Roxy rock ’ n’ roller Suzi Qu­a­tro may be 61 but she’s still tak­ing no pris­on­ers, writes Lynn Cameron

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - Suzi Qu­a­tro per­forms at the Wrest Point En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre, Oc­to­ber 5. Book­ings on 1300 795 257. www. wrest­point. com. au

Five decades of hard rock.

SHE made her mu­si­cal de­but aged eight, play­ing bon­gos in her fa­ther’s band. Now, more than 50 years later, it’s fair to say that Suzi Qu­a­tro is still bang­ing out a killer beat.

The singer, who burst on to the charts in the ’ 70s with hits such as Can the Can, 48 Crash, Devil Gate

Drive, TheWild One, If You Can’t Give Me Love and She’s in Love With You, to name a few, has just re­leased In the Spot­light, for which she has re­united with Aus­tralian record pro­ducer Mike Chap­man, the force be­hind many of her big­gest hits.

Qu­a­tro ( pic­tured) de­scribes be­ing back in the stu­dio with Chap­man as like com­ing home.

‘‘ I’m very com­fort­able with Mike,’’ Qu­a­tro says. ‘‘ We have a mu­tual re­spect; he un­der­stands me, I un­der­stand him. We’re on the same page. ‘‘ Mike has told me that, of all the peo­ple he’s worked with through the years, I’m the only per­son he con­tin­ues to work with, which is quite a com­pli­ment.’’

Chap­man cred­its the now 61-year-old rocker with hav­ing a telling in­flu­ence on the mu­sic scene over the past four decades, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to fe­male mu­si­cians.

‘‘ There is a lit­tle piece of Suzi in ev­ery fe­male artist who takes to the stage, and there has been for al­most 40 years now,’’ Chap­man says.

It’s a com­pli­ment Qu­a­tro is com­fort­able ac­cept­ing.

‘‘ I do see traces of me and that’s not ego talk­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘ There wasn’t any­body be­fore me so who­ever came af­ter me would have used me as the start­ing point, as the blue­print.’’

One ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple is, of course, Joan Jett, whose ma­jor hits such as I Love Rock ’ n’

Roll and Bad Rep­u­ta­tion sug­gest more than a smat­ter­ing of Qu­a­tro’s in­flu­ence. The young, un­signed Jett was ac­tu­ally a bit of a Qu­a­tro stalker.

‘‘ She was my

big­gest fan in LA and she was at ev­ery show,’’ Qu­a­tro says.

‘‘ Be­fore she started a band, she used to be sit­ting in the lobby wait­ing for me to come in. It was so cute.

‘‘ Then I found out that she had formed a band and I said that’s great, be­cause she was such a fan that she needed an out­let.

‘‘ I’m proud of Joan. She’s done great for her­self and I feel like I’m a part of that.’’

Call­ing her new al­bum In The Spot­light is a some­what apt ti­tle for Qu­a­tro, who has also had stints as a ra­dio pre­sen­ter, act­ing roles on UK shows

Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous, Dempsey and Make­peace and Min­der among oth­ers, as well as the­atre per­for­mances and her own TV chat show.

But a life lived in the pub­lic eye has, Qu­a­tro in­sists, left her rel­a­tively un­changed.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been able to live par­al­lel lives. I have a pri­vate life and a pub­lic life and I don’t let the two get in the way of each other,’’ she says.

Qu­a­tro does con­cede, how­ever, that with age has come self-ac­cep­tance. ‘‘ I’m re­ally com­fort­able in my skin now,’’ she says. ‘‘ I don’t feel any pres­sure that I have to be a cer­tain way to be Suzi Qu­a­tro. I am me, end of story. What you see is what you get.’’

But that doesn’t mean Qu­a­tro has, by any means, be­come com­pla­cent. The singer con­fesses to be­ing freaked out with the crit­i­cal ac­claim In the Spot­light has won since its re­lease last month.

Her YouTube hits count in the mil­lions and tick­ets are al­ready sell­ing out for her tour, for which Qu­a­tro will again be don­ning that fa­mous leather jump­suit.

‘‘ I feel very grate­ful. I can’t be­lieve I’ve been al­lowed to do this for so long,’’ she says.

‘‘ My favourite thing is the Satur­day night crowd, when they come in with their arms folded say­ing, ‘ OK, I’ve worked all week, I’ve bought the ticket, show me what you can do’. I love it. I take no pris­on­ers.’’

{ I’ve al­ways been able to live par­al­lel lives. I have a pri­vate life and a pub­lic life and I don’t let the two get in the way of each other }

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