Song of the Week – What a Way to Die, Pleasure Seekers

Ignored             Obscured              Restored

Back on January 18, 2014, I wrote a post called “Pioneering 70s All Women Bands.”  In it, I credited the band Fanny with being the first “self-contained, all women rock band to get a major label deal.”  Well, that may have been true of ‘70s bands, but not 100% accurate.

You see, in the 60s, a Detroit based, all women band called the Pleasure Seekers was formed.  They comprised future rock star Suzi Quatro and her sister Patti, along with Nancy Ball (drums), Mary Lou Ball (guitar), and Diane Baker (piano).  The group looked and acted tough, like the Shangri-Las, but with instruments.  By 1968 the group had landed a deal with Mercury Records and released a couple of singles.

But my favorite is the B-side of the single they released in 1966 on the indie Hideout Records label.  The Hideout was a teen club in Harper Woods, Michigan that also had a record label.  Hideout released records by The Omens, a band that included a young Bob Seger, and the Mushrooms, with Glenn Frey.

“What a Way to Die” is wild, guitar-based garage rock.  The vocals by 15-year-old Suzi are uninhibited, shrieking, and strained – perfectly suited to the song.  Each verse is followed by a cool, little guitar motif.  And it has a familiar, 60s, British Invasion styled ending.

Suzi Quatro would go on to release a slew of albums in the 70s that were much more popular abroad (Europe and Australia) than in the US.  But she gained fame here as an actress, playing the role of Leather Tuscadero in the ABC television series Happy Days.

Enjoy… until next week.

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