Darren Johnson… Following my book on the Sweet published this summer I’ve been commissioned to do one on Suzi Quatro. Was anyone at the gig she played on Hastings Pier in June 73 just after Can the Can became a hit. By all accounts it was something of a riot. This is how the NME reported it. Let me know if you have any memories you wish to share! “In 1066 they had perhaps THE most historic of battles at Hastings. And at the Suzi Q Band gig there the other Friday, certain people had it in mind to stage a re-run at the Pier Ballroom. Rowdies in farmyard boots stomped the boards; there were Teds with lard in their hair; rebel rousers itched at the promise of an innocent stumbling into them. In short, it was decidedly unpleasant. The atmosphere hummed with intended violence. Apes in monkey suits prowled the area, and in the bar leather jackets bustled bronzed muscles in T-shirts. Beer slopped down chests, over heads, and into big gobs. One poor lad was made part of the wall decor, flattened by a wooden gate and two cruds. Another delightful gent peed all over the toilet floor. But the point’s this: Quatro gigs are the subject of untold controversy at present, and not only for the rowdies reason.”
Peter Fairless… Friday, 8th June 1973. Factory were support.
Jim Breeds… If Factory were the support they may be able to give you some memories Darren. Most of ’em are in this group.
Peter Fairless… This is the gig where they declined Mickie Most’s offer to become the next Smokie, Jim. BTW: that seems like a very typical NME review – nothing about the music!
Darren Johnson… I did pull that out of a much longer article but yes very NME!
Stephen Moran… Hi Darren, I am currently undertaking research into the popular music histories of Hastings from 1960-1985 for a PhD I am doing with the London College of Music. I was interested to read your post and the NME review. I did look through copies of the music press at The British Library for the early part of my study but they only seemed to cover gigs in London or festivals like the Isle of Wight. It’s good to know that NME covered the Suzi Quatro gig and perhaps other live music events in Hastings. There was a short review in the Hastings Observer which you might find interesting. Good luck with the book.
cuttings supplied by Stephen Moran
Darren Johnson… Although the official chart says it went from 34 to no 5! They were right about predicting no 1 though.
Tony Pettifer… Saw her at the top rank Brighton supporting Thin Lizzy and Slade great gig!
Tony Court-holmes… i was there seemed a good night
Iain Cobby… I was there, as my mother and father worked at Hastings Pier Bingo in the theater and got me tickets for gigs. I was 18 that year and remember it being a packed audience but wasn’t aware of any “trouble”, however I do remember Suzi in her sprayed on leather jumpsuit (as I dare say most teens would have …. ) being a bassist I was interested in her P Bass and was impressed by her playing and singing, a good rock and roll show. I also remember the lovely Jenni Inness too, who used to write for The Observer, as she knew Tony Bridger RIP, a well known great guitarist who I had the pleasure of playing with.
Andy Qunta… Our band, Factory, were the support band for this gig. Very responsive audience! Suzi was great! Good luck with your book, Darren! The Sweet book sounds interesting too!
Peter Thomson… This is one I missed having been to see Slade at Brighton Dome earlier in the week. I was still at school, in the midst of ‘O’ levels and had to be up for my Saturday job in Woolies next morning. So I would have been skint as well but I’m sure Saturday night I would have made up for it. Good luck with the book.
Paul Cullen… I was at that gig and don’t remember any troubles like reported. I do recall however Factory getting more encores than Suzi. It was a great evening though