leejohnson's current selection is:
Can the Can
by Suzi Quatro

#1973

Although a nice little summary of the leather-clad 'sex thimble' Suzi Quatro can be found in the February 7th 2016 entry in the blog "Hits of the 70s", I unfortunately have to follow this quoted article with a very downbeat report concerning one of her concerts I attended at the time:

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The rock queen from the 1970s, who made teenage boys squirm and their dads sigh. Suzi Quatro was American by birth in 1950, but adopted by the British all through the 1970s and beyond. Selling over fifty million records and also appearing in the 1970s in the TV comedy "Happy Days", Suzi was a worldwide global star.

Suzi was inspired by Elvis, and in the 1960s was a bass player for an all female group. In 1971, she moved to the UK and signed up to 'RAK Records', owned by Mickie Most. It was her second single with him that stormed to the top of the UK charts, with "Can The Can" in 1973 (later, a small hit in the US in 1976):

"Make a stand for your man, honey, try to can the can
Put your man in the can, honey, get him while you can
Can the can, can the can, if you can, well can the can."

The "CAN" has nothing to do with tin, but more to do with an expression of something that is impossible. In this context, it was about love being impossible.

Not many people were worried about the lyrics - they were more happy to listen to a great pop song and to watch a beautiful woman in a leather skin tight suit! Suzi was also wearing that suit whilst on the road with 'Slade' at this time.

Thanks to her sexy performance on "Top Of The Pops", everyone was talking about Suzi. Later that year, she scored a Top Three single with "48 Crash", which she co-wrote. Suzi was a writer, performer, bandleader and an excellent interviewee too. This American lady was now in the hearts of the UK population.

[ There's a bit more to this article at http://hits-of-the-70s.blogspot.com/2012/09/in-1970s-suzie-quatro.html ]

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I saw this lady and her band just the once, at a Corn Exchange gig in Devizes, Wiltshire, on June 22nd 1973. A terribly intimate music venue to be honest, with a low staging platform, and the outcome was bloody awful too, on a desperately hot and sticky summer night. Her guitarist (and future husband) Len ended up arguing angrily with most of the crowd when the gig suddenly ground to a halt after about an hour. (Len was a big bloke, and you wouldn't have dreamed of interacting with him physically!) Ms Quatro had been cajoling us (the crowd) to "come on, get up and dance, don't just sit there", and quite a few hot-and-bothered punters had given her some lip back.

Basically, Suzi had no real concept of what an adult West Country Brit audience actually wanted from her performance, and she just thought everyone should be up and prancing around like teenyboppers throughout her numbers - your average concertgoer that night was plainly more into "headbanging", cross-legged on the floor, than having any of that mullarkey. (Me and my friends, by the way, chose the "better part of valour" as soon as the mood began to get ugly, and hightailed it - the first and only gig I ever left before the end.)

Sadly, my over-riding impression of her from events at that gig was of a butch nagbag haranguing the ordinary public, which puzzlingly belied her feminine-but-raunchy appearance at first glance. I was a "true fan" of hers for all of about - ooh, two weeks, I think.....

Ah well. Chart-wise ... UK No. 1 on June 16th 1973; US peak of No. 56 on February 14th 1976.
http://hits-of-the-70s.blogspot.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can_the_Can
1973 - RAK Records - United Kingdom
Posted: 22nd June 2018
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Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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