Suzi Quatro is a legend in my eyes, and that’s not just because I was a latch-key kid growing up on a weekly diet of “Happy Days” spiked with Kraft Dinner. Nevertheless, this 50s-inspired 70s’ babysitter-of-a-TV-show introduced me, via the Fonz, to Suzi Quatro’s Leather Tuscadero, and she was cool AF to me at a time when there were only a handful of female rockers that my 9-year-old self could be inspired by. Years later, Suzi would again inspire me to discover her earlier work with The Pleasure Seekers, formed by her sister Patti in the early 60s.
The Pleasure Seekers weren't the first all-girl rock band (and there is a distinction to be made in the early 60s between girl bands, who were musicians and sometimes songwriters, and girl groups who sang in bands). As far as I know, Goldie and the Gingerbreads were the first to sign with a major label, but the Pleasure Seekers, also including Nancy Ball, Mary Lou Ball and Diane Baker, were rocking heavy even before many of their male counterparts.
"Never Thought You'd Leave Me," backed with "What a Way to Die," was the band’s first single in 1965. I especially adore the raunchy garage-rock flavor of the latter, but The Pleasure Seekers were one seriously diverse group with an eclectic, avant-garde sensibility. This track, “Where Have You Gone,” is lesser known than others, but it feels years ahead of its time.
As I said, their catalogue is wonderfully diverse, and I urge you to check out the entire track listing on their 1965 (or their 2011 re-release) album What a Way to Die. “Brain Confusion” is also among my faves!
You can learn more about The Pleasure Seekers here:
About the Curator - Jane Asylum
When my mother wasn’t walking around the house belting out early 60s’ girl-band lyrics, she was collecting compilation albums, specifically from K-Tel. She may not have had the most refined taste, but she enjoyed variety, or at least that’s what I recall. I poured over them all, preferring some sounds to others. And when I found the perfect song, I’d play it over and over until ready to perform my latest theatrical dance incarnation.
With my family all gathered on floral grey sofas in our basement apartment, I’d set the vinyl on the turntable of a brown fibreboard stereo and not-so-carefully lower the needle. It would pop, screech, and crackle before any music spilled from the weaved-wheat speakers. My toes would press, lift, and sweep through the blue-green shag carpet, my arms would flail, and the music would bass and treble through my soul.
I’m no longer that 6-year-old doing private-audience interpretive dance routines, but my passion remains just as intense. I have no special superpowers as a curator — just my love of sounds and lyrics that transport, transform, move, and make your body groove.
15 November 2021
When you adore a band and practically everything they’ve done, it can be a bit difficult to decide on one single track to feature on a playlist, but “Drive Your Car” became a no-brainer.
13 October 2021
English band Free’s “I’m a Mover” is music to my ears, and it’s the track I want to listen to while driving my pony on a stretch of cracked grey highway over green hills.
13 September 2021
Any track from this band would pair well with Chuck Berry’s “My Mustang Ford,” but I want to drive into a more or less psychedelic blues and garage rock direction. This makes “Lying Eyes” the perfect fit.