The Pleasure Seekers were an all-girl band (aging from 14-17) who were founded in 1964 by sisters Patti and Suzi Quatro, sisters Nancy (drums) and Mary Lou Ball (guitar), and Diane Baker on piano. Their name was a random find which, according to Suzi Quatro in her memoir Unzipped, was found after the sisters searched a dictionary for a name for their band. Upon encountering “hedonist”, they used the definition “pleasure seeker” to create “The Pleasure Seekers”.
Formed in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Baker was soon replaced by Arlene Quatro…and yes! This is THE Suzi Quatro who interestingly, was originally trained as a classical pianist and percussionist – but her first instrument was the bass! She then taught herself how to play bass (which she learned especially for the Pleasure Seekers). Another couple of cool facts is that she was inspired by Elvis at the age of six (which ultimately steered her into music) and that her father gave her a 1957 Fender Precision bass guitar in 1964, which she still uses in the studio!! Anyway, back to the Pleasure Seekers…..
The band released their first single, What a Way to Die, 1964 on Detroit’s Hideout Records. Shortly after, “Nan” Ball left the band and was replaced by Darline Armone, and in 1968 they were signed to Mercury records where they issued second single, Light of Love b/w Good Kind of Hurt. By 1969 they were steering musically into a heavier direction and subsequently changed their band name to Cradle. Arlene Quatro became the band’s manager and Nancy Quatro re-joined as the new drummer. The band lost Suzi Quatro in 1971 after she left pursue a solo career and two years later the band disbanded.
Though the Pleasure Seekers only had a handful of singles before some members evolved and went their separate ways, their sound was impressive given their young age! Their skilled musicianship developed in the years spent in this venture and pivoted Quatro into a career that she is still rocking today! What a Way to Die is full of gruff vocal yelps and garage rock’n’roll goodness! It’s crazy to think that Suzi Quatro was only 14 when she did this! Check it out above.