Reading the Charlie Watts post, it struck me that we’ve neglected to celebrate another recently-turned octogenarian, Ms Leather Tuscadero herself, the fabulous Suzi Quatro. She is acknowledged as a significant cultural pioneer and inspiration to many of the punk and rock princesses that followed. Her own biggest hits were, of course, written and masterminded by the titans of early 70s glam, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, and their indispensable wing-man, pop eminence-grise Mickie Most. The tsunami of hits for Suzi, Sweet, Mud and to a lesser extent Smokie and, er, Racey formed the soundtrack of my and I suspect many others’ childhoods, and I still adore the thrilling wide-eyed optimism of their brash stomping anthems…the very Menton of ‘Chinnichap RAK’ brings a Proustian rush of playgrounds, platforms and POPSWOP magazine.
Chapman, of course, went on to garner great acclaim as a producer, of Blondie in particular. Although their relationship was fractious to say the least (Chapman seems to have what clinicians now recognise as Waters’ Ego Complex) they did occasionally team up again in the 80s and created hits for Exile, Tina Turner and Toni Basil (perhaps ‘Mickey’ is a belated tribute to their erstwhile colleague).
So, would anyone like to join me in saluting the mighty Suzi Q and the chart-straddling hit factory that was the Chinnichap chaps?