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Suzi Quatro Story – 12 Golden Hits (1975) – No. 33 Sweden[23]
  • Suzi Quatro’s Greatest Hits (1980) – No. 4 UK, No. 38 Sweden[23]
  • The Best of… (1984) – limited to RSO years[23]
  • Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 6 (1984), AIP – The Pleasure Seekers
  • The Wild One – the Greatest Hits (1990)[23]
  • The Gold Collection (1996)[23]
  • Greatest Hits (1999)
  • The Best of the 70’s (2000)
  • Rough and Tough (2002)
  • A’s, B’s and Rarities (2004)
  • The Best Of Suzi Quatro (2009)
  • The History (2010), Cradle – distributed by CD Baby[82]
  • What a Way to Die (2011), The Pleasure Seekers – distributed by CD Baby[83]
  • The Essential (2011)
  • A Little Taste of Suzi – Greatest Hits EP (2012)
  • The Girl from Detroit City (2014) 4 cd box set
  • The Very Best Of (DigiPack) (2015)
  • Legend (2017)[5]

Singles[edit]

Year Title
Composer
B-side
Composer
UK
[84]
AU US PT IE DE SA
[85]
1966 “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” (in The Pleasure Seekers) “What a Way to Die”
1968 “Light of Love” (in The Pleasure Seekers) “Good Kind of Hurt”
1972 Rolling Stone
(Phil Dennys, Errol Brown, Suzi Quatro )
“Brain Confusion” 1
1973 Can the Can
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Ain’t Ya Something Honey” / “Don’t Mess Around” (US) 1 1 56 5 1
48 Crash
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Little Bitch Blue” 3 1 2
Daytona Demon
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Roman Fingers” 14 4 2
1974 All Shook Up
(Otis BlackwellElvis Presley)
“Glycerine Queen”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
85
Devil Gate Drive
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“In the Morning” 1 1 1 2
“Too Big”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“I Wanna Be Free” 14 13 12 6
“The Wild One”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Shake My Sugar”(Aust B Side – “The Wild One (slow)”) 7 2 11 15
1975 “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Peter, Peter”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
31 14 27
“I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Red Hot Rosie”
(Quatro, Tuckey)(Aust B Side – “Michael”
(Quatro, Tuckey))
34
“Michael”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Savage Silk”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
100
“I May Be Too Young”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Don’t Mess Around”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
50
1977 “Tear Me Apart”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Same as I Do (UK – YRAK RAK 248B)”
(Quatro, Tuckey) / “Close Enough to Rock ‘n’ Roll”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
27 25 17
Make Me Smile
(Steve Harley)
“Same as I Do”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Roxy Roller”
(Nick GilderJames McCulloch)
“I’ll Grow on You”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
1978 If You Can’t Give Me Love
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Cream Dream” / “Non-Citizen” (US) 4 10 45 2 5 3
“The Race Is On”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Non-Citizen”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
43 28 11 15 8
Stumblin’ In” (with Chris Norman)
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“A Stranger with You”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
41 2 4 13 2 2
1979 “Don’t Change My Luck”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Wiser Than You”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
72
“She’s in Love with You”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Space Cadets”
(Quatro, Tuckey) / “Starlight Lady”
(Quatro, Tuckey) (US)
11 30 41 5 8 1
1980 “Mama’s Boy”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
“Mind Demons”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
34 27 19 12
“I’ve Never Been in Love”
(Melissa A. Connell)
“Starlight Lady” / “Space Cadets” (US) 56 44 38
“Rock Hard”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“State of Mind”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
68 9 26 12
1981 Glad All Over
(Dave ClarkMike Smith)
“Ego in the Night”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
70
“Lipstick”
(Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn)
“Woman Cry”
(Quatro, Tuckey)
46 51
1982 Heart of Stone
(Chris Andrews, Suzi Quatro)
“Remote Control”
Suzi Quatro and Len Tuckey
60 99
1983 “Down at the Superstore” “Half Day Closing (Down at the Superstore) “
“Main Attraction” “Transparent”
1984 “I Go Wild”
(Nicky Chinn,S. Glen, M. Burns)
“I’m a Rocker”
1985 Tonight I Could Fall in Love
(Richard Gower)
“Good Girl (Looking for a Bad Time)”
1986 Heroes
(David Bowie / Brian Eno)
“A Long Way to Go”/”The County Line”
I Got Lost in His Arms
(Irving Berlin)
You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun
(Irving Berlin)
Wild Thing” (with Reg Presley)
(Chip Taylor)
“I Don’t Want You”
1988 “We Found Love”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“We Found Love” (Instrumental)
1989 “Baby You’re a Star”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“Baby You’re a Star” (Instrumental)
1991 “Kiss Me Goodbye” “Kiss Me Goodbye” (Instrumental)
“The Great Midnight Rock ‘n’ Roll House Party” “Intimate Strangers”
1992 “Love Touch”
Love Touch
(Gene Black, Mike ChapmanHolly Knight
(Single Version)
“We Found Love”
(Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland)
“I Need Your Love”
(with Chris Norman)
(Chris Norman, Suzi Quatro) [2]
“The Growing Years”
(with Chris Norman)
(Chris Norman))
“Hey Charly”
1993 “Fear of the Unknown” (Radio Version) “And So to Bed”
1994 “If I Get Lucky” (Radio Version) “If I Get Lucky” (Long version)
Peace on Earth” (Radio edit)
“Peace on Earth” (Album Version)
“Frosty the Snowman”
1995 “What Goes Round” (Radio Edit)
“What Goes Round” (Album Version)
“Four Letter Words” (Remix version)
1996 “If You Can’t Give Me Love (remix)” “Empty Rooms”
2006 “I’ll Walk Through the Fire with You”
2010 “Singing with Angels” (with James Burton and The Jordanaires) (Australian September tour limited edition)
2011 “Whatever Love Is”
2014 “The Girl from Detroit City”
2019 “No Soul/No Control”

Some info in this table was taken from The Great Rock Discography.[23]

List of Songs[edit]

see: List of songs by Suzi Quatro

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Acting
Guest appearances

Cinema[edit]

Honors and awards[edit]

Bravo Otto[edit]

Bravo is the largest magazine for teenagers in German-speaking Europe. Each year, the readers of this magazine select the Bravo Otto award winners.

Quatro has won the following Bravo Otto awards:[91]

  • 1973 Gold for female singer
  • 1974 Gold for female singer
  • 1975 Bronze for female singer
  • 1978 Bronze for female singer
  • 1979 Bronze for female singer
  • 1980 Silver for female singer

Queens of British Pop[edit]

In April 2009, BBC TV selected Quatro as one of twelve Queens of British Pop.[92]

Awarded honorary doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK on October 19, 2016.

See also[edit]

 

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Tales of Rock: Meet Connie Hamzy — Rock And Roll’s “Most Notorious Groupie” And Bill Clinton’s First Sex Scandal

There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

“Sweet” Connie Hamzy Parente (born January 9, 1955), also called “Sweet Sweet” Connie or Connie Flowers, is an American woman who is known as a groupie who claims to have had sex with numerous rock musicians. Hamzy also received some attention for her claim that she was propositioned by Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas.

Connie Hamzy Parente
Born
Connie Parente

January 9, 1955(age 64)

Little Rock, Arkansas
Occupation Media personality, groupie

She is mentioned in Grand Funk Railroad’s song “We’re an American Band” (“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act/ She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”)

Hamzy personally claims to have given oral sex to various members of the many bands that have traveled through Little Rock. Her alleged groupie escapades were detailed in a Cosmopolitan profile in 1974, and in 1992 she wrote a tell-all article for Penthouse.

In 1991, Hamzy was briefly in the news due to her claim that, in 1984, she had been approached by an Arkansas state trooper on behalf of Bill Clinton. She claimed that she and Clinton had looked for “a place where they could have some privacy for an assignation, but couldn’t find one.” George Stephanopoulos later recounted that Clinton told him a different story of his meeting with Hamzy. According to Clinton, Hamzy had approached him in a hotel lobby, flipped down her bikini top, and asked him, “What do you think of these?” Stephanopoulos secured affidavits from three people who had been accompanying Clinton and confirmed Clinton’s recollection. When asked about Hamzy by reporters, Stephanopoulos responded by denying the story off the record and offering to provide the affidavits, also off the record. Although CNN Headline News reported Hamzy’s allegations once, neither CNN nor other mainstream news organizations pursued the story further.[2]

Hamzy published a memoir in 1995 under the title Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock.

In 1996, Hamzy sought to run as an independent for the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district, but ultimately did not appear on the general election ballot.

Hamzy was featured in a segment of the Insomniac with Dave Attell episode in Little Rock.

Image result for connie hamzy

She was also interviewed on the Howard Stern Show on December 4, 1991, and again on December 8, 2010

As long as there’s an American band around, Connie Hamzy will keep “doin’ her act.”

Connie Hamzy, born Jan. 9, 1955, in Little Rock, Ark., has collected several nicknames over the years. Some call her Connie Flowers, “Sweet” Connie Hamzy, “Sweet Sweet” Connie, or just simply “Sweet Sweet.” A prominent rock groupie, her celebrity status was solidified in two lines from the Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 song, “We’re an American Band,” which became the group’s first number one single:

“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”

Connie Hamzy’s early escapades

Bands she was allegedly associated with include Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Bad Company, ZZ Top, and the Doobie Brothers. In 2005, Spin dubbed her“the world’s most notorious rock’n’roll groupie.” But she wasn’t just a 70s groupie. Hamzy was in it for the long haul.

Hamzy was only 15 years old when she was with her first rock star, the drummer for Steppenwolf, Jerry Edmonton. Then she moved onto to Keith Moon of The Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

Arkansas groupie claims she and Bill Clinton 'fondled each other ...

Drummers soon became her niche. “The drummers gravitated to me because they wanted to hear about John Bonham and Keith Moon,” she told Howard Stern in an interview. There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

In the 1980s, while her fellow groupie comrades like Pamela Des Barres and Bebe Buell slowly drifted out of the scene to start families or write books about their wild exploits, Hamzy continued her groupie lifestyle into the 90s.

Connie Hamzy’s affair with politics

Connie Hamzy

In fact, some of the biggest waves she made came in 1991, shortly after Bill Clinton declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination. In a tell-all published by Penthouse magazine, Hamzy alleged that in 1984 she had an encounter with Clinton in a North Little Rock hotel while he was governor of Arkansas and married to Hillary Clinton. Hamzy said Bill spotted her while she was sunbathing by the hotel pool. The two of them went into the laundry room and fondled each other until they were abruptly interrupted.

Hamzy said that the incident fell on deaf ears. Political journalist George Stephanopoulos got affidavits from three individuals who said she approached Clinton and he rebuffed her. CNN picked up the story but dropped it after the affidavits were produced.

In 1995, she wrote a book titled Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock, but her love for rock stars didn’t stop. In her 2005 interview with Spin, when she was 50 years old, she told a story of a recent encounter with Neil Diamond while she was hanging on a tour bus.

Connie Hamzy - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

“Then he gets high with us and disappears backstage. A few minutes later, his manager says he wants to see me in his dressing room. So I knock on the door, and there’s Neil waiting for me in a blue robe.”

It wasn’t an unlikely encounter, given that Hamzy was reportedly backstage at every Arkansas gig well into the new millennium. “She’s a legend in Little Rock,” said Chris King, owner of the local music venue Sticky Fingerz.

Howard asked if Connie ever felt insulted that the rockers just passed her around like a plate of potatoes. “Well, a plate of good potatoes,” she replied.

Connie Hamzy, now 63, was back in the news in October of 2016, when she rehashed the sexual episode with Bill Clinton. She took a polygraph test about the alleged Clinton scandal and mailed the results over to Donald Trump’s campaign, who she gave her full support to.

This is Connie now.

Image result for connie hamzy

“Rock and Roll devours it’s own young.”Phicklephilly

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly