Kids of Tragedy: Suzi Quatro Regrets Her Abortion

Joan Jett once joked that her biggest disappointment in life was finding out that Suzi Quatro was straight.

Now, I’m a flaming heterosexual, but believe me: lots of other Gen-X girls (gay or not) had pictures of Quatro stuck on their bedroom walls.


The tomboy bassist made an indelible impression on Happy Days as “Leather Tuscadero,” but her music career was never as huge over here as it was in the UK.

Even so, long before Siouxsie Sioux, Chrissie Hynde or even Joan Jett herself, Quatro’s success sent a message:

Yeah, I wear tight leather jumpsuits; so do the guys. But you don’t have to look or sound like a Barbie Doll to have a hit single or two.

When she posed for a Penthouse centerfold, she even kept her clothes on.

Not that Quatro considered herself a feminist, mind you.

In 1973, she called the “women’s liberation movement”:

… completely hypocritical. Their leaders stand up there and say, ‘We’re individuals blab blab blab,’ and yet they’re all in a group following like sheep. For me, I cannot put the two together. … I’m talking about the masses that follow [the movement’s leaders who get press attention] and who have nothing at all to say. It gives it all a very phoney light. I hope they can find a way to apply it to their own lives, because grouping together takes away the whole idea of Women’s Lib.

So it isn’t that surprising that Suzi Quatro has now publicly admitted that she regrets her 1968 abortion — not a popular stance among today’s petulant pro-choice feminists:


‘When I get to those Pearly Gates, hopefully, this is the sin I will pay for. I am so sorry for it,” she said. “Years later, it still comes back to haunt me, and I don’t think I will ever get over it.”

That’s not Quatro’s only regret:

She calls her divorce from their father the second greatest trauma of her life. “It was a horrible decision,” she said in a recent interview.

“I’ll never forget the day we told the children,” she said. “The memory of it still brings goose pimples to my arms.”

Quatro’s anthemic if cryptic song “Kids of Tragedy” always sounded to me like a condemnation of all the Baby Boomers who made their children watch as they acted out their own psycho-sexual “experimentation” — a sort of three-minute version of the movie Foxes.

Having read that new interview with Suzi Quatro, the tune sounds even more like a Jeremiad against the prevailing attitudes of the 1960s and 70s.

I guess that’s why it wasn’t a bigger hit…

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